In Helsinki, not far from the city center, lies a park that harbors a strange monument. Sibeliuksen monumentti (Sibelius’s monument) consists of a disorderly arrangement of metallic pipes, mimicking those of an organ, resting on pillars that hold the massive sculpture above the ground.
When we were there, it was raining, but still buses came and went, offering Asian tourists a few minutes to take picture of this famous monument. It honours Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), one of Finland’s greatest composers. Through his music, Sibelius helped build the Finnish identity (Finland became independent in… ? Head here if you can’t remember the answer :p). For instance, Finlandia was composed for the Press Celebrations of 1899, an event arranged to protest censorship from Russia, to which Finland belonged as a Grand Duchy.
This part of Helsinki is a beautiful and relaxing one. To the south, you’ll find Hietaniemi, one of my favourite spots for sunset. If you follow the shoreline to the north and west, you’ll end up in Seurasaari. That was our destination that day. We walked on the island, watching birds and the old houses of the open-air museum. Miguel turned into a Disney princess when he managed to attract a Great tit to eat from his hand, and Patrick did exactly the same with a squirrel.
Overall, I had never seen the squirrels so eager to show up. They came close to check us out, then chased each other around the trees or in the bushes. What a show, I’m glad my friends could enjoy that.
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