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Hard Working Helsinki

Originally founded as a fishing village, Helsinki retains much of a maritime feel, as water can be found everywhere. It has developed over the years into the capital of a proud people, speakers of a language that has only a few cousins spread throughout the world and tough enough to make it in the harsh climate. One of my favorite comments of the entire trip was the morning pictured to the right. We were headed to a museum, and our guide (Monica) looked up at the sky and said "Oh nice - it's getting so light out here today" in a completely unsarcastic voice. I guess that's the attitude it takes!
But Helsinki takes its days seriously. It is about the only city in the world that one can take a picture of the main thoroughfare, the one that runs right between the train station and national museum, and have it come out completely deserted at 9:40 in the morning! The are all at work - and when they are not at work, the are all reading (or eating McDonalds's: Helsinki had by far the highest "Golden Arches per square block" density that I had ever seen.

Helsinki does have a well developed public transportation system to get commuters anywere they need to in the city (including the Mickey D's) that have deep subways and aboveground streetcars that we used extensively.

A market at the pier where the ferries come in from other Balkan countries had all sorts of 'neat' trinkets for sale, and the guard at the barracks near the presidential palace seemed to appreciate a little company on a cold day!

Hard Working Helsinki - High Cultured Helsinki - Huge Buildinged Helsinki - Heaven Reaching Helsinki - Hell Raising Helsinki

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