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Rotary District 7370 - 2006 GSE Team

Helsinki Site Seeing
Meet the Team
Planning Photos
First Presentation
Week 1 -Kuopio
Conference Photos
Week 2 - Lappeenranta
Helsinki Photos
Week 2 (cont.) -Imatra
Week 3 -Kitee
Week 4 - Joensuu
Reference Links
Saturday in Imatra was a scheduled day off,  but our host prepared a special visit of sight seeing to Helsinki,  the capital of Finland,  as a unexpected surprise in our itinerary.  The wind was brisk but luckily the sun was shining brightly throughout the day.


The tour started off with a reunion of Bob Lombard and two Finnish GSE members that stayed with him in Berwick.  Sini Tahvanainen stayed at the Lombard's last spring and Pekka Makkenon was a GSE member from the team that visited Berwick 11 years ago.  It was great to visit with old friends and have them guide us through their capital.
This photo was taken in the lobby of the Kiasma Modern Art Museum where we arranged to meet as a starting point for our day.


The streets of Helsinki were very busy but we often had great views like this street showing a Europian design. 


We used the above ground trolley system to move about the city.  Our guides, Sanna, Sini and Pekka showed us the ropes and we were jumping on and off like pros by the end of the day.   


There are many unique churches in Finland.  The church shown above is in the center of Helsinki, is cut out of a huge rock.  You can see the walls and alter fixture carved out of the stone.  Ninety seven percent of the Finns are Lutheran and worship in Lutheran churches such as this. 
The church below is also in the center of Helsinki,  just around the corner from the main marketplace.  The dome of the church can be seen from all over the city.



The Helsinki marketplace is full of vendors and activity.  Ferries and ships are active in on the docks and the people were full of the May Day Holiday spirit.


Here Bob and Sanna Vuorinen from the Finnish GSE team, try on hats in the marketplace.  The fir was very warm and they really did not want to take them off as the wind picked up off the harbour.


The team took a short ferry ride to an old island fortress in the middle of the harbour.  The museum fort had wonderful views of the harbour.  We rested in a Pizzeria at the end of the island and had a quick supper before returning to the mainland. 


Sana and Sini surprised us again when they broke out a bottle of Champagne at the fortress to celebrate in a toast for the upcoming holiday on May 1st,  Vapuu.  This is the day when the Finns usher in the spring and celebrate coming out of the cold winter months.
Here,  Pekka does the honors and pours a glass for Erica and the rest of the team.  It was a perfect day,  capped off with a toast with a beautiful view of the sea.
Prior to leaving the city,  we walked down the busy Alexander Street, where the girls were especially initerested in stopping to look at shoes.  It appears that is an international trait among all the women of the world!


Rotary District 7370 GSE Team - Contact Bob Lombard - Team Leader with comments.