You are going to read the following statement a lot (here and in the next posts), so get used to it: Scandinavia is amazing!
I am completely in love with Nordic countries.
Let’s start with Helsinki.
I took off the 31th of July from Rome and after 3 hours of a very pleasant flight I reached Helsinki.
Things I have noticed:
1) The green: yes, a bit mainstream as first point to notice but that’s true. There are parks and gardens and flowers and NATURE at every possible corner. Most of the streets end in a park or are built across / among / within and without parks.
And this is tremendously relaxing. This actually made me think about how bounded are the Finnish with Nature.
2) The silence. Yes, I am Italian so maybe I am used to chaos and very noisy streets but, trust me, Helsinki is unnaturally (and beautifully) silent. Walking down the streets you can hear people talking and the wind. And your steps. If you just stop at the harbor you can also hear the waves on the rocks.
3) The light. Finland has a very strange light. It’s pale and very homogeneous. Not strong, of course, but very gentle and very well diffused. It makes everything more pure.
4) The finnish language! Oh what an astonishing language! A non-indoeuropean language that soon I will master (yes, it’s a promise). All those vowels and all that rhythm is a glorious hymn to all linguists! Try to hear it somewhere and you will catch its Beauty.
5) What did I do? I just walked all around the city, visited museums and spots. I did not take any single bus or metro (ops, lie: I took the metro once. And in the wrong direction!). Most of the time I got lost, but that was the fun.
The cathedral of Helsinki. It’s so white!
One of the main street in the city center of Helsinki. This spot looks really European while the rest of the city is deeply Nordic ( and with a touch of Russian style).
Another perspective of the Cathedral.
Details of the Cathedral
Southern district of Helsinki.
Yes. That’s Finnish. Try to read it even if you don’t understand it. Can you hear the harmony? I know you can!
Cult of endtime.
A bit obsessed with this church.
The neighborhood of my hotel.
The gardens I told you about. You just walk dow the street when all of a sudden you are in the middle of THIS.
…and the Contemporary Art. Both in harmony.
No cars. No crowd. No outdoor shops.
This is the Temppeliaukion Kirkko also known as Rock Church. It’s a magnificent example of how Finnish are in strict dialogue with Nature. It is a wonderful church completely built into the rocks. The roof is realised using glass (that creates amazing geometries and a particular soft tone of light) and, for the dome, a single twisted thread of copper. Breathtaking.
This is the garden close to the Department of Economy of the University of Helsinki. I got lost here so I just took a photo.
The end of the Esplanadii, the main green and elegant boulevard of the city. Always full of people having a walk, drinking something or simply relaxing in the sun.
Gardens near the Ortodox Church.
A propeller at the harbor.
View of the Cathedral from the Uspenski Cathedral.
From Uspenski Cathedral
Contemporary buildings II.
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Amazing outside and inside!
“Finlandia talo” Finland House by Alvar Aalto is simply astonishing. Built by the famous finnish architect with lighty marble form Carrara.
Another perspective of Finlandia talo.
Walking through Toolo.
And the music?
Of course, the finnish “Lordi” that won the Eurovision Song Contest!
But also the magnificent “Finlandia” by Sibelius.