An Helsinki card sent by dotdotpc from Finland via postcrossing [FI-972547]. It shows Pohjoisesplanadi and the Market Square.
In the heart of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, the two streets constituting Esplanadi (Swedish: Esplanaden) are officially named Pohjoisesplanadi (Finnish for the North Esplanade Street, Swedish: Norra Esplanaden) and Eteläesplanadi (Finnish for the South Esplanade street, Swedish: Södra Esplanaden). They lead from Erottaja Square to the Market Square (Kauppatori), and the North Esplanade Street extends along the border of the Market Square up to the Katajanokka Channel. Esplanadi is colloquially called "Espa".
The big green area between the two streets is very active in summer, where many Finns come to have a picnic. There are also numerous live music performances on a special outdoor stage in front of Cafe Kappeli. There is a statue of Johan Ludwig Runeberg by his son Walter Runeberg in the park. The park was originally opened in 1812.
The Market Square (Kauppatori in Finnish, Salutorget in Swedish) is a central square in Helsinki and one of the most famous market places and tourist attractions in the city. The Market Square is located near the centre of Helsinki, at the eastern end of Esplanadi and bordering the Baltic Sea to the south and Katajanokka to the east. The Helsinki City Transport maintains an all-year-round ferry link from the Market Square to Suomenlinna, and in the summer there are also private companies providing ferry cruises, both to Suomenlinna and other nearby islands.
From spring to autumn, the Market Square is bustling with activity with vendors selling fresh Finnish food and souvenirs. There are also many outdoor cafés at the square. Some cafés also provide meat pastries ("lihapiirakka" in Finnish), and one advertises their pastries as being "the best in the Market Square… in Helsinki… in Finland!"
The height of the square's popularity is in early October when the annual Helsinki herring market ("silakkamarkkinat" in Finnish) begins. A long tradition at the Market Square is a display of old American cars on the first Friday of every month. Any motorist with an interest in old American cars can take part in this display. How the tradition originally started is unclear. Seagulls have become an increasing menace in the Market Square, swooping down to snatch snacks and ice-cream from the hands of unsuspecting tourists. [wikipedia]