Friday, March 4, 2011


We started out by walking up to the bus stop to head over to downtown Helsinki. On our way out of the asuntola, we stopped and talked to this group of 6 missionaries here from Siberia, Russia for their visa renewals. Always so much fun to see these great Elders. And to think that we have thousands of these great young men and young women all over the world! Makes us so proud to be member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After getting our bus / train / trolly to downtown, we made the TORI our first stop. Even though it was cold and snowy, there were still quite a few vendors selling their wares. I had forgotten my scarf (which a person just never does here when you go necessity!) and BP insisted on buying me a new I got a very nice, hand-made white one. KIITOS PALJON BP!! And we bought some Finnish PULLA here so BP could try traditional Finnish bread.
It was on to the RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH across the street. This is a view of the city (and the BIG WHITE LUTHERAN CHURCH) from the outside of the church. It sits high up on a rock.
We took BP to our absolutely most favorite souvenir shop in all of Finland! It is half Finnish and half Russian. They have great quality things! We usually go here. And they were having a great sale so we had to buy a few things while we were at it!
The BIG WHITE LUTHERAN CHURCH is across the street so we had to walk over there. So fun to see the steep steps being used for a good purpose......sledding down them. And that is exactly what this kid was doing!! He did a great job.
While we were walking downtown guess who we saw! Walked right past us....with only 2 body guards!! YES, THE PRESIDENT OF FINLAND........President Halonen!! She is always out and about the locals tell us. We saw her one other time as well. She is the one in the red skirt on the left. Her guards were there to greet her and a doorman to open the door for her! Just...if I had had enough courage I would have stopped and asked if we could have our picture taken with her. She would have probably said 'yes' because she is just that way!
It was on to see more......the CHURCH OF THE ROCK!! Wouldn't you know was closed for remodeling! Go figure...this is Finland and it is Winter!
Wayne and I rounded out our day by going to see WICKED!! We bought our tickets several months ago before we knew BP was coming for a visit. We tried to get a ticket for him but it was sold out. He was okay with that.....he was ready to 'chill out' and relax a bit. And he was able to SKYPE with family and friends at home.
Can we just say......IT * WAS * FANTASTIC!!! Even in Finnish. I, personally, was thrilled with it. I actually found myself enjoying listening to it in FINNISH!! NO English subtitles here! We had seen it in Baltimore before we came on our mission so we knew a bit about the story line. That helped. The voices....just superb!! TOTALLY WORTH EVERY PENNY we spent on it!!
We have tickets to see it again in June at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. We are anxious to see if it can compare to what we saw here!! It will be hard to beat! We bought a program just to have as a souvenir! It is also in Finnish.
We took the bus / train / trolly to get to the theater. It went very smoothly. We got home about 11:30 p.m. WONDERFUL DAY!! More to come on Saturday!

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