We are staying in Espoo, home of Nokia and the second-largest city in Finland. It’s actually just an extension of Helsinki. We are staying in another Airbnb apartment and you can have a little look at it here. Nice 1 bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor of a 4-storey apartment building, bus outside the door, shops and railway station about 10 minutes walk away. We’re here for 5 nights and will put the car and ourselves on the ferry back to Stockholm on Saturday night.
We decided to go into the city and have a look around today. It was overcast this morning but the forecast was for a fine day with temps in the low 20s. That’s double the maximum temperatures we had while we were within the Arctic Circle!
So … even though there’s a bus outside the door, we walked up to the nearest railway station and dithered around for a while working out where we were headed and how much it would cost. As Espoo is in Zone 3 of the local train network it was going to cost us 4.5 euros each. So we thought it might be cheaper on the bus and headed to the nearest bus stop where we boarded a bus and paid …. 4.5 euros each. Okay, so now we have all that worked out. We’re going to Tallin, in Estonia, tomorrow for the day and we wanted to check where the ferry leaves. The ferry terminal just happens to be near an open air market that I wanted to visit, so that was all rather good planning, or luck.
The market stalls are all selling berries, currants, cherries, peas and new potatoes at the moment so we bought some little new potatoes and peas still in their pod for dinner and strawberries and raspberries as well. I was interested to see that fruit and vegetables are sold by volume here, so I bought a litre each of peas, potatoes and strawberries, and the raspberries were already in a punnet. There were also a lot of stalls selling cooked food, with little tables and chairs set up. We went to a seafood stall close to the water where Greg had whitebait, fried potatoes, vegetables and salad, and I had prawns, fried potatoes etc. All freshly cooked, all delicious.
We wandered around to the ferry terminal and collected our tickets to Tallin, then did a modified walking tour of the main points of interest in Helsinki – the Lutheran Cathedral, the National Library which is currently closed for renovation, Pohoisesplanadi – Helsinki’s equivalent of the Champs Elysee and the highlight of our walk - Temppeliaukio Kirrko (The Church of the Rock), a 1960s church hewn into solid rock. A really simple but magnificent space, with a glass and copper dome and a beautiful organ. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take any photos, but if you click on the link above there are some good photos with the Wikipedia article.
We caught a train back to the apartment, partly so that we could experience the full gamut of Helsinki public transport, but also because we couldn’t work out where the heck to catch the bus back out to the suburbs!