Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Nov 7, 2013


We got up at 3:00 a.m. to have breakfast at 4:30 a.m. A van picked us up from our Reykjavik hotel at 5 a.m. and took us to the Bus Stand for the 5:00 a.m. airport bus. The bus was fully packed.

About an hour later, when we reached the airport,  we were directed to a kiosk for self check-in. Armed with our boarding passes and luggage tags, we joined a long line to wait for our turn to drop off our luggage.

Security was a cinch. Next we changed our left-over Icelandic Koronas into Euros, and headed for our departure gate.

The flight left on time at 7:55 a.m. About 3-1/2 hours later, we reached Helsinki at 2:20 p.m. local time, which is 3 hours ahead of Iceland.

Helsinki is located on the Gulf of Finland, on north shore of the Baltic Sea. The waters of Gulf are very low in salinity.


People claim to be Nordic, distinct from the Scandinavians. Besides introducing the world to the Sauna culture, and Nokia cell-phones, the Finns are masters of shipbuilding and have a monopoly on building of ice-breakers. Also Helsinki is regularly visited by several cruise lines, and is well connected by ferries to the Baltic and the Scandinavian nations.

 At the Helsinki Airport we met a few other members of our tour group. Around 4:00 p.m., Veronica, our tour director arrived, and directed us to our bus. The trip to our hotel about 20 kilometers away, was uneventful.

Veronica, Our Trafalgar Tour Director
The hotel is located at the Helsinki Harbor. Rooms are quite spacious, with good-sized bathrooms, and heated towel racks. Internet is free.

Scandic Grand Marina Hotel

After check-in, and quick freshening up, we left for an orientation tour of Helsinki. We went around the Harbor and...

Helsinki Harbor
Helsinki Harbor 

Helsinki Harbor

Helsinki Harbor
...through various streets.
Helsinki Streets
Helsinki Streets 

 Helsinki Streets

 Helsinki Streets

Bicycle Riders, Helsinki
World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 is scheduled to open the autumn season with a food-themed event, which is expected to match design and food.

World Design Capital Helsinki 2012

 World Design Capital Helsinki 2012

The Senate Square occupies an important place in the history of Helsinki.

Senate Square, Helsinki

The Palace of the Council of State, which once served as the seat of the Senate of Finland is located on the east side of the square. Now the building houses the offices of the Prime minister of Finland and his cabinet.

Palace of Council of State, Senate Square, Helsinki
 On the western edge is the Helsinki University and on its southern side are the former town hall and homes of 18th and 19th century merchants.

Buildings on the Southern Edge, Senate Square, Helsinki

The Helsinki Cathedral is located on the northern side of the square.

Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki

But the Statue of Tsar Alexander II dominates the center of the square. The statue was erected to commemorate initiation by him several reforms which led to Finland's increased autonomy from Russia.
 Tsar Alexander II Statue & Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki
Tsar Alexander II Statue & Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki

Nearby, set upon a hillside, is the Uspenski Cathedral, an Eastern Orthodox cathedral.
Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki
At the end of the short orientation we retired to our rooms to get ready for our early morning departure for St. Petersburg.


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