Day 30.  Starting the day with a military parade

I’d heard that a military parade was taking place this morning in Senate Square so we decided to go along and see what was happening.  Arriving at the cathedral, people were already starting to gather on the cathedral steps.  Over the years we’ve attended various different types of events here, and the stone steps provide an excellent viewing platform.

Military band in Senate Square, Helsinki

The band of the Finnish Defence Force performed a short concert and a guard parade, marching across the square.  This ceremonial performance dates back to the eighteenth century.  The ceremony included a colourful parade along the cobbled streets of central Helsinki and includes the changing of the guard outside the Presidential Palace.

Guards standing to attention in Senate Square, Helsinki

After enjoying the concert and watching the procession we decided to take a look in the nearby large Stockmann department store.  It’s a joy to shop here and you can find almost anything you desire.  There’s even a Hamley’s toy shop concession on the top floor.  In the basement you will find a huge food hall with a vast array of produce, all beautifully displayed.  The staff are all very helpful and wear little metal badges with flags on indicating which languages they speak.   It’s our last full day in Finland so I wanted to buy some gifts to take back home.

Stockmann Department Store, Helsinki
Bulevardi (the Boulevard in English) starts across the road at Erottoja and extends as far as Hietalahti   This tree lined avenue has some fine buildings and amongst them is the Alexander Theatre which was formerly the home of the Finnish National Opera and was built in 1879.  We also passed Old Church Park and church which is a popular place for young people to relax in the gardens with their friends.
Alexander Theatre, Helsinki
Nearby we came across  Cafe Ekberg a beautiful, old, traditional cafe and one I have fond memories of as when I first visited Helsinki as a visiting teacher, the university’s international co-ordinator brought me here one afternoon for tea and cakes.  Glancing inside, their cakes looked as delicious as ever, I must pop in again next time I’m over.

Hietalahti Market Square
Our walk neared its end at Hietalahti where a flea market was taking place outside the market hall, these take place regularly in the summer months.  After browsing the stalls awhile we returned to the centre by tram.

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23 thoughts on “Day 30.  Starting the day with a military parade

  1. Seems like you enjoyed your trip – that’s so nice! 🙂 Even though I am a Finn, I am not familiar with all those things you saw in Helsinki. So, maybe I will take some tips from your posts, travel to Helsinki and discover my country better! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love a parade, especially in another country and this one looks great – splendid uniforms. I remember well, even all these years later, going into that department store and having to coax, cajole and eventually drag our son out of the toy section!

    Liked by 1 person

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