It Never Gets Dark

Helsinki

Growing up in New Jersey, I know summer days are long and winters are dark. But one of the things that has fascinated me about the northern latitudes in Europe where I now live is how much more extreme the change is. Currently sunset is 9:30 PM in Mannheim. Last summer on a trip to Helsinki (60N), it was fascinating to see that even in August it was still twilight long after 10 PM. I would love to experience the white nights of St. Petersburg or Alaska at solstice in June.

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Wall of Stairs

Helsinki Cathedral Stairs

Cold, quirky, clean…Scandinavia is an amazing place. Of the Scandinavian countries, Finland stands out as a bit quirkier than the rest – you don’t have to look any further than the Finnish language to notice this. Helsinki is a small city. There are neither major skyscrapers nor the hustle and bustle of New York. But it is worth a visit to see gems like Kauppatori and Suomenlinna. The Helsinki Cathedral dominates the city skyline, raised on stairs and is white. This picture was taken at the foot of the cathedral stairs. I like the sense of solitude. Despite one of the busiest squares in Helsinki, people are still in their own world like the couple sitting on the stairs or the man taking a solitary stroll. This picture is peaceful. I like the fact that you may not be able to tell immediately that these are stairs, giving the picture a slightly unsetting feel. I also like the contrast of the smiling young couple and the peaceful old man.
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