I went straight to Hel … sinki!
My first view of Finland. Baby it’s cold out there (although according to the locals not so much for this time of year).
I’ve rediscovered what I hate about the cold. It’s not the cold; it’s walking into a heated building all bundled up and sweating your ass off. You’ve gotta strip a few layers off and then lug them around while you sweat and shop. I’m building arm muscles…
It’s 3:30 p.m. on my third day in Helsinki, and the sun has set again. She doesn’t stay out very long — probably because there’s awesome mulled wine and lit candles waiting for her indoors.
Hello? who can blame her the mulled wine is tasty with a bit of a kick to it! I’ll make this for Christmas at my daughter’s house next year — first 2017 goal set. Sin of all sins I dare say I like it better than my German ancestor’s Gluhwein, but shhh.
I’ve not been fair to this city because I haven’t toured it as much as I had planned. I was so tired my first day (thanks to no sleep the night before — oh the fun of flying) that I pretty much just visited shops and sipped coffee and ate an amazing cinnamon roll (rock sugar crystals on top are way, way better than icing!) while waiting for my room to get ready. I also ate dinner at an Italian place and met two lovely Finnish ladies who suggested a few things to do and taught me three words: Hey for hello, hey hey for good bye, and Keytoss for thank you!
And oh my god I took the longest, hottest bath when I did get into my room!
My apartment doesn’t have a tub, so I specifically booked this room for it’s deep soaking tub. LOL and apparently Hotel Glo Kluuvi puts a plush kitty on your bed, so Lil Miss Plush attempted to hog my wine while I bathed. I won that battle.
Day Two I got up early and spent the day in Talinn, Estonia — what an awesome day too — will write up another blog on that to post next. And you bet I soaked my sore tootsies in that tub again (threw a pillow on the plush and told her to time out).
Today, my alleged big touring day, I woke up late, sipped Gingerbread latte at Fraziers, a famous coffee house, walked around the harbour, presidential palace (where I saw two stiff guards freezing their kivekset off), and cathedral area, shopped on Aleksanterinkatu (famous shopping street — am totally acquainted with Stockmans now) and warmed my belly with a beef and mushroom stew, and then took a nice long nap. It’s gray out, and apparently I’m tired, so woo hoo for the time to nap at my leisure. But boo hoo that I didn’t visit a single museum — woe the art I did not get to see! I’d also like to visit Lapland, so perhaps one day I’ll get to freeze and sweat here again.
My big goal for later today is to visit the big Christmas Market, drink some more Glogi and soak one last time in that tub.
So you see I don’t have a whole lot to tell you about Helsinki or Finland, other than I like it, and despite the short winter days it’s beautiful. It’s a great place to visit around Christmas time because of all the good comfort food, coffee, adult warm up bevies, and overall ambience. Plus it’s an easy to navigate place and English is widely spoken, so you’ll have no problems discovering all there is to do. And, oh my goodness there are some awesome looking restaurants and bars, which I did not feel like blowing the dirhams in (solo travel is a lot of fun, but not so much in higher end hangouts, although I bet I’d make new friends pretty quickly here — so far everyone has been friendly). But, I also gotta save my money for Iceland, which is tomorrow!
Just of few snaps of Christmas cheer. Shop windows are adorned with magical holiday displays, and the smell of roasting nuts, gingerbread and spices keeps you warm!
This is my favourite Helsinki window shot. Grandma and the kids are mesmerised while parents sneak in some adult huddle time. Kids are very, very happy here this time of year!
Some Helsinki shots (sorry I was lazy with my camera)
A few hours later: I made it to the Christmas Market in Senate Square. Bought some goodies, feasted on some fruity, nutty cake with vanilla sauce, had my glogi and the bath is pouring as I type. Here’s some more Christmas cheer from Finland for you!