Monday, 27 July 2015

Helsinki

I think it was April when I decided I had to go somewhere in the summer even only for a short time because I knew I could not afford that much. About the same time, I was in Poland and did not expect I would like the country that much. So when I decided on coming back and visiting Warsaw, I realised that Vilnius was not that far away from there. And from Vilnius, it was only a short distance to Riga, and from Riga to Tallinn, and Tallinn is connected to Helsinki by lots of ferries every day. And after I learnt that there are lots of affordable busses connecting the cities, I decided it is totally worth to travel there. First, I wanted to include St. Petersburg and Minsk as well but in the end the Visa was too expensive for just staying there two or three days.

So my first stop was Helsinki, and since I did couchsurfing there, I also learnt a lot about the people living there. The first thing to mention was that I saw a lot of shopping centers. I have no idea how they can survive, but I have never seen so many shopping centers in such a small area. And as I recall, Helsinki also only has about 600.000 inhabitants, therefore there are not that many people to shop there. Furthermore, when I decided to have a look at those shoppingcenters in the city center because I was hungry and it seemed like it was starting to rain again, I did not find any entrance. I walked around three of those shopping blocks but there were only entrances to shops or restaurants. So I can't tell you how the inside looks like. But unlike Austria, shops here are open even on Sunday.






The first thing that is on every travel guide is the evangelic cathedral. Because it is situated a little bit higher than the building surrounding it, you can see it when entering the harbour by boat, which was probably exactly what they wanted to reach. Since I heard that most of the people entering the city come by boat, they are welcomed by this pleasant view as well as the market place with lots of regional food as well as handcraft. For example I saw a bottle opener attached to the horns of a deer. I don't know who would buy that.


Next to the cathedral, there's the university, and if you enter the metro from here, you get a quite stunning sight.


I would like to think that it was a student project because the idea is really creative. But they have another attraction they built "into stone": A church built into the rock. From outside, you just see the glass-cupola, but inside it really looks stunning.


Other than that, Helsinki is mostly a modern city, with - like I mentioned - a lot of shopping centers, and also a lot of forest. When my plane approached Helsinki, I saw more trees than houses. There are parks everywhere and in one of them, I found my perfect place to stay and enjoy the sun after the rain while looking at the sea.






In front of the coast there are lots of islands, some uninhabited and some with houses on them. The houses mostly were small red cottages, like you would think of when thinking about Norway.



Unlike Austria, the Finns are proud that the refugees come to them and are especially proud that they are one nation. Also, they all want to posess their own cottage next to a lake or the sea somewhere in Finland. And they really love their Sauna as much as everybody says. They even like to say that no other country knows how to build a Sauna properly. Another funny thing was that it didn't get dark. Only after ten the sky turned red and showed the first signals of a sunset. And there were still so many people out. But when I come to Finland again, I won't spend time in the cities but will use my time to explore the nature which is definitely the most beautiful part of Finland!