Up very early this morning since there was another time change and we had more sleep. We planned to do Helsinki on our own and we did that in fine fashion. It was lovely weather and we were off the ship and hopped into a taxi and were soon in the middle of town. It was more than a 45 minute walk at a fast pace so we decided to save our energy for our touring.
After checking out our options at the Tourist Office we took a nearby ferry to the Fortress of Suomenlinna, a nice boat ride from the city. It was founded in 1748 and is now a UNEXCO World Heritage Site. It surrendered during the Russian siege in 1808 and was a lively Russian garrison town for more than 100 years. We encountered this lovely young Finnish lass in the photo above. She was part of a school trip to the fortress and was on our ferry boat. It was a busy day for school trips to the fortress and all the young children on school trips wear special vests for visibility and safety.
This fortress took part in the Crimean War and was a prison camp. The Naval Academy is located on the island and about 900 people live there year round.
Back in the city we checked out the Market Square where I talked with and bought items from some sweet ladies who were selling their knitted hats, socks, gloves, etc. Knitters should support other knitters I believe! Other vendors sold furs, fruits, vegetables, reindeer pelts, hats, etc.
Then we did some shopping (not buying) in some of Helsinki's fine shops and more sightseeing. Then Holly decided we should take public transport back to the ship. We got some Euros, advice from various people and took a trolley and then changed to a public bus and voila we made it back to the ship. We were quite proud of ourselves!