Sunday, August 21, 2011

Part 1: Helsinki

On the 30th of July, Greg and I started a 1 1/2 week vacation that would have us doing everything from riding in a plane, a boat, on trains, on trams, on a bus, on bikes, in a car, on an elephant, and in a taxi. One day of our trip was alone, but the others we were blessed to have Emily and David Cutter (Emily is Greg's sister) as our traveling companions. 

Our first stop was Helsinki. We had the entire day (from  on) there by ourselves and after dropping off our luggage in our downtown hotel we made our way to the pier. Taking a suggestion from my Bangkok Finnish friend Nina and other traveling websites, we spent the day out at Suomenlinna Island. Hiking around the old Sea Fortress was a perfect way to keep us moving on our first day. We especially enjoyed the bucket of peaches and cheese we picked up from the local supermarket for lunch!

The train and bus station across from our hotel. Local electric trams  going by.
Stopping by the city Lutheran Cathedral on the way to the harbor. 
A collage of pictures from the island. 
In the evening, also taking a recommendation from Nina, we walked about 10 minutes to Lappi, a restaurant serving  Lapland (Finnish) Food in a traditional atmosphere. We shared  the Lappish game selection for two: Roasted elk, reindeer sausages, braised reindeer, winter vegetables and potato fondant with creamy game sauce enjoyed with a bottle of fruit wine. For desert we treated ourselves to the cheese platter. 

Dinner at Lappi.

The next morning we met Emily and David at the bus station right across the street from our hotel, helped them store their luggage and started exploring the city. It turns out it's difficult to sight see on a Sunday morning. Most things are closed, but wandering the nearly empty streets was peaceful way to begin our day catching up. Our lunch of reindeer sausage and fresh cherries was eaten at the Harbor Market.  We retrieved our luggage in the late afternoon and then boarded our overnight boat to Stockholm. 

A collage of pictures from our first day in Helsinki with David and Emily. We did lots of walking, visited the city museum, and enjoyed yummy food. The sunny yet cool weather was heavenly. There are also pictures from the boat on our way to Stockholm!

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