Some of you may have planned for a year-end trip or winter holiday. Although now most of us can only dream about travelling, this week I’ll take you to a far, far away country where Santa Claus is residing – Finland.
We’ll have a virtual tour of Helsinki: The Rock Church, Sibelius Monument, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art and Suomenlinna.
I may only spend two days in Helsinki during autumn 2017, but whenever the end of the year is approaching, I would look back at my Northern Europe trips.
Well, let’s start our virtual tour!
Helsinki Travel: The Rock Church
The Rock Church isn’t a regular church. It got its name because it was built directly into a solid rock. The exterior may look ordinary but not the interior.
What I really like is the design of the rooftop that allows natural light to enter. The Temppeliaukio Church is so unique and beautiful that it becomes one of Helsinki’s famous tourist attractions!
Sorry I didn’t snap many or nice photos that could deliver the beauty of the church as I and a few friends, ehm… sneaked in when the mass ended to have a glance for a few minutes.
What I did was wrong, so don’t follow me, okay? You need to pay to enter 😛
Helsinki Travel: The Sibelius Monument
Another amazing monument that you have to visit when travelling to Helsinki, Finland is the Sibelius Monument. It resembles organ pipes that you see in some of the Catholic churches, but these ones are designed to look like they’re melting.
The designer, Eila Hiltunen, dedicated the monument to the Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. It consists of more than 600 hollow steel pipes and weighs 24 tonnes.
On the next day, I had almost one whole day for myself before the bus picked me up at 7pm. Been to Stockholm and Copenhagen, I realised that Northern European countries are more than salmon, snow and hygge – the people are artistic. Just take a look at IKEA, hehe!
Helsinki Travel: Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
There were arts everywhere. I went to check out Kiasma, a museum of contemporary art and spent around 2 hours there.
The museum was very huge and there were many uniqe and interesting arts that would make you forget about time. So, if you’re on a rush, remember to set a timer!
Then, I strolled by a morning market where you get fresh salmon for lunch – but I didn’t. Instead, I
searched was on the hunt for Lappi, a famous restaurant known for its deer meat dish.
I went there out of curiosity because I might not visit Finland for the second time. I could say, the restaurant was very charming but I prefer beef to dear meat. You can read my review of Lappi Restaurant here.
Helsinki UNESCO Travel: Suomenlinna, the Other Side
After lunch, I had only a few hours until 7pm. I rushed to catch a ferry that took me to Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a sea fortress built on eight islands, about 4km from Helsinki.
But before that, let’s take a quick look at the city itself:
Suomenlinna was actually built in 1748 by Sweden to protect them from Russia’s expansion but later on, was surrendered to Russia during the Finnish War. It’s not until the independence of Finland in 1918 that the country starting to manage Suomenlinna.
I was rushing and half running when I reached there because I had only 30 minutes to catch my return ferry. Alas, I didn’t get to see the real Suomenlinna because I went to the other side.
There was a shower of rain and I didn’t see many people. Just a huge land with small hills and old buildings. Feeling cold and lost, I was like,
In the end, I only managed to see the gate of the real side of Suomenlinna LOL…
To conclude, Helsinki should be on your travel list! If I have the chance, I would love to return to Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Of course, with Norway as an addition!
So, what do you think of The Rock Church, Sibelius Monument, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art and (the other side of) Suomenlinna, the UNESCO World Heritage Site? Let me know in the comment 😀