What can you do if you happen to be alone in Helsinki on a Saturday evening? I took a walk to the Senate Square, sat down on the stairs of the white cathedral and enjoyed the sunset while the crew of band Leningrad Cowboys were building their stage in the square below.

Helsinki Cathedral, Finland Helsinki Cathedral.

There is a good view from the uppermost one of the 47 steps. In the square below I saw the statue of Alexander II being transformed into a cake. Quite surreal. The domes at the top of the cathedral, 150 years old, glittered in the sun as I observed the crowd.

Senate square in Helsinki, Finland Senate square in Helsinki.

It’s sort of a paradox to be alone in a crowd. In a large city such as Helsinki, there are people in every corner, but still some of us walk the lonely path.

It can be especially clear when traveling abroad. I have walked around in the city all day, but most people I overhear speak a language I cannot understand. It doesn’t help that the Finnish is part of the Uralic family of languages, notoriously hard to learn.


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