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On your bike

On my last visit to Helsinki I was delighted to see fishermen on Toolonlahti on a sunny day.

Ice fisherman Helsinki

I was amused to see that one of them had ridden his bike there.

Ice fishermen Helsinki

 

 

Ice fishermen Helsinki

I hope they caught something.

 

Tom of Finland

Touko Laaksonen (1920 – 1991) is best known by his pseudonym, Tom of Finland. He was a Finnish artist notable for his stylised homoerotic fetish art.

Finlayson is a Finnish textile manufacturer founded in 1820 when James Finlayson, a Scottish engineer, established a cotton mill in Tampere.

What do these 2 have in common I hear you say. Finlayson is proud of its progressive heritage…looking forward, courageously welcoming new ideas and embracing tolerance and respect.

It it was in this spirit that the Tom of Finland collection was produced and installed in Finlayson’s flagship store in Helsinki in December 2014. You can sleep on Tom sheets, rest you head on a Tom pillowcase, carry a Tom tote, dry yourself on a Tom towel…and much more.

Tom of Finland Finlayson

Tom of Finland Finlayson

 

Tom of Finland Finlayson

Tom of Finland Finlayson

Tom of Finland Finlayson

Tom of Finland Finlayson

Many products sold out immediately…well done Finlayson.

Aleksis Kivi

Aleksis Kivi sits in a pensive pose in front of the beautiful theatre in Helsinki.

Aleksis Kivi

Aleksis Kivi

He was a Finnish national writer, playwright, poet and novelist. His major work, Seven Brothers, was written in 1870. He was the first professional writer publishing his works in the Finnish language.

Aleksis Kivi

Aleksis Kivi

He was born in 1834 in Nurmijarvi to a poor family. He went to school in Helsinki at the age of 12, boarding at the home of a prison warder.

Aleksis Kivi

Seven Brothers took him 10 years to write and was criticised because his characters were considered too wild and not modelled on the idealised picture of rural people.

Aleksis Kivi

He died in poverty at the age of 38. I wonder what he would have thought of his lovely sculpture.

Aleksis Kivi

 

On my last visit someone had added a red nose…not quite in the right spot.

Aleksis Kivi

Jolly hockey sticks

The skating rink beside the railway station is a great place for some lunch time hockey practice.

Ice hockey in Helsinki

Ice hockey in Helsinki

 

Ice hockey In Helsinki

…and what a dramatic backdrop.

Catching some sun

It was a beautiful winter day in Helsinki yesterday. I came upon some lovely ducks enjoying the winter sun on my walk around Toolonlahti.

Ducks at Toolonlahti

Ducks at Toolonlahti

ducks at Toolonlahti

ducks at Toolonlahti

ducks at Toolonlahti

ducks at Toolonlahti

ducks at Toolonlahti

ducks at Toolonlahti

ducks T Toolonlahti

I don’t suppose the warm weather will last too long…enjoy it while you can.

On Pohjoisesplanadi opposite Stockmann is a wonderful bookshop…Academic Bookshop.

Book shop Helsinki

I could spend hours there, in fact I have. There is an excellent range of Finnish language books, as you would expect, as well as lots of books in English and other languages.

It was designed by Alvar Aalto in 1962 and completed 1969.

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

While you are there take the time to have a coffee and snack at the delightful Alvar Alto cafe.

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

The Academic Bookshop is one of the largest in Europe, I’m sure you will find a suitable book or two there.

 

 

Aschan Cafe Jugend

Ashcan Cafe Jugend is set in a beautiful Art Nouveau building at Pohjoisesplanadi 19, beside the Information Centre.

 

Aschan Cafe Jugend Helsinki

The building was originally built in 2 phases between 1815 and 1827 for Russian born merchant Yegor Uschakoffin for residential and commercial use.

In 1904 it was renovated by architect Lars Sonck as a bank. This is made obvious when you see the carvings at the entrance.

Ashan Cafe Jugend Helsinki

 

Aschan Cafe Jugend Helsinki

 

The banking hall has 3 naves and vaulted ceilings. The rich ornamentation, decorative paintings and stone sculpture were designed by Walter Jung.

Aschan Cafe Jugend Helsinki

Aschan Cafe Jugend Helsinki

 

Aschan Cafe Helsinki

 

 

 

The beautiful painting in the domed section was done by Wilho Sjostrom in 1916.

Aschan Cafe Jugend Helsinki

Aschan Cafe Jugend Helsinki

The interior is so beautiful the food almost takes second place, but there is a good selection and it is reasonably priced.

Aschan Cafe Jugend Helsinki

There are outdoor tables in warm weather, but I can’t resist the lovely interior.

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