Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2008/08/25 Kluuvikatu, Esplanadi, Kauppatori, Kappeli: Helsinki

The welcome dinner for my class was an easy walk across the centre of Helsinki.  Kluuvi is the commercial centre with major stores (and katu is Finnish for street).  Part of the city centre has pedestrian malls, and bicycles are most expedient.

di_20080825-101200-helsinki-kluuvikatu-pedestrian-mall

Without automobiles in this area, pedestrians have to watch out for oncoming trams.

di_20080825-101314-helsinki-kluuvikatu-tracks

Sculpture provided a scenic touch to the walk.

di_20080825-101400-helsinki-kluuvikatu-sculpture

Approaching the harbour, the Esplanadi is a wide pedestrian boulevard with traffic running down both sides.

di_20080825-101626-esplanadi-boulevard-statue

The statue of Runeberg is a landmark where birds conveniently perch.

di_20080825-101524-esplanadi-statue-bird

The walk took less time that I thought it would, so I had the occasion to look at the kauppatori: the market square.  The market hall doesn’t run late hours or Sundays, so my presence on a weekday allowed me a few minutes to browse before it closed.

di_20080825-103156-helsinki-kauppatori

The front view of the hall doesn’t hint at the long aisles inside.

di_20080825-103246-helsinki-kauppatori-stalls

Fine chocolates are available from one stall.

di_20080825-103256-helsinki-kauppatori-chocolate

A wide variety of oils supports cooking a wide variety of cuisines for Finns.

di_20080825-103358-helsinki-kauppatori-oils

Local farmers sell produce outside. The presentation at this stall shows more variety in imports.

di_20080825-103426-helsinki-kauppatori-vegetables

As a seaside city, Helsinki enjoys a wide variety of fish.

di_20080825-103446-helsinki-kauppatori-fish

Whole fish are kept fresh on ice.

di_20080825-103504-helsinki-kauppatori-fish-on-ice

Salmon can be purchased simply as fillets, or marinated.

di_20080825-103534-helsinki-kauppatori-salmon

I wouldn’t have thought the market hall the obvious place to go shopping for furs.

di_20080825-103618-helsinki-kauppatori-furs

From reindeer, both the meat and hides were for sale.

di_20080825-103646-helsinki-kauppatori-reindeer

The full range of local game was offered: mutton, reindeer and bear.

di_20080825-103714-helsinki-kauppatori-reindeer-bear

For those who want to travel with meat, bear is available in cans.

di_20080825-103742-helsinki-kauppatori-bear

The market was closing, so I went outside to overlook the sunset on the harbour.

di_20080825-103924-helsinki-harbour

I walked backup to Esplanadi to find a jazz giving a free public performance.

di_20080825-101924-helsinki-esplanadi-jazz

Across from the bandstand is Kapelli:  a cafe, …

di_20080825-102938-helsinki-resto-kapelli

… a bar, and …

di_20080825-101806-helsinki-resto-kapelli

… a restaurant.

di_20080825-101936-helsinki-resto-kapelli

Before dinner, we were encouraged to participate in a few Finnish traditions.

di_20080825-130852-helsinki-kapelli-traditions

These included the reading of poems (for which translations were necessary).

di_20080825-130420-helsinki-kapelli-traditions

Periodically, synchronized drinks were taken.

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Finns have a way of making visitors welcomed.  Helsinki is easy to get around, and has nice social touches.

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