Leaving Finland

On our last day in Finland, we had a little adventure. We had planned to catch an early morning train to the airport, so we arrived at Helsinki central station around 5am. However, to our surprise, the doors were closed when we tried to get in. Looking through the windows, we couldn’t spot any life … Continue reading / view photos Leaving Finland

Visiting EMMA

A pleasant Easter Sunday walk on a misty morning took us to the cosy Cafe Regatta in Toolo — a part of Helsinki we’d not been to. At the secluded waterside cafe, I had coffee and an indulgent cardamom bun. I also got my dose of dog therapy playing with three dogs sitting in the … Continue reading / view photos Visiting EMMA

Return to Helsinki

After a restful night’s sleep on the train, we awoke to find ourselves nearing Helsinki. Since we had time, we made our way to the train’s restaurant car and had a hearty, piping hot porridge. Our hotel was around the corner from central station. We chose it because of our upcoming early flight, which would … Continue reading / view photos Return to Helsinki

Rock church and train to Lapland

We had booked seats for the early afternoon train to Rovaniemi, which is close to the Arctic Circle. There were a few hours before the train left Helsinki. So, we walked via an unfamiliar route to Temppeliaukio Church, popularly known as Rock Church because it is built directly into solid rock. The church attracted nearly … Continue reading / view photos Rock church and train to Lapland

National Library, Suomenlinna and sauna

National Library This morning’s cultural exploration of Helsinki began at the impressive National Library of Finland. This houses the largest Russian literature collection outside of Russia. The ornate, neo-classical nineteenth-century building was designed by C L Engel, who also designed Helsinki Cathedral. On entering, we were quickly in the beautiful Cupola Hall. In the Slavonic … Continue reading / view photos National Library, Suomenlinna and sauna

Helsinki Art Museum and Cathedral

I’m reading the entertaining A Short History of Finland (by J Clements, 2022) at the moment. The book mentions Espoo, which, this morning, we passed through on the way to Haltia. The book includes some of the many myths and legends of Finland. During a period in Scandinavian history, called the Kalmar Union (1397-1523), Denmark, … Continue reading / view photos Helsinki Art Museum and Cathedral

Haltia — gateway to Nuuksio

On Sunday, many places are shut in Helsinki. So we headed to Haltia, The Finnish Nature Centre. It was a popular start for hiking in Nuuksio National Park. Google Maps said the 80-minute journey needed two buses to get there. We walked to the first bus stop but couldn’t find it. Then we saw a … Continue reading / view photos Haltia — gateway to Nuuksio

Oodi — an ode to community

Oodi – which means ode in Finnish – is Helsinki’s Central Library. The original idea of a central library was floated in 1988. The Oodi leaflet for newcomers goes on to say that construction eventually began in 2015 and was opened a few years later to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence. In … Continue reading / view photos Oodi — an ode to community

Design museum, coffee and cake

Our first full day in Helsinki started with a walk to the Design Museum. Since it was Saturday, I was expecting to see lots of people out and about, shopping, and going to places. However, despite being 10am, the streets were fairly empty. When we got to the Design Museum, it was shut! Opening time … Continue reading / view photos Design museum, coffee and cake

A drizzly and cold Helsinki

After we’d boarded the plane, the pilot announced there would be an hour’s delay. We’d missed our slot. The passengers collectively groaned. Just as we’d accepted our fate, we were moving on the runway: the pilot said we’d been given another slot for take-off. We’d soon be flying to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and … Continue reading / view photos A drizzly and cold Helsinki