Your Sweet 666

Trip Start Feb 17, 2012
Trip End Apr 28, 2012

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Where I stayed
Arthur Hotel Helsinki
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Sunday, March 4, 2012

Moi moi from Helsinki, Finland. Host Olympic city from ’52 and the World Design Capital for 2012. What exactly does that mean, well I’m glad you asked. The guide defines design as everything from beautiful or controversial arcitecture to cleverly folded menu’s and everything in between. Whatever!

Helsinki is celebrating its 200 years anniversary in 2012, but the country of Finland is only 95 years old. Long story short, Finland was a grand duchy of Russia for awhile and only gained independence in ’17. 

The locals say Suomi is the second most difficult language to learn behind Mandarin. They may be right there. Locals are real friendly, everytime the map has come out someone is eager to lend a hand. 

Things are a little different here. For example, they have pokies in the supermarkets. You can go shopping for your sardines in a tube and throw a tenner in the queen of the nile to kill some time. Genius, there is that nordic thinking again. It’s also cheaper to purchase with a credit card, not cash. I don’t get out much, but this fascinates me.

Helsinki has quite and edgy vibe to it. Everyone here is either a punk, rocker, aging rocker, emo, goth, arty scarf wearing type or wearing a black trenchcoat. Look around and you could be at a Motley gig, its unreal! I blame MTV and the rise of HIM, CKY, Bam Magera and co, plus the dudesons (youtube them if you dare). I loved it. There are also posters up all over this city for an up and coming Michael Jackson tour...not sure how well news travels.

Lots of museums and churches to check out (Temppeliaukio being built out of a rock) and the Suomenlinna fortress was pretty cool, although everything inbetween is the same looking boring 4 story concrete box. Wandering about the olympic stadium was fun, no security anywhere. I was going up and down the old hallways, grandstands, wandering about the playing surface no issues. This can make getting lost not to tricky at all, although as long as you have sorted the church spires as map markets, getting around is easy. The contemporary art museum had a music theme going on, anyone into rock would have gotten a kick out if it. Slayer, Pantera, Kiss - all the big guns.

I’m not sure what time happy hour officially starts here (or infact finishes). It’s not uncommon to see cats swigging back on a bottle of whisky (in public) pre 10am. Do as the locals do, I guess. More morning coffees with booze. The beers at 8% are deadly.

Here’s one for you. I was taking a shot at something in the main square, then this cat wandered up to me. I could smell the booze from a distance. He mumbled something in Finnish to me, I think perhaps a reference to the Anvil t-shirt (he was also on the phone). Next thing he put the flip phone, under the ear of my beanie so it was firmly held in place, sparked up a durry then was on his way again. Like I said, things are a little different.

One major disappointment is that there is no air guitar try outs on this weekend. The tour has moved to are Belgium this weekend unfortunately. Next time, will have to plan better.

Helsinki has been a blast, now off to sail the sunny Baltic to the former USSR.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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