The exploration of the mainland begins! I’m in Finland right now for a few weeks, visiting my boyfriend, who has been showing me all over Helsinki and filling my head with facts, names, and history about the city and Finland. One of the first places we visited in the city was the Uspenski Cathedral (Uspenskin katedraali in Finnish). The name of this Eastern Orthodox Cathedral (between 1809 and 1917 Finland was an autonomous part of the Russian Empire) is derived from an Old Church Slavonic word referring to the death of Mary.
On my first day in the city, we took a short ferry to Suomenlinna, which is understandably one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. This sea fortress is built across six islands. The Swedish government (who ruled Finland from the 13th until it became a Grand Duchy under the Russian Emperor) began construction on the fort 1748. It was originally called Sveaborg, but was renamed in Finnish after Finland became an independent nation.
The main areas open to visitors were beautiful: grassy lawns and gardens, old stone walls, tunnels to explore, places to eat and drink, and lots of beautiful trees. It was a great place to spend a warm afternoon exploring and enjoying the sunny weather.