Monday, August 11, 2014

Visit to Helsinki Finland

Helsinki Finland is known as the "Daughter of the Baltic" and is the worlds northernmost capital.

As a result of being so far north, we were able to enjoy sunsets very late in the evening along with VERY early sunrises. It was interesting to personally experience how my mind would think it was daytime just because it was bright outside. I was totally screwed up and out of my element when it came to judging time of day.

We did not know much about Helsinki before going there, so we decided to take one of those "tour overviews" where you get on a bus and a tour guide points to different places on the right or the left while you snap photos through the windows. On our tour, we had two photo stops; the Sibelius Monument and the "Rock Church". This led me to believe these were the highlights of the whole city.

SIBELIUS MONUMENT
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) is the most notable composer in the history of Finnish music, however, I had never heard of him before stopping at his monument. However, my friend John Naylor informed me Jean Sibelius is the person who wrote the Hymn "Be Still My Soul". Here is David Archeletta singing this hymn.



The Sibelius sculpture is located in a lovely park, and the work consists of more than 600 hollow steel pipes welded together in a wave-like pattern. The artist described this design as capturing the essence of his music.


Our tour guide asked us not to put our heads in the pipes, so naturally, some wanted to do just that.

THE ROCK CHURCH
The next photo stop was the "Rock Church" which is very different from any other church I have been to. This church is carved right into the hard granite rock and then covered with a dome. It reminded me of an ancient kiva, so for me, I was rather intrigued with this concept. Here is a sky view of this domed rock church:


The entry way to the Rock Church is different, too. You can see some people standing on the "roof" of the entry way, which also helps give you an idea of the size and scale of this church.


The interior of the church has rugged rock walls and a feel as if you are inside the earth. I actually liked this church, which for me is saying a lot.
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We were only in Helsinki for one day. It is a lovely city and our time there was enjoyable. We bought goodies for our families back home and then went back to the ship to head off for another adventure. 


Next stop, St. Petersburg Russia.

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