Once we got back into the city and because we had bought an Helsinki card which gave us access to quite a few Museums, expositions and even transport we decided to dedicate our afternoon to the "animal" side of Finland by visiting the Natural History Museum of Helsink (to be seen on the left hand side photo underneath) and then the Korkeasaari island where the zoo is located.
The moose statue standing right in fron of the Natural History Museum set the scene for what we were to see inside, though I must confess I wasn't expecting to come across skeletons of taxidermed and pre-historic animals, which were quite impressive, particularly because being accustomed to "seeing" them in pictures or sketches one hasn't got any idea of their real size.
We were fortunate enough to have had access to a temporary exhibition of animal photography, which we quite liked.
Once we left and still influenced by the animal "touch" we "climbed" onto the backs of some stone turtle statues, despite being on a specially designed and colourful zoo bus we got to on our way to Korkeasaari island where we spent the rest of the afternoon.
The zoo premises were very well organised and among a huge number of well known species to us we came across some we had never seen before such as gnu goats, takins and some rather exquisite sheep or which we weren't expect to see like the flamingos. I ended up having a great time "talking" with some snowy owls which insisted on miming my face as I spoke to them, which was really weird.
1882 Buck statue by Constantino Pandiani (left).
By the time we got off the bus and headed back to the hotel it was getting colder but the light was such that I was stunned. The more I walked those city paths covered with leaves and watched the bay water reflexes the more I felt the beauty I would miss when I got back home finally. This was winter at its best ... and despite the cold I was going to miss it.