On October 4, on route to St Petersbourg we made a stopover in Helsinki. It is a small and nice town, near the sea, with a lot of deltas and islands near by. The architecture is a bit grey like the character of the Finnish people. But it is well organised and life seems to be easy there, at least now, before the big snows of the winter.

Finland has  5 200 000 inhabitants, from which, around 300 000  of Swedish origin. The country was dominated by Swedes and by Russians almost all the time up to the 20th century. Due to the importance of the Swedish minority in the social life, that language has an official statute: all the laws are published in Finnish and Swedish, the same for the name of the streets.  That seems to me not to be fair.

We enjoyed the visit to the Temppelikatu Lutherin (see photo down), a church built down on rock soil and to the island Suomenlinna. On our way to the island, in the Port, we found a beautiful market with homemade foods, and with the local workmanship.

There are a lot of museums around town to see, some very interesting.