We sadly say goodbye to Bruce and Judy today as they are heading home for a funeral. We had lot’s of fun together. To be continued again next time we meet.
Helsinki. The shuttle bus drops us at the central square on the waterfront. We stroll through some lenders stalls and booths with giant slabs of salmon cooking. It’s a perfect sunny day and everyone is out for a stroll.
We enter the Uspenski Cathedral, one of the largest Orthodox churches in Western Europe. A service is on. People stand facing the icon stand. There are many candles up front and the smell of insense. We can see several priests partially hidden behind the stand. One occasionally comes out and reads lines from a book. The choral choir of 3 or 4 people and organist respond each time. People are crossing themselves and bowing. It is all very sacred.
We walk by the Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral. It is crowded in the square out front. Everyone is very calm and pleasant here. We ask for directions to the WC and bank machine. The attendant understands and can speak English clearly. We see coffee stalls and bars everywhere. Finns are the greatest drinkers of coffee in the world. We stroll through a shady park and stop for lunch. After a little shopping, back to the shuttle bus we go after 3 hours of pleasant walking.
As we cruise out we see dozens of flat islands with Finns sunbathing on. There was a big outdoor swimming pool and sauna facility right in the harbor area. Finns are famous outdoor enthusiasts.
At the Oceania Club party, we meet an Armenian couple now living in FL. Ara tells me he was born in Istanbul and that the Armenia was the first nation to officially adopt Christianity as their faith predating all other Christian communities outside Jerusalem. Wow I did not know this.
We call it a night and sleep well.