Helsinki to Norway July 2016
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July 14, 2016
Helsinki - Day 1

Airports are getting larger or my legs are getting shorter.

We left San Diego on 7-13-16 at a sane 8:30 p.m. for an overnight flight to Heathrow. We arrived in Heathrow the next day at 3:30 p.m. having had a good night's sleep. A few hours later we connected to a Helsinki flight. What they didn't tell us was that when the CHUNNE was built, the Heathrow and Charles De Gaul airports got connected as well. Walking distances at Heathrow are endless.

Seriously, we walked and walked, went down two levels of escalators, connected with a bus that took 15 minutes to arrive at another terminal. They make the journey seem less arduous by taking a route that was designed by an amusement ride engineer. A series of short runs with twists and turn every few feet. The drivers are instructed to take these turns at maximum speed, max speed for a fighter jet that is. The passengers, having arrived at the terminal, rush out of the bus, thankful that they are still alive and only slightly bruised. Literally, that ride could be an Olympic gymnast balance beam event.

Then we walked another fair piece to go up a couple of levels to walk some more to arrive at a waiting lounge where we were served alleged tuna finger sandwiches (they seemed to be made with cat food).

We arrived in Helsinki as the sun was setting at 11:30 p.m. and got to our hotel about midnight.

Our plan was to sleep late and tour in the afternoon.

July 15. We woke at 5:30. The plan was to do some light sightseeing early and then get a nap before our guide came for the afternoon.

It rained all day.

Helsinki MarketWe went for a walk to one of our favorite places to go when we visit any city - the Market. We go to markets mostly to try to see how the locals go about living their daily lives. Based on the people we saw at the market today, the principal local inhabitants of Helsinki are Chinese.

Steak HouseLunch was at a steakhouse because it was next to the hotel and we were in a hurry. After lunch we met up with our driver and guide. It was raining so hard that the scheduled ride on a boat to a nearby island was cancelled and we spent the day riding around in the car looking at various places in Helsinki, some of which we may revisit tomorrow when it's supposed to be sunny and we can get photos.

Military Museum
One of the places we drove by was the Military museum. It had some WW1 and WW2 tanks and cannon displayed. Note the insignia on the tank side. We were told that the insignia was used in Finland starting in the early 1900's, way before Hitler's appropriation of it.

Museum and Church

Maria, our guide, took us to a museum and a church. The church was hewn out of solid granite and it's dome finished with copper and wood.

A really amazing structure.


Finally, (I was seriously running out of steam - it was 2 a.m. Solana body-clock time) we went to a library. Actually, the architecture was quite interesting and it felt good to keep getting out of the car.

Blow-up Flower

Our last stop was a modern art museum. Art is in the eye of the beholder. The picture is of gigantic plastic flowers that deflate and then automatically reinflate about every minute. Children were just enchanted with it.

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