We caught the local shuttle to visit the Rock Church and then spent a couple of hours in the market.
From RCI Port Information:
“Ship clearance expected at 11:30 am and all onboard is set for 5:30 pm
Ship will dock at Helsinki West Harbour Munkkisaari Quay LHD pier, located at approximately 3km from the city center (30-45 minute walk, depending on pace). There are limited public buses from pier to town.
As an alternative option, a 4 stop shuttle service is provided by a local operator. Tickets can be purchased from Shore Excursions & Guest Services or on interactive TV onboard, or on the pier ashore. Unused tickets are non-refundable.”
Our first cruise on Royal Caribbean took us to Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm, Skagen, Stavanger and back to Southampton.
Day 6 Friday 28th June Helsinki, Finland
We ate breakfast on deck three of the Sapphire restaurant again. We asked to share a table but this just meant we had a table for eight between the two of us. As we were early the buffet had a full tray of American bacon rather than the bits that I’d had previously. I probably ate too much!
To the Rock Church
Once again the shuttle bus into the city was not free and we bought tickets at reception. I was on deck there was a queue for the shuttle or we were offered to trade our ticket for the Hop on Hop Off bus. Once at the shuttle our tickets from reception were exchanged for a pass for the shuttle.
The shuttle ran around the city with multiple stops. The first stop was by a busy market and lots of fellow passengers left the bus here. This was the Market Square and Senate Square stop. The next stop was in the middle of the city and almost everyone else left there.
We stayed on until we reached the stop for the Rock Church. The church was up the road and then a short after a short walk we turned right up the hill where we could see tour coaches and crowds of tourists. On the way up the hill we passed a food van that was selling coffee is and food with all the proceeds going to support the rock church.
The Temppeliaukio church was excavated into solid rock. The church was completed in 1969.
We were lucky and there wasn’t a big queue to enter the church. We paid a small entrance fee and walked down a short corridor past lit candles on one side and the other had counters selling souvenirs.
The Rock Church is well named. There were three sides of rock and then behind and above us was a mezzanine at the front of the building. By the altar a preacher was leading the service in English. After his sermon he led the saying of the Lord’s Prayer before singing an Irish folk song.
I walked to the back of the church and walked down the centre aisle to try and capture the many shadows that will were being cast onto the front wall of the church.
Then I took a closer look at the sides of the church and the mezzanine.
As we left the church the queue to come in now straight out into the open spaces at the front of the building.