On my travels people have told me that Helsinki is the most overrated place in Europe. I tried not to let that bias my trip, but I must admit…Helsinki sucked…a lot. What else can you say when the highlight of the trip was the ferry ride over from Estonia? The ferry was really cool – it had a shopping area, a few bars/restaurants, and it offered me the opportunity to embarrass myself by getting seasick after 14 years in the Navy…thanks for not laughing too hard, Hanna. 🙂
I won’t hold the weather against the city, as it was rainy, dark and cold for most of my trip through the Baltic region, regardless of where I was. What I will say is that the ‘sights’ of Helsinki were average at-best, and the city had the prices of Norway, but none of its natural beauty.
If I had to classify Helsinki with one word, it would be ‘simple’. The Rock Church sounded interesting, as it was literally a church built inside of a giant rock. I didn’t think something like this could be made mundane, but there was such a lifeless quality to it. It was a very simple church, with a very simple design, that just happened to be built in a rock.
The other church that was a ‘must see’ according to the tourist office was the Lutheran Cathedral, or the ‘white church’ and one of the symbols of the city. As I stood inside the church I felt like I could’ve been in a hospital waiting room. I understand that Catholic churches will always be more grandiose, with all the money injected into them, but you could at least have something besides plain white walls.
The views from the top of the cathedral stairs looked promising at first, but observing the panorama of Helsinki revealed a dull and uninteresting city…at least in appearance.
I oftentimes plan trips flippantly, then cancel them later after doing more research, and I recall last year planning a 2-night stay in Helsinki. I look back at that now and wonder ‘what the hel’ I would’ve done with my time.