Recent Pictures - Feldore McHugh

  • Múlafossur Waterfall

    Gásadalur, Faroe Islands

  • The view from the ferry as we came into Tallinn.

  • It's another coffin in a boat. It seemed to be a preoccupation of the early artists. When I returned from Belfast I was in Waterstones and in a half-price sale spotted a book on Nordic art, which had many of these pictures in it. I bought it.

  • A coffin in a boat...

  • I tried the door into Administration and much to my surprise, it opened. I took a few steps inside then heard some voices, so thought it best to retreat. There actually were some lights on inside the building; I guess there may be some security guards keeping an eye on it.

  • Looking towards the Administration office.

  • Admin needs to do something about their Admin sign.

  • "Oh, when is he going to realise that whole hipster big beard thing is OVER?" I spotted this in the Ateneum art gallery, which has some great early paintings. It provided an interesting look into the Finnish psyche. Some themes were apparent....

  • Wow, this guy really didn’t like the Estonians. It was part of the display in the guild hall about the history of Estonia and how they were perceived. It has a familiar ring - like how the Irish were described by the English.

  • A lingonberry cheesecake on the ferry. The Finns like their lingonberries. And rightly so - they're very nice.

  • From the ferry terminal it was only a 10 minute walk to the old part of Tallinn. This is the classic view - the city walls and towers are still very impressive.

  • There seem to be churches everywhere in the city. You quickly lose track of which one is which.

  • A staircase inside one of the fortifications. I had to use my torch to get to here as part of the tunnel was in complete darkness.

  • One day I explored the 18th Century sea fortress of Suomenlinna, which is constructed over several islands just off Helsinki, and is one of the biggest sea forts in the world. The islands are covered with massive fortifications; many were damaged by shelling during the Crimean War. This is the main entrance from the quay where the mainland ferry lands.

  • This very trippy installation has disorienting mirrors and fluorescent graffiti, flowers and butterflies sprouting from the walls and floors. I don’t think it’s one for recovering drug addicts to visit.

  • Helsinki has a well-preserved Art Nouveau quarter in the Katajanokka district, with beautiful houses like this.

  • The domed ceiling of the fabulously ornate University Libray, on Senate Square.

  • Town Hall Square, in the centre of Tallinn. Click on 2 below to continue

  • When the sun was shining in Tallinn it really brought out the beautiful colours on the streets.

  • This was in an antiques shop. The slightly dodgy translation says: Do not talk on the phone, talkers Godsend (?)for a spy.

  • The impressive entrance to one of the Medieval Guild halls in the centre of Tallinn. It now has a really interesting museum about the history of Estonia (basically, a lot of occupation and subjugation).

  • The former KGB headquarters in Tallinn. The basement had a torture chamber, which is why the windows are bricked-up.

  • There was even a rock band, playing covers. It was like Dire Straits were actually there. Sort of.

  • After five days in Helsinki I took the ferry across to Tallinn, in Estonia; the journey only takes a couple of hours. The ferry has lots of bars and everyone was drinking beer, even though it was only 9 in the morning! I read somewhere that sometimes people don’t even get off the ferry, they just use the trip for a bit of a drinking session. But it was all pretty good natured.

  • This stone outcrop in the town is called the Devil’s Steps.

  • A very red car in Porvoo, with the cathedral in the background.

  • I took a day trip to the town of Porvoo, only an hour away from Helsinki by bus. It’s the second-oldest town in Finland and is noted for its brightly-coloured wooden houses.

  • The old part of Porvoo is quite small. I had a delicious cappuccino in this square by the old town hall, keenly watched by a very tame hooded crow (it took food from my hand). There seem to be alot of these crows in Finland. Maybe they're space-transcending ones.

  • This bridge crossed the moat of an old medieval castle on the outskirts of Porvoo. There were red squirrels and woodpeckers in the surrounding trees.

  • Even the lost pets here are quite exotic.

  • There are networks of tunnels under the walls of the fortress which visitors can explore (with lots of disclaimers about doing it at your own risk). This one was in complete darkness - the only light here is the torch on my mobile phone. It went on for quite a distance and then eventually emerged into daylight. Fortunately I didn’t encounter any rats!

  • It was a beautiful day on the island, and the sea looked gorgeous. I just wish I’d had a picnic with me.

  • This was a very weird art installation in an old warehouse on the island. When I first went in it was pitch dark and there was no one else there. After a while as I shuffled around in complete darkness, trying not to trip over the very uneven floor, some weird chanting started, there were some flashes of light and then suddenly this thing in the middle of the room lit up, like something in a temple. It seems to be some kind of space rocket. I don't know. It was as baffling as the space-transcending crows.

  • A wooden building that had been part of an old Russian trading station on the island. There were a series of these, built in traditional Russian style.

  • The fence around the church on the island had cannons as part of its construction. Originally the church was Russian Orthodox, with typical onion domes, but in the early 20th Century it became Lutheran and the domes were knocked down. I kind of wish they’d kept them.

  • I think this may be the space-transcending crows. I'm not sure. By this point I was completely disorientated. But in a fun kind of way.

  • Err...yes...chasing crows transcending space....that's just what I thought, too. A description of one of the installations.

  • Helsinki has a new art gallery, Amos Rex, which has several huge rooms with video installations. This one had crashing waves projected on the walls (the silhouette is a real child, who was running gleefully around the room).

  • This is the “Chapel of Silence”, in the centre of Helsinki. Inside is a small space for prayer and reflection. It’s slightly oddly located in a plaza outside a shopping centre. But maybe that’s exactly where people need it most.

  • The Russian Orthodox cathedral in Helsinki (and a visiting Orthodox priest).

  • The wonderfully ornate ceiling of the cathedral.

  • This icon in the cathedral had a strange hypnotic quality. I took lots of pictures and kept being drawn back to it.

  • Market Square in the centre of Helsinki has a lot of stalls serving a variety of "traditional" Finnish dishes. These were moose meatballs, served with...jam. That's how they roll in Finland. Actually, it was lingonberry jam and it tasted delicious.

  • The beautiful cathedral on Senate Square, in the centre of Helsinki, shining white in the afternoon sunshine. I had to wait for the hordes of other tourists (largely Chinese) to get out of the way.

  • Helsinki is full of quirky little architectural details like this.

  • The monumental statues make for a good juxtaposition with tiny commuters standing beside them.

  • Another colourful door and wall back in the centre of Tallinn By the end of my second and final day it had brightened up a little. I think I'll be returning to Tallinn and exploring the backstreets again sometime soon. All in all, a great trip to two wonderful cities!

  • I loved walking around the backstreets in Tallinn, finding colourful, slightly decrepit, locations like this.

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