When Tara planned our Winter Tour 1996, she decided that we didn't need to spend the night in Helsinki, but that we should take advantage of our long layovers and travel into town between flights.
We left Copenhagen early in the morning and changed planes in Stockholm. There was just enough time to clear immigration, walk outside, take a photo and go through security again to catch our onward flight to Helsinki. Why you ask did we do this instead of just staying in the airport? But, of course, Seth wanted the extra passport stamp!
Arriving in Helsinki, we had the whole afternoon and evening before
our flight left for Rovanemi. So, we took the bus into town and walked
around the shopping streets. We bought a small bag and a pair of socks
with lizards on it. Even though it was mid-afternoon, it was dark already.
Tara wanted to go see the harbor, so we took a long, cold walk down a deserted
street to the harbor. It was not that exciting. But, on the way back, we
saw a pretty government building and stopped in a market across the street.
The market sold interesting things like a Finnish sauna bucket and ladle,
plus some very nice Christmas cards. We had cakes on the second floor balcony
and enjoyed the warmth of the place. Finally, it was time to head out.
Just around the corner from the market was a coin shop. Unfortunately,
it had closed just a few minutes before and wouldn't be open for another
three weeks due to the Christmas and New Year's holiday. We wished we'd
seen the shop before going into the little market. oh well. We were very
lucky because for dinner, we happened across a Planet Hollywood. After
dinner, it was back to the airport for another flight to Rovanemi.
We again had some time in Helsinki in-between our flight from Rovanemi to Stockholm, so we took the bus into town. We hadn't been able to find any collectible coins in Rovanemi, so Tara though that maybe there would be a coin shop in Helsinki that wasn't shut for the holidays. We were in a McDonald's and she scoured the phone book looking for a second shop. Unbelievably, she was able to read the yellow pages well enough to find a shop not far away. So, we set off throughout he streets in search of it. We did find it... but unfortunately, it also was closed for the three weeks around Christmas and New Years. It was disappointing that we weren't going to be able to get a set of coins from Finland.
When we were walking back to the train station for the airport bus, we passed a video arcade. It had one of Seth's favorite games, so that's where we spent the rest of our Helsinki stop over.
Seth on the street in Helsinki
Tara by the harbor in Helsinki
Seth in front of the government building in Helsinki
Tara by Planet Hollywood
When: Christmas 1996
Tourist Office: Finland
Airline: SAS and Finnair
Travel Times London -> Copenhagen -> Helsinki -> Rovanemi -> Helsinki -> Copenhagen ->Oslo ... Bergen -> London