Day 18, Helsinki, January 27th 2012Posted: January 27, 2012
Today was such a beautiful sunny day, the sunniest of my time in Finland so far. I took the train into town for the last of my travel card trips. The sun was shining down and glinting off of the soft white banks of snow as I day dreamed out of the window. Once I arrived at Rautatieasema (Helsinki Central Station) I headed north-west, up past Kiasma and the parliament and congress buildings, the sun behind me, actually managing to feel a little warm on my back at points. I was heading back towards Seurasaari, to visit the art museum Meilahti again, mostly to pick up the pack of cards I had seen there but been unable to buy a few days previous. It was great to be in proper sunshine again, you don’t realise how much you miss it until it comes back. And with the snow all around reflecting it all it felt like I was bathing in it. I wandered through patches of woodland that line the coast, the snow deep and crunchy beneath my feet. I made it to the museum and had another wander around the exhibits, taking in the ones I had not spent so much time with at my last visit a little more. After that I headed back towards the city centre. Following the coastline a little longer this time, I passed another park and gave it a short look, an interesting sculpture dedicated to Sibelius, ‘the most famous composer Finland has ever produced’, according to Eeero, though his wife is ‘the best composer, Sibelius is just the most famous’. It’s a beautiful piece of sculpture, n doubt helped by the sun glinting off of the pipes.
By the time I had made it into town I was starving hungry, so I decided to pig-out and go to the chinese buffet that had rescued my stomach on the first day. It took me ages to find it though, after stumbling on it by accident knowing nothing about the city on my first day, learning more about the city and getting my bearings had totally erased it’s location from my mind. After a good 20 minutes searching I finally found it. I ate and filled myself up basically completely, pretty sure I over did it just a bit. But it was good and got the cold out of my bones at least. After that I went to meet Ella, the couchsurfing girl again. We met in central station and headed to a cinema to check the schedule. At the minute in Helsinki is a documentary film festival, called DocPoint. We looked through the timetable and decided on an intriguing and slightly disturbing sounding film about a cathedral built from 12,000 white dresses, with the addition of some menstrual blood for good measure. The film is called Water Children, and it was being screened at the Maxim Cinema. The film is actually extremely beautiful, not at all what either of us expected. The cinematography is wonderful and the perspective on the idea of menstrual blood completely different from what either of us expected. The artist, Tomoko Mukaiyama, a Japanese Pianist, early on describes the blood as ‘the only blood that isn’t negative or aggressive.’ The film is beautiful, heart wrenching and funny. It is a really wonderful film, directed by Aliona van der Horst, I urge anyone with the chance to go and see it, to go and see it.
After the film it was a short trip next door to Fazer, the Finnish Chocolatier cafe. Inside is sprawling with chocolates, cakes, every treat imaginable. I went for a wonderful Chocolate tea, tea leaves with added pieces of cocoa beans, it was rich and really tasty. I have had chocolate tea before, but this one was much better, no real bitterness, just smooth and elegant. Alongside it I treated myself to a bar of Fazer Milk Chocolate with Pistachio and Salt. A great combination, even if it was milk chocolate! Ella went for a lovely refreshing and clear Green Tea with Strawberry and Vanilla, alongside a fruit filled pastry, for some reason called a Weiner! After a good chatter and some more laughs we went our separate ways and I headed home for some dinner (yet more food!!!)