Monday, December 24, 2012

Church Visit

Kallio powder

Christmas is a good time to visit a church. I was dressed up and late from a dinner on Christmas eve. But not so late that I wouldn't have time for some quiet meditation. And a quick ski run.

The Cathedral

I visited the Cathedral of Helsinki, next to the Senate Square, and the Kallio (Rock) Church north from the center.

The Cathedral has stairs that are popular among kids and snowboarders during the winter. Given the early season, some of the stairs still stand out from the stone, so I was glad that I had my old skis on this run. The stairs and the slope are quite steep, and end on a narrow sidewalk and then a road. While there are always some tourists and kids playing here, be careful to not have anyone slide onto the road.

Cathedral of Helsinki


While you have to be careful in the Cathedral stairs, in Kallio you need a life insurance. The "skiable" slope next to the church is Siltasaarenkatu, a street that leads to the city center. It is not a particularly busy street near the church, but nevertheless you have to worry about cars. Perhaps some day I'll be able to catch this road in the early morning hours, before traffic or snowplows disturb freshly fallen snow.

Skiing among the cars

Kallio is a nice place to ski. People are friendly, and the after-ski bars are right next to the street. As I was skiing down, an old lady came out from her apartment right next to me and exclaimed "Santa Claus!".

Sidewalk skiing

The Usual Warning

Kids: don't try this at home. It is a very bad idea to ski on a road anywhere, let alone in Helsinki. Leave this to professionals and the insane.

Photo and video credits (c) 2012 by Jari Arkko and Olli Arkko


  1. I did a similar thing last night, when I got back, it occured to me that you might already have done this once or twice before!