I haven’t seen much of Finland yet but this has to change. Since I am currently doing a placement at the National Board of Antiquities and visited an excavation in Vantaa, I wanted to come back on a sunny day and have a closer look around.
The Lutheran church of St. Lawrence is a medieval stone church (built in 1460). Before there used to be an earlier church building made from wood. Of course it has gotten under many changes during the time. It used to have smaller windows for example and the outer walls were whitewashed. Inside, the walls used to be covered with paintings and were whitewashed after the Reformation. After a fire in 1893 parts of the white paint burned away and the old paintings showed through. Fortunately copies could be made. The fire also damaged part of the stone structure while altarpieces could be saved. The church and the bell tower were rebuilt afterwards. Not all wooden sculptures made it through the fire. Four out of eight remained. A statue of Job made in Lübeck, Germany can be seen in the National Museum in Helsinki. *
*The church of St. Lawrence, Vantaan Seurakunnat, Kari Autero 2009
You should also have a look at the cemetery. It’s especially pretty in spring when the cherry trees are blooming.
Right in the front of the church is a really nice café that offers freshly baked cookies and sweet buns. There is lots of space inside but if the weather is nice you should enjoy your coffee outside and enjoy the view.
If you walk around in town a bit you will come across lots of nice wooden houses. Some of them are new, some of them are old but every new house that is being built has to match the appearance of the town.
Afterwards we decided also to pay the tuomiokirkko (cathedral) of Espoo a visit.
This stone church was also built in the 15th century but only became a cathedral in 2004.
Like in Vantaa the wall painting were covered up in the 18th century but uncovered during renovations later. They show biblical seens as well as scenes from daily life. *
This late autumn is so grey and depressing – it feels like it’s not getting light at all, it just goes from black to grey. I wish it would be sunny!
This weather makes me both tremendously tired and utterly unproductive. In the morning nothing feels better than the warm blankets and some feline and human company in the bed. I’d just like to stay in when the damnable alarm goes off, but no, work awaits.
Twice a week I have my German class, and that is also one reason this blog has been a bit abandoned. I’m trying to learn the language as fast as I can, so I’m actually in a class that is above my level – which means I have to do a lot of extra work in my free time. I have six course books I’m doing at the moment! Six!
Well enough with the moping now, Tiia! I have great plans of making lavender and rose macarons this week, I’m trying my best to have the time for it. If I do and they don’t turn out to be flat as pancakes, recipe is to be expected on the weekend!
In the meanwhile, here are some pictures of Jeera and Kookos, to brighten up the Tuesday!
Helsinki, or Finland in general has a big coffee culture. It’s a bit different from the normal European capital where you find 30 Starbucks’ every corner. You can certainly find neat little cafés close to the center. You’ll just have to search at bit.
Finns also just like their filter coffee. Every café will serve it. Most cafés are self-service and for a few euros you can take as much filter coffee as you like. I have to admit that this is not my cup of tea so I’m always looking out for places with freshly made cappuccino and hand-made foam.
New trends might come here late but they will come. While bubble tea was all over Europe a small store opened its doors a few years later in the railway station. Everything just takes a little bit longer in here. Maybe it’s because people hide away in their cosy homes in the stupidly cold and dark winter, who knows.
After the renovation of one of the shopping malls in the centre, Tiia and me found a nice little place that had just opened in there. Actually Kippo had a little store in Iso Roobertinkatu before, which will reopen in Feb’14.
Of course it’s a bit busy in the shopping mall and lacks both privacy and cosiness but the food and the coffee make up for it.
It offers exactly the type of special coffees I like. Nothing that will just come out of a full automatic machine that has a cappuccino button. You can also get all kinds of juices and smoothies. Latter starts at the price of 5.40€ and comes with ingredients like chia seeds, cashews and raw cocoa. They offer also a green smoothie with avocado and spinach.
Another offer is their frozen yoghurt. You can choose between one made from cow milk and one from soy milk. Did I already say that everything is organic and that the coffee is fair trade? Fresh blueberries on top or white chocolate? No problem! The yoghurt plus 2 toppings come for the price of 3,90€.
My favourite was actually their raw cake. We decided to take a chili chocolate cake and it was pure bliss! I definitely have to try to make some raw cakes at home. It was so delicious that I forgot the price but I think it was around 5.40€ per piece.
So, if you are around the centre and looking for some good coffee and cake this is the place to go!