Exploring Helsinki by Bicycle


On June 14th, my birthday, Jing and I left our Airbnb in Sibiu, Romania at 4:45am to walk 1/3 of a mile to the train station to catch our 5:25am train bound for Bucharest.  It was a six hour train ride and we met a nice Romanian man that upon learning it was my birthday, gave me a sealed bag of coffee and helped me with my luggage when we arrived in Bucharest.  He also negotiated with the taxi drivers to find the best rate to take us to the airport for our flight to Helsinki.  We encountered many rude people in service oriented jobs while in Romania,  but like anywhere, there are people like him that make up for it!

Our flight left at 3:00pm (15:00) and arrived at 7:40pm (19:40) in Helsinki.  We then took a 40 minute bus into central Helsinki, and walked 15 minutes to our beautiful Airbnb, arriving after 9:00pm (21:00).  The apartment is owned by a very special lady named Pirkko, who was there to welcome us.  Here is the living room…

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The dining room…

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and the kitchen where Jing was making us something to eat for dinner later the next day…

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This Airbnb was by far the best-stocked place I’ve stayed at and Pirkko is such a sweet and generous person!  She knew ahead of time it was my birthday and had prepared a delicious cake for me and had a bottle of champagne.  She also let us use her bicycles while we were there and took us to the harbor three days later when we left by overnight ship for St. Petersburg, Russia.  Hugs to Pirkko!

Anyway, the following day, Jing and I set off on the bicycles to explore Helsinki…

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This statue is hilarious!

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I love cities that show their whimsical side…

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Along the esplanade, heading toward the Central Market and the harbor, there are outdoor cafes, fountains, statues, and lots of opportunities for people watching.

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In the same area you’ll see Uspenski Cathedral which sits regally upon a hill…

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A short pedestrian bridge loaded with love locks…

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and of course the picturesque harbor…

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Helsinki Cathedral reminds me of architecture you’d find in Washington, D.C.

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That afternoon, we returned to the Airbnb to meet Paul, another tour participant, who was flying in for the remaining six countries of my tour.

13 thoughts on “Exploring Helsinki by Bicycle

  1. Happy belated birthday to you! I remember well speaking with you around the time when you celebrated the big 50. And my wonderment and congratulations to you on your amazing accomplishments since theShirley

    Like

  2. What a great accommodation! That looks fantastic. And Helsinki is really beautiful. Thanks for the “tour”. 🙂
    Oh, and even if it’s quite a while past, still a very happy birthday to you!
    Have a wonderful time,
    Pit

    Liked by 1 person

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