Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Roaming Helsinki

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Gifts of chocolate and licorice from my host.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

Ah, the breakfast of champions: licorice and chocolate. Well, and coffee (not pictured, but you get the idea).

My host finally awoke (I had been awake for hours, watching birds, playing on my laptop, and torturing the cat) and he gave me a meal consisting of licorice, chocolate and coffee. Dessert was a bowl of yogurt topped with muesli. A perfect way to start the day in beautiful Helsinki.


After a relaxing morning spent goofing around on our computers (don’t forget, we are geeks, after all), we finally set out to visit my host’s office on the Kumpula campus of the University of Helsinki. Below, you see a tower (obligatory phallus picture) that I thought was a nice contrast to the perfect blue skies;

(Obligatory phallus picture)

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

This spiral staircase in the Exactum Building, located on the Kumpula campus of the University of Helsinki, presented me with so many photographic ideas and opportunities that I never ceased to be fascinated by it during my visit. I would have photographed this staircase every day if I had an office in this building.

Staircase, Exactum Building.
Photographed on the Kumpula campus of the University of Helsinki.
This building houses many of the science departments.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

This is the Physics building at the University of Helsinki. The best field mark for identifying this structure is the giant volleyball on top of the building, which was visible for quite some distance, since the building was perched atop a hill.

Physics Department, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

My host and I enjoyed a light lunch at the Fazer Cafe. You will notice that I had already bitten into my lunch before photographing it — a habit that I never got out of since the food in Helsinki was always just so amazing. This was smoked salmon on some of that amazing Finnish bread that I could never get enough of (why don’t they make bread like this in the USA?). This was one of those little round brown breads — my favorite. I am not sure what those little red globes are, but they added color along with a delicate crunch and peppery flavor. Oh, and of course, don’t forget the coffee.

Lunch at the Fazer Cafe.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

After my host finished doing whatever it is that he does in his office, we left for downtown Helsinki.

This is near downtown Helsinki, not too far from the famous Stockmann Department Store, which was a Finnish wonderland packed with six or seven floors of fun items to purchase or to eat.

Kaisaniemenkatu.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

I saw a street vendor drumming away on a nearby street. It seemed that he had a little bit of everything for sale. I really like the colors, patterns and textures in this image.

Street vendor and busker on Kolmensepanaukio.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

I think this vendor (and everyone else who was nearby) thought I was a lunatic when I got down on my hands and knees to snap this picture, but I think it was worth it (although now that I look at it, I realize it could have been a better picture I suppose).

Street vendor and busker on Kolmensepanaukio.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

A walk down another nearby street in downtown Helsinki.

Mikonkatu.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

This large brick plaza is Rautatientori Central Railway Station, which is in the heart of downtown Helsinki. This is where all forms of public transport converge; buses, trains, light rail, and trams. In the distance is the Ateneumin taidemuseo, a major art museum that houses the largest collection of classical art in Finland. When I was there, it hosted a show of the collected works of the Kalevala, which I never got to see. Bummer.

Ateneumin taidemuseo in Rautatientori.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

After a nice day roaming Helsinki, it was getting late and was time to leave. when I snapped this photograph, it was nearly midnight in Helsinki — nevermind that it wasn’t dark, and would not get dark for at least one month.

This is where we waited for the bus. By the time it arrived, I was exhausted and ready to pass out once again.

Bus stop at Rautatientori.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

Comments

  1. #1 Brad Pitcher
    September 9, 2009

    I love Salmiakki, but even better — Salmiakki Koskenkorva! ;)

  2. #2 californian
    September 9, 2009

    The red globes look like the fruits of Peruvian pepper (Schinus molle) to me; they often appear in decorative pepper mixes as “pink peppercorns” despite being unrelated to black pepper.