Today was a day for exploring Helsinki city…and to find the elusive reindeer steak we so desperately desired. After our prisoner’s breakfast at the hotel we set off on our way.
We started the day’s wanderings to another church in the city – Temppeliaukio Church – also known as ‘The Church in the Rock’, since it is actually built inside a large rock, semi underground. Opened in 1969, it is a classic Lutherian style church – quite different from the more ornate Russian Orthodox church by our prison hotel! It’s dramatic interior of bare rock is as a result of the architects – brothers Timo and Tuomo discussing acoustics issues with various conductors and sound engineers and how effective rough stone walls can be on concert hall acoustics.
These iconic and somewhat radical bare rock walls were not included in the brothers’ original proposal (there was a competition run to design the church), as they thought the idea would be too radical for the competition jury, the concert conductors and sound engineers changed that! In addition to these radical stone walls the roof of the church is comprised of a large copper dome, made up of many coiled strips of copper, around which are several large panes of glass allowing sunlight to flood the gathering congregations below.
COFFEE & (more) CHOCOLATE
After exploring every nook and cranny of the rock church, our stomachs were loudly protesting so we set off in search of Fazer Cafe, Helsinki’s most famous (and oldest) cafes and patisseries. It was now time for more chocolate hunting. With a fine selection of patisserie, chocolates and savoury items, Fazer Cafe is a favourite among locals and tourists alike, especially for brunch. But, remember you are in Scandi country now, so things are more expensive than you would expect. Still, I would highly recommend the dark chocolate with toasted crushed corn bar – one of Fazer’s most popular. If you’re looking to be a bit more indulgent – and not planning on doing too much walking afterwards – then there is a dizzying selection of patisserie, cakes and ice creams on offer – tuck in!