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The Look and Feel of Helsinki
By looking out the window of the plane I could feel the cold out there...
Finland simply felt cold. The colours: a mix of green, grey, blue, white and brown. These dominated in nature and in urban areas together.
I landed at Helsinki Vantaa Airport with a Finncomm Airlines Embraer ERJ-170. This airline is a subsidiary of Finnair.
As we taxied with our plane after landing - I observed the airliners parked at the airport. Norwegian Air Shuttle, Lufthansa, Icelandair, SAS... and others Cold countries' airlines.
The flying Finnish flag's white and blue colours also suggested cold.
Indeed, the air felt a bit like in London - damp, thick to breathe, only that it was a lot colder...
Apart from that... the scenery looked mixed: green vegetation here and there, lots of small lakes, some connected, others isolated and lots of small islands.
Odd scattered mini cliffs here and there. That's something I didn't expect to see in Finland. Flat formations of (seemingly) hard rock in the middle of the green area.
Flat rock formations in a Helsinki residential area
Flat rock formations like the ones seen on the photo above can be found scattered in and around the city of Helsinki.
I was amazed at their sight. These are not cliffs, nor are they part of a larger relief formation, but individual rather flat rocks that rise out of the ground.
The modern Kamppi area. So minimalist, so cold...
In the central area where I first walked around, the people were quiet, calm even. Everyone seemed to mind their own business.
But I must say: Finns weren't the happiest people I've seen. And some of them had the funny habit of bumping into each other and into me! People seemed to get very close to me.
I was strongly impressed by the cleanliness of the Finnish capital. Squeaky clean!
The area is good for doing your basic shopping and for eating
The Kamppi area was good for munching and brunching. There were several cheaper restaurants. But overall everything is terribly expensive in Helsinki.
And hey - I come to laugh: you don't even have to put your beer in the fridge to cool it down. Simply put it out in the window!
Some Finnish words are kilometer-long... read the word on the window on the photo above(!).
By the way - Helsinki isn't just grey, cold... it has wonderful colourful areas that are jaw-opening. So was this small grassy area with pink flowers...
Flowery colourful area
Like skyscraper from a Batman movie...
As I was checking out the local architecture, parts of Helsinki seemed somehow familiar, but I at first I could not explain myself why...
Then I did notice a feel or Art Deco, like on the railway station (which wasn't in fact Art Deco at all, but the style called National Romantic Style)... found in abundance here and there.
Although it's attributed to (my revered) Art Nouveau (Jugendstil), I felt perplexed why it should have any connection with the mentioned more suave organic architectural style...
A careful look to the trained eye reveals true Art Nouveau shapes, though... Although it felt like the rough industrial Art Deco, it's not!
But why did it feel so familiar?
If you take a careful look at these photos around this text, then you'll realize something peculiar...
At first, it felt a bit like New York City, but then I thought to myself: "It's like Gotham City!".
This church tower on the left is immense. Like an abstract (and unliveable!) skyscraper.
I went out to the train station time and time again only to admire its massive industrial beauty.
And here below I re-included several of my best shots (now I regret I didn't take more)...
My favourite building in Helsinki
The grey Finnish weather added more to the Gotham City feel of Helsinki.
In fact, I read - Helsinki's buildings (including the railway station) were used as sources of inspiration for creating the imaginary Gotham City's look - for movies and other depictions.
Only the Batlight is missing. A Batman logo would look great on that sky!
Other cities, like New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and various English locations, but even Hong Kong and Tokyo were used as sources of inspiration.
I loved the clock tower of the Central Railway Station. I generally love clock towers, but this one was special.
Plus: the top section was covered with a dome and the Art Nouveau elements come more into evidence on this part of the complex.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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