We arrived in Helsinki around noon for a walking tour of the city. Helsinki is a modern town, having burned down in the mid 1800’s, so the old-town is not-so-old. A fairly small city of 1/2 million, in a country of 5 million which is about the size of the city of St. Petersburg. Finland has a history of being fought over by the Swedes and Russians, who traded ownership a number of times. The Finnish people are not ethnically related to the Swedes (Scandanavians) or the Russians (Slavs), but instead have a mysterious origin somewhere east of the Ural mountains. The people don’t look like the folks we saw in St Petersburg, who had a lot of Scandanavian features (esp. the women).
Tomorrow is Estonia. We watched a great documentary this morning on the Estonian resistence to the Soviet occupation, titled “The Singing Revolution”.