Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 25th – Helsinki in the Sun!

All these Baltic cities look much better in the sun, but Helsinki looks stunning! The harbour glitters in the sun, the Esplanade is alive with people and buskers, and the pavement cafes are busy with affluent punters. The whole place seems so alive and happy after the slightly glum faces you encounter St Petersburg.

As we got to Market Square, there was a big ceremony going on at the Presidential Palace. We asked one of the two policemen holding back the traffic who all the pomp and circumstance was for – he replied, "oh I don't know. Something to do with Lithuania". How many other countries, can you stand outside the President's Palace and there only be two policemen on duty?
We wandered around just soaking up the sun and enjoying the relaxed holiday atmosphere. While Tracy shopped, I used the plentiful free WiFi in what is the most wired place in the world – a much repeated statistic here is that internet penetration is highest in Finland of any country in the world.

For the first time on this cruise, Tracy has pronounced, "I could live here" – on a sunny day in Helsinki, it's difficult to disagree with her.