My patience for the Helsinki Cathedral finally paid off today. I climbed to the top of the stairs to see the door opened which was exciting. The inside of the cathedral was really beautiful, but less lavish when compared to other cathedrals I’ve seen. There’s a really nice organ in the cathedral as well which seems to be a common thing in old cathedrals.
After the cathedral, it was time to head to the Sibelius Monument since it was the farthest from the city center. The Sibelius Monument is dedicated to Jean Sibelius, a famous Finnish composer. It’s located in a small park in the Toolo district of Helsinki and was relatively easy to find after getting off the bus. There was not a lot around it though, but that could also be because of the snow piled everywhere. It was really beautiful though because it’s very different from the other statues I’ve seen in the Helsinki area.
From the monument, I made my way back towards the city center and stopped at Temppeliaukion Church which is also known as the church in the rock wall. It cost 3 euros to enter, but it was unlike any church I had seen before. I think if you’re into seeing churches, it’s definitely worth it to go, but otherwise I probably wouldn’t pay to go inside.
On my walk to the monument earlier, I stopped for a lunch at a place called Picnic. It’s a bit like a fast food chain here except it’s not really fast food. It’s more of a Panera Bread type of feel and everything was in Finnish so I had a difficult time ordering.
The last thing I did today before picking up some snacks at the store was go to the sauna. The sauna I went to is Kotiharju Sauna which is known as the last genuine wood-heated public sauna in Helsinki. It was definitely a new experience. I liked how there were separate saunas for women and men or else I would’ve been too nervous to do it. The inside of the sauna is pretty hot, but still tolerable. What worked really well for me was staying in for a bit until I felt the heat was too much and then quickly escaping to the shower room and having a cold shower to cool down. It was relatively empty when I went today, probably it being a Sunday and the fact that I was there quite early. It got a bit more crowded later on, and that was when I found out the Finns really like having their saunas hot. Like I didn’t think much of the steam at first until all of a sudden it was scorching (but you couldn’t see it anywhere).
The sauna was a really great experience though. I would definitely do it again if I have the time. It was a good way to just wind down after a kinda packed day
Tomorrow, I plan to try and take the ferry to the UNESCO site that’s nearby, but no promises yet.