We didn’t have a lot on our itinerary for today, our last day in Finland. The weather wasn’t beautiful today; overcast, a small amount of intermittent drizzle, but not enough to get you wet.
We visited the Chapel of Silence (Kamppi Chapel), which is a bit unusual in that it’s not necessarily a religious facility. It’s a place for personal reflection in midst of a busy city. It is beautifully, but simply designed. It holds no religious ceremonies and is not open to being rented for weddings, etc. It is operated and staffed by the Lutheran Church and has members on site to help with counseling if needed. There were probably eight to ten people in and out of the facility while we were there and it was virtually silent.
The exterior is made of one type of wood and the interior of a light colored wood, all in a sort of elliptical shape. There were about twenty benches for seating, so even if full, it would not hold a lot of people. It is a quiet place of reflection.
We walked out to an area where the music center is located in an area being redeveloped by the city. The music center is large, but only 1/3 of it is above ground. The sculpture outside is, well, odd. The centerpiece of the sculpture is a statue of the head of the pike (fish) is called Laulupuut (Song Trees)
Down the way from the music center was the Finlandia Hall, a giant exhibition facility. Between it and some low rise office buildings are some park grounds and a small inlet from the Baltic Sea.
There were literally hundreds of geese grazing in the park and wandering over to the Finlandia Hall. With so many birds, there’s something you need to be watchful about when walking. They leave a lot of “stuff”.
There was quite lot of construction going on in the area, some of it hallmarked to celebrate Finland’s 100 year anniversary.
In the distance from the Finlandia Hall, the tower at the Olympic Stadium was visible.
Like many places we’ve visited, I find some of the tiny vehicles fascinating.
From the park, we made our way way to the big department store called Stockmann’s. We didn’t find anything unusual or unique enough to carry around for the next few weeks.
Helsinki is a bit deceptive in terms of size. It is the capital of Finland with a population of over 1.2m people, but didn’t feel like a large city. It was remarkably quiet. There are trams and buses and a subway (which we didn’t use), but virtually anywhere in the central zone was within a 15 minute walk. We noticed a good amount of greenspace in the city center. There are no skyscrapers and most buildings are no more than 10-12 stories. We found it easy to navigate, but you need to be on the lookout for cyclists. While not anywhere near as many as Amsterdam, there are a lot of cyclists. A glaring oversight on Apple’s part, no Apple store ☹️ (but there is an Apple retailer).
We have an early morning flight out tomorrow. Fortunately, the train station is 5 minutes away and the airport 30 minutes from the city.