Even if you don’t know what’s going on, an empty marketplace in Helsinki is a sure sign that something is going on, because the marketplace is “never” empty, unless of course, the place is needed for spectators who want to get a glimpse of the nordic heads of state: the three Nordic royals, the president of Iceland and the Finnish president and his spouse as their hosts.I almost saw them :-), while walking the dog. Unfortunately, I had to leave for work, before they appeared on the balcony of the Presidential Palace. Or fortunately, because the weather was very “Finnish” today and I would have been soaking wet, had I stayed.
You can see pictures and a short movie here
The Danish and (if I didn’t get my flags mixed up) the Norwegian royals arrived by ship, which is a great way to come to Helsinki, and the ships looked very elegant at the pier in the South Harbour. I think I saw the Norwegian king and queen leaving their ship, but the light conditions were very bad for taking a proper picture.
Watching the preparations for the event I wondered how one ends up working for a king or queen and why they need so many people standing around and waiting. Working for royals means a lot of waiting time for the staff, it seemed.
Interesting enough, while watching the small video on the page of Helsingin Sanomat, despite all the staff running and standing around, they still seemed to be short of one person, as the Swedish royals had to hold their umbrella themselves, when “Finnish summer” kicked into full force (meaning: it rained and stormed), while everybody else had a “servant” to do that for them (what’s the correct term for somebody holding the umbrella for a royal=butler? umbrella holder?) I thought that was funny, hopefully not some kind of a political statement…
Anyway, I felt sorry for all my tour guide colleagues who had to run their sightseeing tours in the morning, as a lot of roads were closed.
At least now I know what the pillars of the Nordic model are: Lutheranism, literacy and law: http://finlandtoday.fi/president-niinisto-in-his-speech-during-the-visit-of-royalties-our-nordic-model-has-a-lot-of-untapped-potential/
The only thing that really needs improvement is the weather. It’s the first of June and we had showers of sleet, rain and icy wind.