Cityscapes from Helsinki

Cityscapes from Helsinki

is something about a city by the sea that will always
captivate me. The fresh air, salty scent and laid-back atmosphere
made me feel welcome from day one.

After a stroll around town I find myself already inspired by its

. Old and new merge beautifully, with different
eras represented through a rows of changing facades. Most of the
buildings in Senate Square – home of the famous Lutheran Cathedral
of Helsinki – were designed in a neoclassical style. A few streets
away, the biggest Orthodox Cathedral of the west stands out with
its Russian-Byzantine design. Yet, it is Helsinki Central Station
that instantly becomes one of my favourite buildings in the world.
Built between 1904 and 1919, it combines art nouveau with features
that would later be defined as art deco and modernist – a nod to
the Finns’ pioneering sensibility.

On day two, I jump on a ferry to cross over to one of the over
300 other islands that form the archipelago of Helsinki; the island
of Suomenlinna. The moment I step foot on land I am transported
back in time. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Suomenlinna is a
photographer’s heaven where character merges with history.

I spend my last night in Helsinki stewing in a sauna at 110
degrees. Peeping through a small window I catch blurred views of
the city at night across the sea. As I swelter alongside locals, I
learn about Helsinki and its people. Post-soak I take the
suggestion of going for a swim in the “refreshing” (bitterly cold)
sea, before returning to my hotel where I feel the most relaxed I
have been in a long time. I fall asleep as images of my trip
convert into memories.

@chiophotography |

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