Saturday, 17 July 2010
Although Helsinki in Finland is only a few hours away from St Petersburg the atmosphere is completely different. While St Petersburg appeared to be quite serious and austere, Helsinki on the other hand is clearly a relaxed and happy city. The locals are extremely friendly and keen to assist newcomers in experiencing the very best they had to offer. As trams bustle around the streets, it reminds us very much of Melbourne, as does some of the art deco architecture around the harbour that is similar to St Kilda. The warm weather (high 20s) saw many market stalls setting up around the docks area while sidewalk cafes lined city streets. On the harbour there are plenty of boats taking tourist groups around the coast. We spend several hours in the design district, which is home to dozens of great shops selling a wonderful range of Finnish products. If only we had more room in our suitcases!