Helsingin Luonnontieteellinen museo (The Helsinki Natural History Museum).
This museum is affiliated with the University of Helsinki
and is located in an old Russian gymnasium.
Image: Wikipedia [larger view].
As the title says, one month from today, I will be on an eight-and-a-half hour flight from NYC to Helsinki, Finland! I will be there for eight days and I am very excited! Even though I am of Finnish ancestry, I know exactly nothing about Finland, so I am asking you, the experts, about what I should plan to see and do while I am there.
So far, this is what I’ve been planning to see;
The Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki), founded in the city of Turku in 1640 (relocated to Helsinki in 1829), it is the largest and oldest university in Finland. It reminds me very much of the University of Washington, where I earned my degrees, because it is of similar size, with a similar number of graduate students, and is also a research-oriented university. I am especially interested to see the facilities on the Viikki Campus, which focuses on biosciences, veterinary medicine and pharmacy, although I am also very interested to see the Meilahti Campus, which is home to the medical school.
Helsingin Luonnontieteellinen museo, (The Natural History Museum), which was just re-opened in May 2008 after three years of renovations. This museum is affiliated with the University of Helsinki and is located in an old Russian gymnasium. Of course, my special interest is to see the fossil and bird collections here, behind the scenes, if possible.
The Korkeasaari Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the world, which is home to roughly 200 animal species and more than 1000 plant species. I am always excited to visit zoos, especailly the bird exhibits, as well as seeing (and photographing several other unusual animal species that I am especially fond of, such as the astonishing Okapi, a childhood favorite. But so far, I have not learned which species this zoo holds).
Sealife Helsinki, an aquarium that opened in 2001, it has 28 permanent tanks, containing a total of 350,000 liters of water. One of their special features is a 250 cubic meter ocean tank, through which forms a 10 meter long tunnel. Again, I am not sure which species the aquarium holds.
I think I will also bring my binoculars, so I will be able to go out birding on several mornings for a variety of bird species in either Helsinki’s Tringa ry or Central Park? Reading about spring migration makes me want to return in May so I can witness (and photograph!) the flight of fifty thousand rosefinches, Carpodacus erythrinus, in a single day.
That’s all I’ve figured out so far, but I am also interested to see art museums as well as Finnish architecture, so any suggestions are welcomed. And of course, I will be sharing everything with you in a series of photoessays.
Hrm. Already, I am asking myself why I am not staying longer?? Oh yeah, my parrots would get very angry with me!