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Travel in the Time of Corona, Week 5

As the stay-at-home directive wearies on, I’m adjusting well to this new lifestyle. For one thing, it’s a delight to no longer have to go to the supermarket. I tried to avoid food shopping pre-quarantine days and only went once a week. Having discovered Instacart recently, it is a relief to have a personal shopper who can go grocery shopping for me and deliver the goodies to my door. 
I’ve also learned so much these last three months (I have sheltered-in-place since late January) which I wouldn’t have had the time to attend to were I traveling instead. There’s a reason for everything. And this time spent in isolation has made me appreciative of the place I call home.
Prague, Czech Republic

The Ecumenical Art Chapel, Hirvensalo, Finland

Tai O, HongKong

Grand Canyon, Arizona 

Puerto Rico

Grand Place or Grote Markt, Brussels, Belgium

California, USA

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie




Naantali, the Sunshine Town

The steeple of Naantali Church rises above the harbor and is the first thing you see on approach to the popular summer destination of Finland. It is the only remaining building from the convent of the Bridgittine Sisters built after the building permit was signed in 1443. The establishment of the Vallis Gratiae (Valley of Grace) convent coincides with the founding of Naantali. Both convent and town prospered from trading rights and privileges until the 1500s when Protestantism was introduced and adopted in Finland and the convent was closed. Naantali’s fortunes suffered with the closure and it was soon forgotten.

The discovery of therapeutic waters of Viluluoto Spring in Naantali in the 1700s helped the town get back on its feet with the initiation of spa activities. This was further developed in 1863 and established Naantali as a spa destination. Today, Moomin World Theme Park in Kailo draws the most visitors to Naantali. Children have the most fun meeting their favorite Moomin family…

Kiss my Turku

Nothing can truly describe the wonder of seeing the Art Chapel for the first time. I was at once drawn to the blinding light at the end of the proverbial tunnel as soon as I entered the chapel. But rather than walk up to the altar, I opted to sit awhile on one of the plain pine pews to slowly take it all in and savor the peace and beauty of my surroundings. I enjoyed precious few minutes of blissful contemplation (as I was the only visitor then) until a couple arrived and the missus asked me to remove my handbag from the bench so she could take a perfect photo of the Chapel. :( 

The architect, Matti Sanaksenaho, wanted to incorporate three symbols in his design. One of them is light, in this case, the idea of "the path from darkness to light". The visitor emerges from the shadows at the entrance and is led toward the light at the altar under exquisitely arched Finnish timber.

The model for the design of the Art Chapel was a block of wood inspired by a fish which the architect…

This is My Helsinki

The Kamppi Chapel or the Chapel of Silence is a non-denominational space for calm and reflection. The Chapel maintains a staff who can help anyone unload the cares that infest the mind and body and provides information about the services offered by the Helsinki Parish Union and the Social Services Department of the city. They're open daily.

This beautiful wooden structure was designed by K2S Architects Ltd. The curved exterior wall is made from treated spruce wood planks and oiled alder planks line the interior walls. Light pours down the chapel from a skylight above the ceiling. The unadorned chapel is exactly the place to find peace and quiet. 

"Silence is the only voice of our God." Herman Melville

Natural light streams into Temppeliaukio or Rock Church through concrete beams anchored on rock and crowned by a copper dome. Temppeliaukio is a Lutheran Church. It is also a venue for concerts.

There is a 3 euro entrance fee to the church.

Temppeliaukio or Rock Church simply ro…