Dear my travellers, I hope that you have wisely used this little break and that you prepared for new adventures. Today I’m taking you to the country where is living the most beloved grandpa on the world, a place where the finest chocolates are made from sea salt. Welcome to Finland!
Whoever was able to visit this magical country, will understand love with this amazing city at the first sight! Finnish people are otherwise known for their kindness and the famous role of good hosts. They always try to approach you with a smile on the face and to help you though you may not speak English or Finnish language.
Before I start with today’s post, I would like to thank the Helsinki Tourist Board and Convention Bureau – My Helsinki for this exceptional opportunity to feel the beauty of the capital of Finland. Also, I would like to thank all the other partners who have given their unselfish support to this project #MyHelsinkiResidence.
Once again, thanks from the heart! Before this journey, I tried to learn more about this unusual country of Northern Europe, as well as some basic information about the city itself. The only associations that were in my mind before this trip were: Santa Claus and the famous cold weather…
Finland was also my first “station” in Northern Europe, so I did not know exactly what I can expect there. With the help of my colleagues and good friend, famous Croatian blogger Suzana Sab and Serbian Youtuber star Tamara Pavičević, who usually spend a lot of time there because her father – basketball player and coach Mihailo Pavičević – has taken Finlands basketball team to the world championship! These two golden girls were very helpful and only had the patience to answer all my “boring” questions!
The first day was quite exciting because the trip lasted for several hours, because, unfortunately, there are no direct flights between Serbia and Finland. Somehow, little Marko managed to sleep a little on the flights, so I did not immediately get tired of knowing how it would otherwise be on my trips before. We quickly saw the lights of Helsinki, the main capital of Finland.
We just came in our special apartment in Aallonkoti Hotel, we slept very fast as we came, because we knew that next day will be an exciting day. In the morning I got up much earlier than I’m doing it when I’m on the road, so I started to annoy my photographer in the early morning… It was around 5 am in the morning!
As soon as I saw the first rays of the sun, I waited for some appropriate time to go outside to explore Helsinki. First Station – Cathedral of Helsinki (Lutheran Cathedral). That is the famous white building that you can see on almost every postcard from Helsinki and Finland as well. When you search for basic information about Helsinki on the Internet, the first image you will have the opportunity to see is a picture of the Helsinki Cathedral.
My first mission at a very first day here was to visit the sight that marks Helsinki the best. The walking around the city was short, the kind and smiling faces of Finns that morning told me just to follow the tram tracks and at one moment I will see the famous white cathedral. As you can see on the pictures above, we were not the only one that morning we wanted to visit a place that attracted a large number of tourists in Helsinki throughout the year.
The streets of this city are unusual, facades are made partly in a red brick, of course a certain building adorns details that you can just stop for a moment and you will have a feeling like you are in another European country. Ok, the first mission was accomplished, but we also had to rest a bit and we made a little sweet break at the Karl Frazer café. One of the oldest cafes in Helsinki. Their sweet products are sold all over Finland and their chocolates are well known for their unusual flavours have conquered my heart. If your way leads you to Helsinki, you just must visit this little sweet hedonistic paradise.
After a short and sweet break, it was time for little Marko to make one quick cultural rise, so I decided to visit the Ateneum National Gallery. Many tourists call it “Finnish Louvre”, but I think this museum is a little different. The museum itself is much smaller, but the space is greatly used and has some logical schedule, because it is constantly happening in Louvre to get lost and not to see the specific works of art I came for.
The story of how this museum formed is quite interesting. The Ateneum Museum was opened to the public in 1888, under one roof there were two art schools. One school was a fine arts school, while the other was a school of applied arts.
When the museum was opened, many people felt that it was too far from the center of the city and they did not like it. I think that today everyone is happy with the location of the museum itself because it is located in the centre of the city. Who knows maybe art eventually decided where the “heart” of the today’s Helsinki will be!
Ateneum Museum is an important sight in Helsinki which you should pay a visit. You will spend a wonderful time there maybe few hours and you will not notify how time just flies. The most important part of the museum exhibition is the famous Finnish artist who made this fairy-tale country in the north of Europe famous for.
The picture above is a famous work by a Finnish – Swedish painter Ferdinand von Wright. He was known to the audience for his over-love of birds and landscapes, and he always showed the state of society, through the bird characters. His most famous work titled “The Fighting Capercaillies” can be seen in the picture above. There are several theories that try to explain the plot story of this amazing work, one of the most beautiful stories of great love. As you can see in the picture, there are two capercaillies males who fight for the love of a female… I’m sure that you all heard the phrase “You are like a Capercaillie in love!”. This is a true picture of that expression.
This real little treasury of art in the very heart of Helsinki will change your view of life. The people of Finland are, in fact, quite tied to nature and the cult of nature is very important in their lives. They are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, they are almost not using the cars at all… So, when you are in Finland you will find bicycles on the street, so do not be lazy, get bike and explore Helsinki!
After my cultural blast in Ateneum, I had a chance to see the beauty of the wonderful view from the main hall where artworks of modern art are exhibited. I have to admit that this view on Helsinki is magnificent, we managed to find our place on the bench while my photographer tried to move the bench in the middle of hall… My photographer was annoyed with the asymmetry of location of that bench, so we spent an extra hour time until we could put things in the right place… I do not want to talk about it anymore! 😀 I’ll just let the picture speak for itself this time!
The time in the museum just flew, I did not want to mention the details about photographing the artwork with Capercaillies because it was impossible to come closer to artwork because of the great interest of visitors. What is “Mona Lisa” in Louvre that are these “The Fighting Capercaillies” in Ateneum. Our first official day in Helsinki ended with the visit to this museum. 🙂
The next day, we wanted to check all those powerful myths about the magical city on the water, so we headed to the other part of the center that looks directly to the Baltic Sea. Since the previous day’s tiredness, the second day in Helsinki was not started so early for us, but the kind Elisabeth from My Helsinki, told us that it was always the right time to go to the coast of Helsinki.
I must admit she was absolutely right, because we captured the photo above almost in 1 or 2 pm and it look fantastic. We waved back to the tourists on the cruises, while they were trying hard to salute to Finns, maybe I was not a Finn, but those tourist do not know that fact. I think it meant more to them that people from the shore share the same love for them.
We thought that we were the only one who waved to them, but when we turned back, we had realised that my photographer and I were not alone at all, there were children and adults, which in Serbia is said to be “a crew of 7 to 77 years old.” It was interesting to see those people from the countries of northern Europe are warm and with the open hearts and minds as well.
In the picture above, you have the opportunity to see the Uspenski Cathedral, which dates back to the end of the 19th century and represents the most important Orthodox temple in Finland. The church is located on a small hill, access to the church is extremely simple.
The view point in front of the temple is magnificent and now I have the opportunity to share it with all of you. Helsinki is one true gem of Finland, which every year receives an increasing number of tourists from Europe and other parts of the world as well.
Whether you decide to explore the shores, docks and vibrant markets where you can enjoy in special food which is made from fresh fish or simply want to stay in the city center, Helsinki is there to welcome you with open hands and heart.
The capital of the country from which the world’s most beloved grandpa is coming – Santa Claus and the famous White Nordic Nights, which you may not have the opportunity to see completely because of light on the streets and sky must be very clear, that is much more pronounced in rural, more natural parts of Finland, like Lapland. The Helsinki Region is a little different. 🙂
My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of this first special travel post from Helsinki. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure in Finland and Italy as well.
At the end of the post, I would like to thank the friendly staff from Aallonkotti Hotel Apartments that made our stay pleasant and we felt like we were at home. The concept of hotel is to stay in apartments of different sizes. The size of apartments depends on your needs. The apartment in which we had the opportunity to stay was specially decorated by the well-known Finnish brand Marimekko, which besides its basic activity – making clothes has its own special line for home decoration.
How do you like this post? Have you ever visited Finland? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Helsinki? I would like to share with me your experience! If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.
As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!
P.S. Finally, I decided to share with you a picture of a special fashion post that I made in collaboration with the famous Finnish brand TURO. More information in one of the following posts.
This post is sponsored by Tourist Board of Helsinki – My Helsinki, Aallonkoti Hotel Apartments, Marimekko company and others partners of My Helsinki organisation which kindly help this #MyHelsinkiResidence project. I will mention all of them in some of the next posts. For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera.