The Finnish capital on the banks of Suomenlahti, Finnish bay. The centre of Finnish everything. It reminds me of Sheffield because it's about the same size and has trams, Sheffield is the only other place I've seen trams,as well as the rundown factories and piles of snow. Helsinki has alot of Russian leftovers as the Tsars used it has their Scandinavian capital when they threw out the Swedish in 1809. It was strange for me to see a statue of Alexander the Second, The Liberator, having studied him in A-Level European History, I was overwhelmed and in awe.
The city itself is quite commercial and looks 'modern', and lifeless, it has a sense of not really knowing who it is or where it came from. One of the centrepieces is the Senate Square, with the imposing Lutheran church, gold glittering in the sunshine and the steps leading up to it, it is vast and spacious, a definite must see. Heading off towards the harbour you can either walk down a boring street or take the more interesting museum street, historical artefacts in the street and along the pavement. I saw inside a Russian Orthodox church which I found to be a complete hpocrisy. The gold interior illustrating the wealth gathered from their congregation and distributed not to the poor and needy but rather to itself to enhance itself.
Heading back towards the central station, slightly reminiscent of Grand Central, carrying on past it on the way to the bus station or rather bus park, you come across Lazi-Plazi a centre spot of technology and to the right of it is the modern art museum, Kiasma. I wandered around the reception area and viewed some of the samples of art, and it seemed very progressive. Past Kiasma and the statue of General Mannerheim, there is a big block of concrete which is the home of the Finnish parliament. Carrying on along here is The Finlandia Cocnert Hall and, eventually, the Olympic Stadium and Arena. The people of Helsinki are appear to be very proud of hosting the Olympics because there are monuments and reminders all around the area. To me, Helsinki is a hybrid of cultural cities, some places look like San Francisco, some parts London, some parts Sheffield, some parts Amsterdam and has the overall atmosphere of a minature New York.