Hilton Hotel Helsinki (Kalastajatorpantie 1)
I really got myself off schedule by changing my travel day from Tuesday to Friday, when I arrived in Helsinki from Bergen. I prefer Tuesday as a travel day because it isn’t a weekend, a Monday or Friday and known to be a day when airfares are cheapest. So here I am in Helsinki and I have to double check each day to make sure I don’t forget I’m leaving for Tallinn, Estonia this coming Friday.
For some reason, I’m really finding myself “in tune” with Helsinki. It has become very easy to know my way around the city pretty well after a few days. The only place I really haven’t explored is the hotel. I know the main entrance, front desk, my room of course, and where I eat breakfast. Other than that, I haven’t checked out the rest of the hotel. I love my room with the view of the lake. I’ve been posting pictures taken out my window in my picture blog. (Links below.)
After breakfast and shower, I headed toward the tram stop for a trip into central Helsinki. Today I’m planning to visit the Helsinki Cathedral and the Eastern Orthodox Cathedral. Both are near each other down by the harbor. I can find the harbor now without help from GPS. Today I took a slightly different route so I could see more of the area. I took a short cut through one of the indoor malls near the train station. It occurred to me that there are several large indoor shopping malls within close proximity of each other. Perhaps with the cold weather, people find it easier to shop when all the stores are inside. I know I would.
My first stop was the Helsinki Cathedral. You certainly can’t miss a very large white building that sits on a small hill. While it looked very grand on the outside, it was fairly toned down on the inside.
I walked around the neighborhood before visiting the Eastern Orthodox Cathedral, also built upon a hill. This building was a little bit more splendid, with a good amount of gold finishes.
Nearby to both churches was one of three palaces used by the Finnish President, Sauli Niinisto, the 12th president of Finland. He didn’t seem to be at home. The place looked deserted. I took a picture and then was on my way.
I took my time walking around a bit before heading back to the hotel. It had sprinkled earlier but now it was sunny and partly cloudy. I picked up a few snacks before hopping onto the tram and returning to the hotel.
After I woke from a nap I started on a small project. To figure out why I can’t make international calls on my phone. After contacting Vodafone a couple of times I eventually discovered that I needed to manually select another network provider while in Finland. Normally my phone finds a network that connects to Vodafone when I enter a new country. This time it didn’t. I learned something new!
I was also texting Corrine about staying in her ancestral home and also about places to visit in Wales. We both decided that our “road trip” around Southern England and Wales will be the first week, then we will have a week in London. Wales has a lot of castles and it will be tempting to visit all of them, but that would take more than a week to do. We’ll get it all figured out.
My other project is to changes my U.S. mailing address. The person who is handing my U.S. mail, what little there is, is moving soon. This means that I’ll need to change my address everywhere. I’ll try to do about five a day and should be done in about a week. I have the forwarding request submitted, now just to do the individual addresses.
By the time I finished communicating with everyone and taking care of the two projects that I mentioned, it was after 10:00. I ordered a cheeseburger from Room Service that arrived as I was getting ready to watch “The Flash”.
Tomorrow I have one more church to visit in another part of the city. I think the weather is supposed to be like today so I expect I’ll enjoy walking around in a new neighborhood.