Sarcastic iPod Is Sarcastic (also, Helsinki!)

Posted: 29th August 2010 by Chuck Flysh in New Horizons
Not all too expensive... depends on how much you value your immortal soul.

Not all too expensive... depends on how much you value your immortal soul.

Mhhh. So, after watching a nice sunset over the Baltic Sea (and a nasty wind whipping up my hair), there was not much left to report about my ferry trip. The next day I was greeted by cold rain, and when I finally drove my car out of the ship’s steel belly and onto the freeway, my sound system started blasting Dropkick Murphys’ “Sunshine Highway”. Well screw you too, random iPod playlist.

In the city, I parked my car at the next convenient spot (free parking till 9am, yay) and had a first glance at Helsinki in the rain. I laid my eyes on the Finnish Parliament, the music park (under construction), and walked on the rocky roof of Temppeliaukio Church… with rabbits living in it! Egads!

Didn't get a better shot than that. Them little varmints is quick!

Didn't get a better shot than that. Them little varmints is quick!

A quick stroll through the surrounding area later, and noticing that next to nothing is open at 7.30am on a Sunday, I parked my car near the hostel and went up the Olympia Stadium’s tower to watch the city sprawl below me. Lucky for me that by that time the rain had finally stopped. The route was settled: Finlandia Park, inner city, the port, and pretty much everywhere else my feet would lead me. Now, what struck me most while wearing down my soles was the city’s architectural style. Or lack thereof. I can imagine that architecture-savvy travellers will be quite stricken by the many different styles from many different periods, all right next to each other, and sometimes even on the same building. Just check these little shots:

Come to think of it... architecture blogging would be a cool way to get around the globe. Now all I need is some knowledge on the subject...

Come to think of it... architecture blogging would be a cool way to get around the globe. Now all I need is some knowledge on the subject...

... I think I just outnerded myself.

... I think I just outnerded myself.

Sometimes it’s modern, sometimes Victorian, sometimes industrial and sometimes you have that ugly decaying grey concrete that can only be described as… Soviet. On my aimless walk through the southeastern city, I saw quite a bit of art and sins. Take Kallio Church for instance. Beautiful from the outside, and dwarfing all surrounding buildings on its hill. The inside, however, is as bland as my hostel room. The port, on the other hand, is completely beautiful, and by the time I reached the city proper it was swaming with people to liven the place up a deal. Before, I had seen more seagulls than actual people. Hell, in this city it seems that seagulls think they are people:

Second from the left be pimpin'.

Second from the left be pimpin'.

There's also the yellow super mutant variant... what?!

There's also the yellow super mutant variant... what?!

Johan Ludvig Runeberg, composer of the Finnish national anthem and his feathery friend Runebergull, composer of bird droppings.

Johan Ludvig Runeberg, composer of the Finnish national anthem and his feathery friend Runebergull, composer of bird droppings.

When I saw those streets filled with people, that’s when I realised… they open up their shops on a Sunday! (cue valley-guy speak) And I was like, amagad, I still need a new jacket, like, for Winter and stuff. Because it’s like totally cold here in Finnorwegimark. And they open up shops like on Sundays, so I was like “I’m totally looking for a jacket now”. Even though my hair was, like, all tangly because I had no time to, like, wash it on the ferry. And I was like, amagad, what if they, like, think I’m a drifter… *cough, sputter* Ugh. That is harder to pull off than it looks. Yeh. Well, the point is that even Finns don’t sell winter jackets in August. I found one that was slightly warmer than the rest and affordable, but I doubt it would keep me from freezing to death while watching auroras in Lapland… which does sound like a euphemism for something kinky, come to I think of it.

After a very late lunch in an authentic Finnish restaurant some noodle place, I made my way back through a few shops towards the hostel, longing to send those little tidbits over the ether to you. All in all, Helsinki is, even in rain, a beautiful city by the sea that doesn’t smell like it.

PS: I’ll set up a Flickr account later, for all those pics that our server can’t won’t should not have to handle.