Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Helsinki, Finland


(Feel free to click on the photos to get larger pictures)

How we got there:PICT1002

My trip to Helsinki, Finland, was really started in Sweden. There are excellent communications between Sweden and Finland by boat. Really LARGE boats cross between Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland. The boats are huge, and can easily be compared to “floating hotels”, complete with rooms, restaurants, pools, spa, nightclubs and shops. You can even bring your own car aboard if you want to.

Here you can see one of the “sister-ships” to the one that I traveled on (just so you get a idea of the size of these things).





Here you have a photo from the upper deck of the boat. What you see is actually a “pool and spa” area. So, there you can spend some real quality-time while you cross the Baltic sea.









This is a “shot” from inside the boat!

The quality is not the best (I have a cheap camera, and the light conditions were not the best).

But, you can still see that it’s pretty impressive. It’s like a small “mall”, complete with stores and restaurants and so on.








Here is a example of the lovely archipelago of Stockholm (Sweden). I guess this is about 20 min. on the way out from Stockholm. The shot is taken from the boat, so you can imagine the height of this thing!

The little house on the island is where I use to spend my vacations in my home country (YEAH, SURE, IN MY DREAMS ;-)





Arrival in Helsinki:




This is the sight you are presented with when you arrive at Helsinki from the “sea side”. You pretty much end up in the city center. If you are lazy, you can find city buses just outside the ferry terminal. You will also get all the necessary tourism information on the boat, including maps and “things to see”. In the background you see the “Helsinki Cathedral”





Here you have a typical street in Helsinki. It’s very nice and clean, and everything is in “good order”. You can do some serious shopping in Helsinki! The “Finns” are famous for their “clean and minimalistic” designs and you can also find the “usual” international fashion brands.

Since my wife hates to be seen in any kind of public photos, I had to convert her to “Mercury Woman” on this shot, heheh.




Temppeliaukio Church

I’m not much for going to museums and such boring things, so I usually end up walking around to “get a brush of the local color”. I did the very same thing on this trip, but to my amazement, I suddenly found my self in front of something looking like a WWII bunker. It turned out to be a Church! YES, a church that has been “blown in to the bedrock”! It’s called Temppeliaukio Church (click the link for more info). It was designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. The interior was excavated and built into the rock, but is bathed in natural light entering through the glazed dome. The church is used frequently as a concert venue due to its excellent acoustics. The acoustic quality is ensured by the rough, virtually unworked, rock surfaces. Leaving the interior surfaces of the church exposed was not something that was in the original plans for the church, but the orchestra conductor Paavo Berglund and the acoustician, Mauri Parjo, contributed to the plans. The back wall of the altar is a majestic rock wall, originally created by a withdrawing glacier.

I have to say it’s one of the most impressive, and nice churches I have ever been to. This is clearly a “Must See” if you ever get a chance to visit Helsinki.


Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral (click link for more info). This church is definitely more “traditional” than the previous one, but it’s very beautiful as well.

The church was built in 1830-1852, in neoclassical style and was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel.

The church was originally built as a tribute to the Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia and until the independence of Finland in 1917, it was called St. Nicholas' Church.



Bistro Finland


After a long day of walking the streets, I highly recommend a snack at this bistro that we found down at the sea-side. We walked trough the are of all the embassies, and when we reached the shore-line we found this place. Unfortunately, I don’t have the name of the place.  Maybe somebody can add more details in a “comment” to this post if you have more information?

1 comment:

  1. Hej! Bra reportage om Finland tycker jag
    Janne R.