While I was doing my family research I discovered that I had a Finnish connection. I hummed and hawed about travelling to Finland until I heard back from my cousins who were excited to meet. So after three great days in Uppsala I headed back to Arlanda Airport and caught a Finnair Flight to Helsinki. I arrived late on a Sunday evening so headed straight for the hotel and prepared for my next few days.
Finland is so different from other Scandinavian countries and you can still see much of the Russian presence (1809-1917) in the architecture, at least in Helsinki.
I was so lucky to have found a hotel right in the middle of downtown Helsinki. What an amazing city and so different from the cities I had visited in Sweden. On the Monday morning I met my 7th cousin in front of the House of Nobility for my private guided tour of Riddarhuset. I did not get pictures from the interior as I did not feel is was appropriate, but had an amazing visit nonetheless.
Then a walking tour before lunch.
The Cathedral is an Evangelic Lutheran church and for many is a symbol of Helsinki. Loads of tourists, I myself included, descend on this square everyday.
I could not resist taking a picture of this as the composer, Jean Sibelius in my 8th cousin once removed.
This cathedral was designed by the Russian architect Aleksey Gornostayev and was built after his death in 1862 to 1868.
Next time more from Helsinki, more family and the Fortress of Suomenlinna.