What to Do in Helsinki, Finland in November

The first notable thing we saw after getting off the Tallink Silja ferry at Helsinki, while walking from the West Harbor towards downtown Helsinki, was this statue. A bit grotesque, but I’m no art critique either.

This Bad Bad Boy is 8.5 meters in height, and his face shows surprise and shock, as if caught while urinating. It was part of the Mutatis Mutandis exhibition, which finished in October 2016, and since then, the statue has been moved to the city’s West Harbor (just outside the building housing of the Helsinki Computer and Game Console Museum). The artist Tommi Toija created this Bad Bad Boy statue.

In its new location away from the port, we walked about 5-10 minutes before we spotted him.  Again, I’m no artist, and I’m glad I don’t make my living from writing art critiques.

Bad Bad Boy in Helsinki

A more pleasant sight were these colorful seals, with a herring in their mouths.

Seals at the West Harbor Helsinki

More art and modern design is presented here. This is a wall of hundreds of tiny plaques, which you find walking from the West Harbor to the eastern shore of Jätkäsaari. The art project is called Horisontti, and bears the names of donors to the Keep the Baltic Sea Clean campaign.

After what seemed an endless walk trying to find the old part of Helsinki (good luck), or the modern downtown shopping area, we struck on the Stockmann department store. It was a nice warm place after a good 25-minute walk, especially being around the port area of Helsinki in November.

Stockmann shop window in Helsinki

Next, we looked for one of the Christmas markets. We found one in front of this white Lutheran church (construction was 1830- 1852).

Lutheran church in Helsinki

At the Christmas market, my friend and I shared a reindeer kebab. I had my share with all the extras a kebab can have – chili peppers, red onions, and sauce. The taste of game and the meat texture will make this a unique experience, and …remain unique.

We took another stroll through the lit streets of Helsinki.

Speaking of lit – most pubs were full by 5pm on Saturday. We could not leave Helsinki without having a pint, so we had it sitting outside.

Helsinki is a cool place to visit for a day – there are some good museums (which we didn’t go to) to visit, but we were more interested in shopping for souvenirs, its people, and the local culture.

London in March

We stopped by Southwark Cathedral (formerly St. Saviour’s parish), where Shakespeare’s younger brother, Edmond, is buried. His burial place is marked by a ledger stone in the choir area.

Church

From the Thames River looking at the Gherkin.

London and the Gherkin

 

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Tower Bridge, London

Around Camden

Chalk Farm Road in Camden

Dressed for cool days in London, we came in winter clothing. We had sunny days, and after the first afternoon, we left our warm clothing in the suitcase. The young man in the photo was the reason for our visit.

On the London Bridge

September Notes from Istanbul: Fethiye Museum – Pammakaristos Church

Among the important churches built under Byzantine rule in the 11/12th century is the Pammakaristos Church, which is now the Fethiye Museum in the Çarşamba neighborhood of today’s Fatih district.

Pammakristos means very happy in Old Greek. The museum also houses the most beautiful examples of 14th century Byzantine mosaics. It was renovated in the 1930s.

This church museum is a real jewel.

Fethiye Museum in Çarşamba, Istanbul

Fethiye Museum in Çarşamba, Istanbul

Pammakaristos Church - Fethiye Museum

Pammakaristos Church in Fatih, Istanbul

Museum guard at Fethiye Museum in Istanbul

Museum guard at Fethiye Museum in Istanbul

Fethiye Müzesi map

The entry fee is TL 15 per person.

Advent Choir Concert in Oberursel

ADVENT CHARITY CONCERT

The girls’ choir of Maria-Ward-Schule, under the direction of Wolfram Gaigl, will present many English Christmas songs at one of the local churches.

When: 15 December 2012 (Saturday)

Time:  19:15 – 20:00 followed, by an Advent Market

Where: At St. Hedwig Church

Address: Im Eisenhammerweg  in Oberursel

Organized by St. Hedwig’s fundraising group

The concert’s proceeds are going to St. Hedwig Church in Oberursel

Adventskonzert Bad Homburg

The entry is free, but the church appreciates donations.

Oberursel Altstadt

As dusk was setting, we were on our way to the guest house/restaurant Zum Schwanen. As always, we have to approach this Altstadt area on foot as there is no parking out front any of these buildings.

Oberursel Altstadt

View from the Marktplatz towards St. Ursula Kirche with the guest house Zum Hirsch (to the deer) on the left.

Gasthaus "Zum Schwanen" in Oberursel

 

Weathervanes in Oberursel

The church tower carries a weather vane, which is typically the Wetterhahn (German: rooster). This neighboring house has one sitting on the roof top, but I would hope this is only for decorative purposes and put up by the owner himself.

The old saying jemandem den roten Hahn aufs Dach setzen (to place the red rooster on s.o.’s roof) means this person wishes to burn down the house. Usually someone else’s.