We left Stockholm for Mariehamn, which was named after Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of tsar Alexander II of Russia. Even though Mariehamn belongs to Finland, it is an autonomous region. Today we are in Finland’s Capital Helsinki and in sight of the vessel is the Uspenski Russian cathedral. And tomorrow and the day after we are in St Petersburg itself… Next stop is Tallinn then- and to close the circle: King Gustav Vasa only founded Helsinki to compete with the port of Tallinn which was in Danish hands during his time….
And being on board Fram is great because…Fram can sail during our European time often directly into the cities itself! Don`t get us wrong- vessels like the Queen Victoria are a great sight, but it is also nice to pass them, leave them at the outer ports and sail like in Helsinki directly into the heart of the city!
Nothing is far away for us today in Helsinki- and during this fantastic weather everyone is out either on excursion or just to stroll around. We could talk about the fantastic Cathedral, the city hall, the Russian Uspenski church but this is something you can see in every big capital….
- Eat Fish at the Old Market building at the pier- it is just delicious and a great spot for people watching
2. Stroll over the local market for some nice arts and crafts
3. Do some window shopping and quickly understand why Helsinki is the “World Design Capital 2012” and why the name really fits!
4. Take a ferry over to the old fortress of Suomenlinna! It is one of the biggest coastal fortresses on earth and earned the name “Gibralta of the north”. It was build by Sweden in 1748 and was later the home for Russian officers. In our days, around 1000 people inhabit the island and there is a kindergarden, nice cafes and many Finns love to come here for picnic.