I'm a walker. I absorb a city step by step. It's how we get to know each other.
It was a pleasure to then find out that snow on the ground wouldn't hinder my getting to know Helsinki as I walked her streets for a few days. There were so many things I didn't get time to do that I really wanted to do; climb the Olympic tour, hop on a boat across to Suomenlinna, explore Kauppahalli (which by the way is not open on a Sunday).However, let's not focus on what was missing. Let's focus on how much life was on the streets of Helsinki despite temperatures well below freezing and how there seems to be a disproportionate number of sausage dogs as pets in the Finnish capital. I loved this about Helsinki and I loved the colours the city paints its houses - pastel greens, oranges, blues and yellows. And then there are the houses themselves; never have I seen so much Art Nouveau architecture in one place, all turrets, curves and small Art Deco details.
When I do return to Helsinki - and I surely will - it will be in summer so I can hop on a bike and explore and enjoy the city deeper. Maybe, I'm not so much of a walker after all... This candle is very important to me. Thank you Helsinki Cathedral for sheltering me and my candle for a few minutes. The strangest photo I took in Helsinki (and possibly ever) is this one. I found this collection of not quite Sylvanian Family toys in the City Hall - a great info spot and home to a free exhibition and art area - and was transported right back to being seven years old. Oh and those ear muffs are actually headphones and are one of the best Christmas presents I've ever been given (thank you, dear brother and sister-in-law!).
Frances M. Thompson
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