Friday, 12th July – Espoo to Helsinki

Today was our last journey in Finland as we made our way to Helsinki. First though we were looking forward to spending the morning exploring Porvoo, only an hour and a half from Espoo. Porvoo is first mentioned as a city in texts as early as the 14th century. It is known for its well preserved buildings and the 15th century Cathedral.

Whilst researching for our visit to Porvoo we found a great walking tour map. We had also identified an area outside of the old town that we could park for free all day, it was conveniently located right near The Old Bridge.

Crossing The Old Bridge across the Porvoonjoki River we had a great view of the riverside warehouses, the Cathedral and the gorgeous coloured buildings of Porvoo. We’d deliberately got an early start today and it was very quiet and few people around.

As mentioned the Poorvo Cathedral is thought to have been initially built in the 15th Century. Over the centuries it has been destroyed and raided several times and it became known as a Cathedral in 1723.

It was most definitely time for a coffee and conveniently located across from the Cathedral was “Tuorilan Kotileipomo”,Tuorila’s Home Bakery. We succumbed to a fresh apple danish and some of the best coffee since leaving home. In fact we loved it so much we decided to buy some to enjoy on the rest of our trip.

Continuing on our walking tour we came across the Old Town Hall. One of the oldest in Finland it was completed in 1764.

We made our way to Market Square. It was a lovely day watching the town come to life as its residents prepared for work or school. Some of the walking trail was challenging and we were grateful for the sunny weather!

Happily the market stalls in the square were opening and Bec chose a memento to take home – a heart shaped baltic amber necklace. We also visited the Brunberg chocolate shop. Open for 150 years, it is Finland’s oldest sweet shop. We just had to buy some sweets – it would have been rude not to, right?!

Sadly we had to move on. We farewelled Porvoo by walking across the other bridge entry to finalise our round trip walking tour.

Our next destination was a park in Helsinki, Sibelius Park, located in the Tööölö district close by the Seurasaarenselka Bay. It’s a huge park with lots of walking trails, picnic areas and ponds. The location right by the sea means there is a lovely fresh breeze to enjoy whilst walking around. The park site is dedicated to a man named Jean Sibelius, a famous Finnish composer. A special monument, the Sibelius Monument, was erected in his honour.

The monument is made of acid-resistant steel and measures 8.5 metres in height, 10.5 metres in length, and 6.5 metres in depth. It consists of over 600 tubes and weighs 24 tonnes.

We enjoyed exploring the park and then found a cafe close by for a very late lunch.

We navigated our way into the city to an apartment we would call home for the next four nights. It would be great to do some shopping and have some home cooked meals for a few days. We were both really excited about exploring more of Helsinki.

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