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Like much of Scandinavia, the capital of Finland was unseasonably warm during our visit, with a high of 78 degrees F. My companion and I spent the morning meeting with an online friend and stopping in at Arilyn, an augmented reality startup headquartered in Helsinki.
We spent the afternoon on an included Viking excursion, taking in such sites as:
• Senate Square, a sprawling collection of buildings in the neoclassical style dominated by Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. A statue of Alexander II (1894) stands in the middle of the square.
• Market Square, a bustling marketplace just a block away, where vendors hawked keepsakes and fresh fruit and veggies
• Sibelius Monument, an interesting sculpture in Sibelius Park dedicated to Finland's best-known composer, Jean Sibelius.
All in all, a fun, engaging outing. As with Stockholm, everyone we met spoke English. We'll be back some day!