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Helsinki Day 2

Another day in Helsinki

overcast 34 °F

After oversleeping and missing our free breakfast, we had to rush to the Cathedral at Senate Square for the free noon concert.

We arrived at the Square before noon and were surprised to find a group of people on the steps singing. We were under the impression that the concert would be inside the Cathedral, but it was outside and not at noon.

More people, both young and old, joined the chorus then Saint Nicholas and young kids joined in. They sang songs that we did not understand the words to, but we enjoyed them anyway. Then the group finished with Finlandia. We think we’ve heard it performed 4 times now, but then we are in Finland.
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We later came back to the Christmas Market as there were some candles that I wanted to take home. After we bought the candles we discussed whether we should have some Reindeer Sausage, we were not very hungry. I thought we should try it just because we were there. While we were at it, we decided to have more Gluhwein and some traditional Eastern Finnish pie.
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The food was so good and with stomachs full of food and insides warm from Gluhwein we walked off to the Music Hall for the evening concert.
We got to the concert hall, Dale in his best Levis and hiking boots, I in my best cords and warm LLBean boots, all dressed in our best. Fortunately, we passed through the people dressed for a concert. No one seemed to pay attention, or at least they were polite.

We did feel very glamorous drinking champagne with Christmas spices during the intermission. But it was easy to feel glamorous inside of the beautiful music hall.
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Even though we couldn’t see the stage when we sat back in our seats, the music was pure and sweet. We just enjoyed.

Posted by Miss Chris 00:24 Archived in Finland Tagged helsinki walking music outdoors sibelius christmas_market music_hall Comments (0)

Helsinki Day 1

Exploring Helsinki

overcast 34 °F

24-hours from leaving our house to landing in Helsinki; 9:30pm and -10F. We hoisted up our backpacks and we were off on a new adventure.

After a great, and free breakfast we went to the tourist information office to find out what we might want to do for the next 2 days. The lady gave us info on where she eats lunch for a reasonable price and gave us info on concerts.

We also found that everything is within walking distance to our hotel; the Christmas market, concerts, shopping and a ton of restaurants. There is a different restaurant every few feet.

We decided to go to a 6pm concert at the Rock Church. The lady at the tourist office said that the music would consist of pieces composed by Finnish Composers. We thought that might be fun. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temppeliaukio_Church

We were at the Christmas Market checking out items and drinking Gluhwein when it was time to walk to the Rock Church. As we walked it started snowing, so nice to experience when walking thru a European city at Christmas.
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The concert was exactly what we’d wanted to experience, yet so different than what we expected. The music had a jazz and big band edge. There was a singer and he sang various songs, none of which we understood. We did recognize the music “Little Drummer Boy” but it was all Finnish, of course.
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The singer spoke between many of the songs. One song, after he spoke we understood that he had invited the audience to join in. Many knew the words of the song “Beautiful Savior”. As it was being sung in Finnish, we couldn’t think of the words in English. But it was beautiful anyway. This version attached is performed by the St. Olaf Choir, which we heard several years ago .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QJ4TkIcSkk

The audience also sang along to a Sibelius piece. We were unfamiliar with the piece, only knowing a few of the pieces by the composer. It again was moving, everyone around us singing. Here is a sample of the piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIt3nx2uMEc

The last piece was the Christmas Carol “Silent Night”. Again, it was probably introduced to the audience but we didn’t understand what was being said. Everyone sang along, in Finnish, of course. But we were happy and warm inside the rock church while it was cold outside.

We walked back to another part of the city where we found a restaurant. We ordered bowls of steaming hot Cream of Salmon soup. Our insides were warm and full. We fell in love with Helsinki!

Posted by Miss Chris 05:59 Archived in Finland Tagged helsinki walking music outdoors sibelius christmas_market rock_church Comments (0)

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