A City full of Turtles

In the morning we leave the Baltic Sea States by ferry. Isn’t it amazing, how many cars and trucks go on such a ferry? In two hours we are in Finland and in Helsinki, the “daughter of the Baltic Sea”.

Again and again, turtles made of concrete attract my attention. Unfortunately, I have taken a picture of only one of them, and not even a good one. I have read: They are to be found everywhere where the traffic is to be calmed down or no cars are to be driven. Since they did not simply want to take concrete blocks, someone came to the idea with the turtles as a symbol of slowness. Some are also colorful. What a nice idea!

However, the city is by no means slow. There is a lot of traffic with cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. A guide explains to his guests if one hesitates, one never comes across the street, one must go, then the cars will stop. But you have to learn this as a pedestrian and as a cyclist.

The gold-decorated spires belong to the Russian Orthodox Uspensi Cathedral, the largest of its kind, at least in the Nordic countries. You can go inside, oh miracle, you can take pictures (without flash)! The Asians with their selfie sticks would surely be very disappointed.

Schon sind wir am Marktplatz. Hier gibt’s Obst und Gemüse (Spanien läßt grüßen) und natürlich Souvenirs.

The pretty bronzed lady Havis Amanda has become the landmark of Helsinki.

The old market hall of 1889 looks beautiful outside and inside, and delicious things are there – to buy and also to eat. We would have liked to eat here, but you just have to wait too long.

With the bike, it is easy to criss-cross the city. We circle the peninsula – always along the water and land again at the market.

The big church, which we see now, is the cathedral of Helsinki. Brightly white, she rises into the blue sky. A wide staircase leads up to the entrance, but we come from behind and this saves us the stairs. The church inside is quite plain. There are sculptures by Luther and Melanchthon, but unfortunately we did not read of them until later. But we get to hear the beautiful free concert of a children’s choir. In front of the church stands a statue of Czar Alexander II.

The main station looks very Soviet like. With this building, the Finnish architect wanted to take a first step towards the “style of new practicality”. At the entrance are four giant figures holding white balls (lamps) in their hands.

More than twenty years ago I’ve been to Helsinki for a day. From this visit I remember a rocky church. We search and  find. It must have been a long walk on foot twenty years ago. From a distance is actually only a heap of stones can be seen. The entrance looks more like from a mine. In these granite rocks the Temppeliaukio church was simply built in. The five to eight-meter-high church walls consist of unhewn rock. It is a surprisingly bright, friendly church. Through the copper roof with 180 narrow windows, however, daylight comes in.

Now we hurry, because the sky is overcasted and the weather report has reported rain. We have already passed the old gas boiler this morning. Now the skateboard terrain is eagerly used.

Luckily we make it “home” before the rain comes.

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3 thoughts on “A City full of Turtles

  1. Thank You quick visiting Helsinki. Helsinki is the capital of Finland, but the real Finland is outside it. This means for example that cruises on some of our lakes at mid-summer could be made or hiking on our Arctic hills among freely roaming reindeers, would be nice experience. There are hundreds of possibilities to find awesome things and sight.

    Happy and safe travels.

    About me.

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