Sunday, 7 September 2014
07.09.2014 - 07.09.2014
Relaxed start to the day with both our ship and the sunrise arriving at about the same time. By 07:00 we were secured to our berth and the sun was visible above the horizon. A simple breakfast in the Horizon Court and prepare for our Tour Group rendezvous in the Theatre at 09:15.
The coach and guide transported us through the various neighbourhoods with stops along the way. First stop was at the Senate Square with the Lutheran Cathedral of St Nicholas occupying one side, with the Government Palace to the right and the University to the left. The City Hall, the Bank of Finland and the Presidential Palace are also there.
We visited the Sibelius Monument a unique sculpture set in a parkland and dedicated to the composer Jean Sibelius who wrote a number of symphonies celebrating the unique Finish culture and landscape.
Finally the Temppeliaukio Church also known as the Church in the Rock. The church was blasted out of a granite outcrop and most of the walls were left as they were. The blasted rocks were then used to bring the walls to a uniform height. The whole 2000 sear church was then topped with a copper-lined dome.
We found Helsinki to be a bright, clean and very green city. There is a strong emphasis on boating and we saw many coves and inlets virtually crammed full of small boats and yachts. Because of the severity of their winter all these boats have to be lifted from the water and placed into storage.
Our guide also made mention of the significance of the sauna to the social fabric of Finland. It is considered the universal first aid treatment for many ailments. Even business deals are cemented with a visit to the sauna.
We were back at the ship's side by 12:45 where we made our way to the cabin before heading off to lunch in the Horizon Court. Back to the cabin to compose this text and prepare for our second Formal Night and the Captain's Circle Cocktail Party.
A lovely dinner and the Captain's Party was enjoyable and brief. Decided to attend the show in the Theatre and very pleased we did. Chris Watkins has an amazing repertoire and had us all enchanted with his violin. It was also the first time we'd heard the orchestra and seen the stage lighting in action. Certainly a step or two up from the older ships we've sailed.
We add another hour to our night to bring us back to where we started in Copenhagen.
Tomorrow we arrive at Nynäshamn, Sweden where the ship will anchor.
Selecting an image for today was no easy task, I've chosen this interior of the Temppeliaukio Church at http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-09-07
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony