Helsinki – Seurasaari

Helsinki round twoΒ involved some buses and exploring Moomin land. Funnily enough when I got back from this trip I did binge-watch that tv show on YouTube for a good few weeks. There’s something wacky about it thatΒ kept me engaged (and I did eat a lot of Moomin shaped cookies whilst there).

The Sibelius Monument is dedicated to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and located in a park a little north of the main city centre. The park itself is a lovely green space but the sculpture definitely owns the area. It is a huge piece made of hollow tubes to symbolise an organ and the movement of music. When we arrived a tourist bus was already there and it was overrun with people but if you wait ten or so minutes they disappear and you can have a more peaceful experience there. It’s a great stop-off point if you’re heading to Seurasaari (which we were), which is an island that houses a bunch of old, Finnish buildings. They come from all over the country to give an idea of Finnish country-life back in the day. It works as a kind of open-air museum where you walk around at your leisure and come across these different historic buildings and ancient architecture. The island itself also has a cafe, wild animals, nude beaches (ooh lala) and a real outdoorsy, mythical feel to it. If the weather is good bring a swimming costume (or bare all).

As you’ll have seen in my previous post there are a lot of churches and chapels in Helsinki. One of the most iconic and architecturally gorgeous is the Kamppi Chapel, aka Chapel of Silence. It is located right in the centre of the city and from the outside looks like an orange pod. I find it really fascinating as from the outside you can’t really tell what it is or have any idea why it’s there. They are ecumenical and welcome everyone so we went inside for a little reflection and quiet. The acoustics inside are minimal and all noise from the busy square is completely lost. The space is small but oh so quiet and oh so delicate. Curved wood goes around the walls with a little poke of light from the top. If you find yourself overwhelmed from city slaving, walking or general hangry people – take a break here and soak in the unique experience.

Another church is Temppeliaukio or Rock Church as it was built directly into solid rock. When I first heard about this I was beyond excited and envisioned a cave or troll-like venue. I think I built that idea up too much as when I got there I was quite disappointed to know it was still street-level and just surrounded by rocks. Needless to say we went inside and it was very beautiful. The contrast of outside and inside elements is refreshing and you do feel like you’re out somewhere rural with all the bare stone. Bizarrely I got Israel flashbacks to their fake, wedding venues that kind of copy this interior design haha.

Next up was a spontaneous one as it was on our walk home. If the weather is nice then a trip to Linnanmaki is a delight. It’s their version of Tivoli or retro-Disney and located up on a hill with wicked views of the city. You just buy tickets for rides you want (or you can get an all access band). They do however offer a selection of rides for free so check them out for quick thrills. We went on the oldest ride Vuoristorata, a wooden rollercoaster (you can just make it out below in pictures). I just love how accessible the park is and how it’s surrounded by houses haha – perfect for a little adrenaline either before or after work.

To finish (see what I did there) these posts, you can’t go to Finland and not do sauna. Fortunately the place we were renting had one so we turned up the heat and enjoyed it for an evening. We did several dip ins and dip outs, sweating out our worries and in between drank some Finnish beer.

Discussion

Day Out - Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin - Sun & Moon Pagodas

Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Beijing - Tiananmen and Forbidden City

Helsinki - Seurasaari

Helsinki - Cathedral & Suomenlinna

Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

Hotel One Shot Prado 23 Review

AVE Renfe Train Review

Day Out - La Tomatina

Valencia - Aquarium & Gulliver

Air Europa Review

Adventure - Scandinavia 2016

Bergen - Boats and Fish

FlΓ₯m - Hikes and Views

Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

Let's go! - Israel

Adventure - Israel 2016

Jerusalem - Places to eat and drink!

Jerusalem - Old City

Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

Tel Aviv - Places to eat and drink!

Tel Aviv - Outside the city

Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

Haifa - Wadi Nisnas & Mount Carmel

Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Let's go! - Barcelona

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Let's go! - Bristol

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Sophie Newton

Let's go! - Zurich

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

Day Out - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Let's go! - Japan

Adventure - Japan 2015

Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima

Osaka

Koyasan

Kyoto 2

Kyoto

Tokyo & DisneySea

Tokyo

Boston Islands - What to see and do!

Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

British Columbia 3 - Victoria

British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

Juneau - Outside the city

Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

Great Smoky Mountains #2 - Hike and Fog

Great Smoky Mountains #1 - Bears & Dixie Stampede

Lake Erie Roadtrip #2 - Cleveland, Xmas and Rock & Roll

Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 - Toronto to Detroit

Fargo - What to see and do!

Reykjavik - Outside the city

Reykjavik - In the city

NYC Winter #2 - Markets, Lights and Trees

NYC Winter #1 - The Christmas Cluster

Day Out - The First Thanksgiving

New Orleans - What to see and do!

Montreal - Food Walking Tour

Montreal - Dos and Don'ts

Austin - What to eat and drink!

Austin - What to see and do!

Ghent in a day

Bruges in a day

Brussels in a day

Lisbon Day #3 - Tiles and Trams

Lisbon Day #2 - We Hate Tourism and Sintra

Lisbon Day #1 - Parque das Naçáes

Mountain Roadtrip #6 - Potatoes, Temple and Pride

Mountain Roadtrip #5 - Deer, Lakes and Cowboys

Mountain Roadtrip #4 - Yellowstone

Mountain Roadtrip #3 - Dudes, Spirits and Towers

Mountain Roadtrip #2 - Storms, Bison and Mount Rushmore

Mountain Roadtrip #1 - Denver, Snow and Red Rocks

Baltimore - Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

Las Vegas #2 - The Strip

Las Vegas #1 - Neon Museum, Hoover Dam & Fremont St

Day Out - Santacon NYC 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #4 - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #3 - Albuquerque

Balloon Roadtrip #2 - Flagstaff to Farmington

Balloon Roadtrip #1 - LA to Flagstaff