Today we are doing the Helsinki harbour cruise.
Population of city is 600,000 with total of 5.5 in Finland
Biggest Orthodox Church on Finland…across from our ship
20-22C today but no rain. May 17/22 Finland sent papers to join NATO. Only Turkey has not applied. They share a 3100 kms border with Russia so as the guide said “Its good to be a little awake”.
Yellow building is presidential palace. It looks like there is a cool market on the pier across from it. As we head out into the harbour guide points out where they have lively music in building on left in the summer. Sauna is only know Finnish word outside Finland. Out of that 5.5 million population there are here 10 M saunas. In this country they believe that political problems can be solved by sitting stark native in a sauna to discuss things.
It cost out in the country 1500 euros/square meter for a home but 9500euro/ in this area along the shore. There are 180,000 islands in Finland. Like Sweden, the islands keeping popping up cause by the earth is rising now that the glaciers are receding and the land isn’t being pushed down.
Click on each of the picture to see a much bigger and better picture
The tables on the docks are used for cleaning their carpets once a year. Then they leave them hang to dry while they go to the outside bars for a glass of week. Everyone gets 5 weeks of holidays every year.
188,000 lakes caused by glaciers. The Baltic is quite shallow …. Only 92 meters deep at most. Not very salty because it is fed by rivers. Only salt water comes in through channel between Denmark and Norway.
Ships that sail into city centre cannot be longer than 200 metres. There are 300 islands in Helsinki.
It cost 90 barrels of gold to build fortress….. 5 islands connected by bridges….that was never completed.
Kings gate at fortress. The Passage in front of us is only 80 meter wide and not very deep. That is why this little ship and a couple of the ferries that go out of here (because they are less than 200 feet in length.
In 1822 Russia attacked Finland … captured it because they could attack by marching over the ice. The church on the fortress was originally Russian orthodox but changed to Protestant Lutheran in 1917 when Finland gained independence.
High divorce rate. There is a lot of changing of partners so when the teacher asked a child what was family, he said it was bunch of people that all eat from the same refrigerator.
Last week they had snow here in Helsinki. In Lapland in the winter goes to -50 C.
So expensive to live here that mothers go back to work after 1 month even though they have 1 year maternity with pay. Both parents share maternity leave. The children get free meals at kindergarten. Books are expensive but university is free. Baby box is given to all new parents. Snowsuit are included because babies nap outdoors in pram. Foreign students have to pay for courses in English but not those in Finnish.
One new development being built will be home to 20,000 people.
Forestry used to be number one industry but not now. Surnames are named after things in nature like animals or birds including lynx or woodpecker.
Icebreakers manufactured here are sold to Norway and Canada. “Kontio” on icebreaker is pet name for bears. Bears are the national animal. There is a zoo on the island across from this.
Average wage 3500 euro income….3800 men, 3100 women/ month. Progressive taxes depending on amount you make.
Retirement age is rising to 65 but must retire by 68. Everyone is entitled to old age home at a cost of 85% of pension.