The feeling you get from a walk through Helsinki at night
is completely different from that in the daytime.
We'll briefly cover
Espoo, a Helsinki "satellite town". From here, many people
travel to work to Helsinki, although the town is also considered "a
It's cheaper to travel by bus than by car (about
one-and-a-half times cheaper) and besides, buses have an advantage
during the morning and the evening traffic - there is a separate lane
designed for them where cars aren't allowed (although during rush hours
some 10% of them still use it).
Espoo and Helsinki share a common border; the distance
between their downtowns is around 15 kilometers.
Here is one of the residential buildings. Such a
building houses 3-4 families, each of which gets a vertical segment of
the house with a private entrance.
And this is the Helsinki train station.
It was built in 1905-1906 after the design by Eliel Saarinen. This must
be the reason why the parking lot is called "ELIEL" (see the sign in the
upper right corner).
Behind me is the bus terminal, where the express bus from St. Pete's
It was built on the Finnish Bay in 2001. There are close to 30 IT
companies in these 5 buildings.
The buildings are named after the ships of famous explorers - three
from the Christopher Columbus' fleet (Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria),
Con-Tiki (the expedition on the raft of Tur Heyerdahl of Norway), Vega
(the ship of the Finnish explorer Adolf Nordenskjold).
Next to it is a "hi-tech" spiderweb :)
The view from the HTC
buildings (which are behind us) across the bay.
After all, it's a good idea to have
license plates that combine 3 letters and 2-3 numbers. All kinds of VGA,
KGB, CIA, FBI :)
For instance, there's a real number "IIO-011". It's
written in a font that doesn't differentiate between I and 1.
99% of the company belongs to the state;
it exists on viewer subscription payments (165 euros per year). There
are no commercials. The channel is overseen by the Administrative
Council, appointed by the parliament.
To take television in general
(not just YLE), there is advertisement on it, but very little, in
comparison to St. Pete's.
In front of a staircase one can see a
...a robot is watching TV :)
In the background - a TV tower
Hartwaal Areena, a
sports-and-entertainment complex (couple of years ago we had our Ice
Palace built on Bolshevik Prospect with a similar design).
foreground (illuminated rows), a parking lot.
If one turns 90°
to the right, the Pasila train station can be seen in the distance.
Some cafe in a quiet Helsinki
Actually, even in the daytime only the very downtown of
Helsinki is crowded. And at night the number of people in the outskirts
is falling below zero. There are still a lot of cars though.
The Botanical Garden ("Winter Garden").
Founded in 1893.
By the way, the fact that the city is
very well lit interferes with photography - no matter where you put the
camera, some streetlight gets into the shot, tending to become the
center of composition.
The New Opera Theater ("Finnish National Opera")
Here I unsuccessfully tried to suppress
the reflex to shoot the manholes I haven't seen before :)
dream is to find a manhole in St. Pete's with "NWGSM" written on it :)
One of the downtown squares has these
stainless steel balls.
How nice and appropriate they look there and
how ugly it looks when they try to place such things on the center
streets of St. Pete's.
These balls can be used to make a bunch
of different shots :)
The fog adds a certain charm to the
A few more words about the buses:
public transport is state-owned. Buses run frequently. You either pay
the driver as you enter or use the pass. You don't pay per ride, but for
the time spent traveling, which starts as you enter the transport (as
stamped on the ticket). After that, when transferring, there's no need
to pay, but just to show the valid ticket.
Buses stop at bus stops and only by demand (of the passengers on the
bus or those waiting on the bus stop).
The bus stops are much more frequent than ours (which is not a
problem exactly because the bus is not required to stop at each one).
That said, buses have schedules that they
stick to. The number of buses on a route depends on time of day,
conditions and number of passengers (nonetheless, they run at midnight
too, practically empty).
There is a website, where updated bus
schedules are posted.
There is no such thing as private minibuses. Apparently, it's due to
the smooth functioning of the regular transport.
By the way, the paid time for the "regional" ride is 80 minutes.
"Regional" means that it crosses the city lines of one of the satellite
towns. Generally speaking, in 80 minutes you can get from one end of
Espoo to the other end of Vantaa.
The Helsinki - Espoo Expressway.
By the way! I saw a real "hedgehog in the fog" :) And also a
rabbit or a hare (both were crossing the highway in Espoo).
In the next two albums we will complete the summer trip to Finland
with a ride to the island-fortress Sveaborg.