Sunday, April 12, 2015

Traveling at Easter in Europe

Be wise about this. Because traveling in Europe during Easter weekend can end up being dull.

When we planned to visit Helsinki, Finland for the holiday weekend, we thought... Great place to go. Scandinavia isn't so religious so things will be open and it's not tourist season. Perfect! Not so much. Who knew that Finland is actually quite conservative? So much so that on Easter morning when we turned on the hotel TV, we could not change the channel. Only one channel was available - the channel showing Easter morning service at an Orthodox church. So now we know. Finland at Easter means no one is around for three full days. Luckily, we stayed there 4 days, so we had one day to shop the cool design district. Another night to be the only people in an Italian restaurant that I HIGHLY recommend - they treated us like we were their family sitting down to a fabulous meal and conversation. And we had some time to take a mostly empty bus to a nearby town that proved to be quaintly spectacular. While most Finns were laying low, the ones that were about proved to be some of the nicest people we've ever met. Truly, people went out of their way to help us with bus and ferry timetables, recommending sights and downright friendly conversation. Although Easter in Finland is a bit dull for the tourist, it turned out to be a great holiday.

Provoo, Finland, about an hour from Helsinki, has many old
wooden houses and cobble stone streets.

We saw divers digging up "treasures" from the river in Provoo.

Finns proved to be like Alaskans... Duct tape fixes everything!

A lighthouse in the middle of the city.
Helsinki, Finland

Some old buildings remain in Helsinki,
even though the city is quite young.
Finland has been independent only since 1918,
the end of World War I.

A lot of new architecture in Helsinki.

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