Friday, July 15, 2016

It's 5 A.M. in Helsinki. What to Do?

This is what it looks like outside my room at 3:30 in the morning. I'm not the type who can go back to sleep, so when I wake up early I need to find something to do. When I was in Copenhagen in 2012, I took early morning walks to see the city in a different light. Here are some pictures from this morning's 5 a.m. walk.

In Esplanadi Park,  a Japanese artist has wrapped 20 trees in polka dot cloth. Yesterday, we saw a lady in a red polka dot dress posing next to one of the trees. Wish I could have snapped a picture of her attempts at camouflage. Without seeing it, I would probably dismiss this as a bunch of frou-frou. Up close and personal, it was fun. We've noticed that after work each day, the park is crowded with Finns unwinding from a day's work.

 I've been searching for Helsinki Cathedral and found it this morning. It was completed in 1852 as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Finland was governed by Russia for most of the 19th century and Sweden before that, so you get a mix of architecture styles in Helsinki.
 I can personally attest that there are 47 steps that lead up to the cathedral. You get a great view from the top.
Finally, if you are hungry, you find an S-Market that is open at 5:30 a.m. Grocery shopping in Helsinki is not too difficult after a couple of visits. I like that you have to weigh your own produce and place a sticker on the bag so you know exactly how much to pay. Some produce is actually cheaper here than in North Carolina. The big disappointment? No pastries are available this early. You need to wait until around 7:00 to get the fresh stuff.

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