We arrived here at 7.00am on Sunday. Mothers Day here in Finland apparently. A clear blue sky and the sun shining. Breakfast has developed into a regular routine. We eat breakfast in the Lido because we never manage to get Jane up and ready before the restaurant closes. But that’s not a problem because the omelettes cooked in front of you by the pretty young lady chef in the self service Lido are wonderful. For me, fruit follows and then some croissants and coffee.

Today was a big test for Cunard and it’s transportation abilities. It passed, I’m pleased to report. As we left the gangway there were two shuttle buses waiting and no queue. One of the buses had a ramp and Jane was soon settled in for the 20 minute journey from the port into town.

We had been warned that we would have to contend with more cobblestones and that proved to be the case. Close to the drop off area for the shuttles was a Sunday market which was fun (but mostly standard market tat), but the marketeers were very friendly and of course their English was impeccable.

We moved on towards what appeared to be some form of place of worship, but when we arrived we found that it was at top of a high hill and as we had to push the wheelchair, we moved on. It was time for coffee. We were close to a ferris wheel, which turned occasionally but appeared to be unoccupied for most of the time.

After an excellent coffee we rumbled on through bumpy side streets and eventually discovered a magnificent square, Senate Square, where the pavements were flat and less exhausting for Jane. On one side is the Government Palace, and in the centre the Lutheran Cathedral of St Nicholas.

And in front of the Cathedral the impressive statue of Alexander ll

In the square Kim and Jane were talking to staff from the “Hop on Hop off” bus outfit. They confirmed that their buses all now have ramps and areas for wheel chair users to sit. We will probably try that for our second day out in Helsinki tomorrow.


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