It’s rainy and gloomy here this morning. Pretty much how Vj, I and the girls are feeling. After spending a month and a half with us, Vj’s parents left at dawn. Their stay with us feels like a dream. Rather it was a dream-come-true for both Vj and me to host our parents in a foreign land! We enjoyed their love and company over the last month. We are missing them a lot already.
As I walked back home after dropping the kids at school, the weather took me back to our day at Helsinki – just that it was more rainy and more cold with brief intervals of hail and snow!
It had only been uncle and aunty’s third day of visit. Along with the excitement of their arrival coupled with the excitement of our first cruise experience (about which you can read here) and visiting a new country with them, we all were in high spirits.
Our first stop was the Uspenski Cathedral!
It stood bright, bold and majestic against the grey clouds. It is built in red bricks and topped with onion shaped domes. Designed by a Russian architect in the mid 18th century, this cathedral stands as a symbol of Russian influence on Finnish history.
A mass was in progress when we stepped in. The choir, of only four people, sang like angels in unison.
Not too far from the Cathedral is Helsinki’s Bridge of Love!
Seated over the Vantaa River, despite its small size, the bridge holds love locks of hundreds of couples!
I glanced at the names and carvings of as many locks as I could and whispered a prayer for all those couples who had pledged their love for each other!
The yellow/brown buildings and cobbled streets of Helsinki resembled a lot to Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm. Yet it stood unique in more ways.
For one, the narrow colorful trams added a lovely contrast to the mellow colors!
We soon found ourselves in the heart of Helsinki right in front of the iconic Helsinki Cathedral!
Built in the mid 18th century, this cathedral is a Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral that belongs to the Diocese of Helsinki.
The interior of the cathedral looked minimal and elegant in a neoclassical manner.
The kids were too hungry and not too keen on climbing all the stairs to see the cathedral. They stayed back at the senate square and hubby kept them entertained by feeding the seagulls!
Soon after, our food hunt began!
We all were super hungry and looked for a reasonably priced buffet! RAX was the answer to our quest.
It offered a nice variety of pizzas along with a lot other dishes!
We ate to our heart’s content…
And continued to explore the city!
It rained and poured! We were only left with a couple of hours to return to the cruise ship.
A couple of museums we wanted to see were located further away in the city and we ran out of time!
The temperature was 2 degrees. The rain and hail almost froze us. But watching uncle and aunty experience these temperatures and the snow for the very first time with great astonishment, was gratifying!
We took a different route back to the cruise. We window shopped and people watched on our way!
After all the walking around, we and the girls were super happy to be back in our cozy cabins!