A sunny day in the capital so our first stop this morning was to the Helsinki University Botanical Garden in Kaisaniemi not far from the city’s Central Railway Station. Since our last visit two years ago the gardens have been undergoing a large rebuilding programme which is yet to be completed. I was surprised how different the garden layout is but I’m confident it will look beautiful when it’s finished. In the meantime some flowerbeds are covered with black polythene so we will need to make a return visit next year to view it at its best.
When we arrived at 12.00 noon an organ recital was taking place so we stopped to listen for awhile. Below the cathedral and accessed from the rear, visitors can explore the crypt and enjoy refreshments in Cafe Krypta. Art exhibitions are also held in the crypt which is free to visit.
After lunch we headed to the Espa Stage bandstand in Esplanade Park to attend a concert by the Conscript Band of the Finnish Defence Forces who we had seen on previous occasions. Their hour long set was extremely good and included popular Finnish songs plus some international hits including tracks by Michael Jackson and Abba. As it was such a sunny afternoon there was a large audience stretching from the terrace of Cafe Kappeli to the foot of the stage. It was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves singing and dancing along to the music, the Conscript Band are so talented! There is a varied programme of artists appearing here throughout the summer months and we like to sometimes sit on the terrace opposite and relax with a drink whilst enjoying the live entertainment. To find out what’s happening on the Espa Stage you can take a look here.