Back to Helsinki

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August

We returned to Helsinki from Rovaniemi and stayed just one night. The cost in the city was high, but the parking was horrendous, approximately $AUD100 for a little over 24 hours.

Bruce was keen to get another lens, a 50mm. We had seen them on display in Stockmann’s Department Store a few days earlier (if you don’t need it, Stockmann’s doesn’t sell it), but they didn’t have any in stock.  Instead they sent us to Rajala Pro Shop. Here Bruce found the lens he wanted for a very good price. It came without packaging, but seemed genuine.

So the rest of our day was spent experimenting with the lens.

We wandered through Keskuspuisto parkland. It is a lovely open space with cultural buildings on one side and a lake on the other side. The Song Tree sculpture sits outside the music centre and represents a poem about a pike that rose from the sea and began to sing. The song was so beautiful birds in the trees stopped singing.

We watched the children in the playground. They are so very agile, taking risks as they climbed up and swung off equipment. We noticed there was a lot of co-operation, taking turns to climb or swing, helping younger children. The parents appear very relaxed, they don’t stand over them but let them take the risks and learn for themselves. 

The older kids were on bikes watching their smart phones as they rode. The Pokemon craze has hit town.  Once again, we were impressed with their agility and confidence as they chased the Pokemon. 

We were entertained by the ducks on Töölönlahti Bay

For a little culture we visited the National Museum and learnt a little of the history from the stone age through to the more recent kings and the Lutheran movement.

In the morning, as we left the city, curiosity got the better of us, so we navigated our way to the top of the hill in the Kallio district to see a massive grey building, visible from everywhere in the city.  The grey granite Kallio church built in 1912 is one of the most prominent landmarks of Helsinki. Its colours matched the grey sky of the morning.

Now we were heading out of the city, east to the lake district. We would return to Helsinki one more time to take the ferry back to Tallinn, but not before I had a chance to see the Bad Boy sculpture by artist Tommi Toija. He is not especially handsome, and he is naked.  He was first unveiled in August 2014 in Helsinki’s East Harbour as part of the Mutatis Mutandis exhibition but was relocated to Helsinki Computer and Game Console Museum where he is just pissing on the sidewalk.  Appropriate?