Most of the travelers are usually just passing through the capital of Finland Helsinki on their way to Santa Claus (you knew the real one lives in the Finnish Lapland, right? ). That’s because you can see all the main attractions of Helsinki in one day. Besides that, they say, Finland is not about attractions, it’s about experiences. And I guess it’s true. But I am sure you can have your experiences around some awesome places that might surprise, or at least charm you. And believe me, not even locals know those gems exist. Not even Google.
One of my favorite hidden gems is an art park called "Flower Of Life." This park is situated in Pikku-Huopalahti. To get here by public transport, you can take tram number 10. It seems to be just a park with green fields where people go on a picnic and all that stuff. It seems so ...until you discover a female stone figure, half-buried in the earth, with her hair spreading right to your feet. And then you start to wonder, and maybe to look around more carefully, noticing interesting things all around.
The statue in the ground is a woman named Ilmatar, The Spirit of Air, a known character from the Finnish mythology that we call ‘the Kalevala.’ The story starts when nothing yet existed, besides the endless sea and sky. Ilmatar was flying around, got pregnant by air, and then she descended onto the sea. There was also a duck, which searched for a place to lay her eggs. She found it to be on Ilmatar’s knee. This part of mythology is pictured in this peculiar monument, called the Mother of Earth.
As we say, the egg broke, and earth, moon, and sun, all came from that egg (I wonder how mythologies can be so complicated and primitive at the same time). If you walk around, you might see more various sculptures. My favorite one is a bronze armadillo with cute small footprints trying to escape from other animals. Can you find him? There are also mythological faces carved in wooden pillars and small guardians beside the swings.
In general, this is a beautiful place to spend time with family or friends. You can find chess right on the ground, a football field nearby, and a playground for kids. The park area is quite spacious, and you can have a picnic, go strolling or jogging. In fact, if you walk along the bay, you will end up in Seurasaari, another gem of Helsinki. Talking about this region, I liked walking here, not just because of the park, but also because of the area. The houses here seem very different from the same-colored-boxes in the areas nearby. Here you can see many different shapes and colors, and a dolphin house. You heard me right; it’s a real dolphin, it even has flippers!
Enjoy a stroll at Helsinki's most unusual park, the Flower of Life, and don't miss out on visiting Seurasaari; they both guarantee a unique and memorable experience!
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