Monday, 20 August 2018

Hilton Hotel Helsinki (Kalastajatorpantie 1)

Can’t believe that the end of August is approaching. It has been a busy past few months since I returned from my visit to the U.S. On the home stretch now and Edinburgh is within reach. But first, I needed to get ready for a tour of Helsinki’s historical harbor. I decided to take my rain parka for the tour, since there was a good chance of rain, which turned out to be a very good idea.

As I was walking toward the harbor it started to sprinkle a little, but I was mostly dry while buying my tour ticket. I had about 15 minutes before the 2:00 tour started and saw a food stand where I ordered a ham and cheese toastie (toasted or grilled ham and cheese). I finished the sandwich and boarded the tour boat.

I decided to sit on the bow of the boat to get the best view. At first I was warm enough as the boat launched. The recorded tour was in both Finnish and English, but those speaking other languages could listen to the auto sets available.

To summarize the tour, which talked both about what we were seeing and the history of Finland and Helsinki. We learned that Finland is a relatively young country who was first part of Sweden and then Russia until World War 1 when it got its independence. Helsinki was originally just a small fishing village until the mid 1800’s. Most of the buildings that can be seen are from that time forward. So, Helsinki is a fairly modern city. The catalyst for growth was the building of a fortress at the entrance to the harbor by Sweden in the early 1800’s.

On the tour we were introduced to the buildings and communities that surround the harbor and on the harbor’s many islands. The tour was interesting and informative, but about half way through, it was starting to rain real good and it was getting colder. For the last part of the tour I went inside and ordered a cup of coffee and enjoyed the scenery and tour from there.

Walking back to the tram the rain started to really come down. Glad I had brought the parka but would have liked to have had my waterproof boots. I only have two pairs of shoes that travel with me. By the time I got to the tram, I was very wet, but the parka kept me dry underneath. Wish I could say the same for my shoes.

But I’m not going to complain about the weather. I’m much happier with the cold and rain than I am with the heat. After I got back to my room I got into dry clothes and was happy as a clam. I picked up a couple of blueberry muffins and a yogurt from a store on the way to the tram. Think that will be all I need for the rest of the evening.

After updating my blog I was texting Corrine and we continued to make plans for her visit next month. Our current interest is to stay in her family’s ancestral home, Littlecote, located not too far from London. It is now a country house hotel and resort. We shall see if we can find rooms in the main house.

After a few episodes of “The Flash” I was ready for bed. Tomorrow I’ll return to the central part of Helsinki and visit a couple of churches. The weather should be much better than today.

To see pictures: 

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