Exploring Helsinki, rock & history combi

Trip Start Jul 17, 2007
Trip End Oct 05, 2007

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

After staying with Virpi & Kari for almost 2 weeks (time seemed to fly!), it was time to go. Very strange to actually get on my bike again! Felt like I had to leave home. But I arranged to meet Tobias again (one of the Danish crew I met at Suvi&Thomas wedding) in Helsinki. As he had to go there for work and I was still in Finland for fun, we thought it would be a good idea to combine them while exploring Helsinki!

Creatively arranging his flight to go on the Friday, flying back on Wednesday, meant we had the weekend to find some of the funny, beautiful and cool places! After a slow start on Saturday (neither of us is good planner) we make it for lunch and spend the afternoon strolling around without purpose. Helsinki has a great admosphere, combining the old and new. Cosmopolitan and historical features. Guess it's a good place for shopping to, but I skipped that part. It is Design Week at the moment and during one of our exploring detours we discover a building-creating competition. Anyone can participate. Great! Tobias must have seen the big smile on my face and surrendered quickly! So there we were making a 'house' out of sticks and so on, after carefully chosing the 'Beaver' spot as our location. Yes, forgot to tell you, the average age of participants was probably 8, but who cares!!! ;-))) See photos for our creative result!!

After a relaxed  in a small local bar playing backgammon (finally a person who wants to do boardgames to!!!), we have to rush to get to our evening venue. A triple rock concert in Nosturi with main performer Lapko. Getting to the venue we realize the average age being what 19I guess, but us 30+-ers try to blend in ;-)) Going to the upper deck for the 18+-you-are-allowed-to-order-alcohol-section without being asked for ID. Having over 10 cd's in my bag as proof, I really have to say that Finnish (Rock)bands are really good! Unfortunately Lapko had a lousy sound-guy working, could not properly hear the singer, but the show was ok.

Sunday we managed to get going earlier, after a 5-star breakfast in the hotel, It took me ages to find the tea stand in between all the tables with food on offer! Time to visit a museum, the Finnish national museum! It was interesting to read about Finnish history, historical findings, relatively recent info about the  Swedish and Russians fighting over the back of the Finnish residents, seizing power. It has been only 90 years that Finland has become an independent nation! Present life is also shown with one big thing missing in the whole picture.... The Sauna! It is not mentioned once. A huge blunder when it seems so integrated into Finnish way of life.

Tobias has get to get his work prepared and meetings done so our ways split. I decide to hang around in Helsinki a few days more to explore some more. Also don't want to show up on Sini's doorstep yet as she is still rounding up her thesis! Hectic times as I so clearly remember from my own studying times, long ago ;-)) I find out Helsinki (as most parts of township Finland) is secondhand stuff paradise!!! Flea markets and secondhand shops everywhere! Of course I have to explore them. It is a good thing I am on the motorbike with little spare space! It stops me from buying many great things! However some cool cloths and cd's have been sqeezed in! Miranda, wish you were here now, so we could browse together!
Suomenlinna (fortress island), cinema and Photografy museum were some of the other exploring activities done!

On wednesday afternoon I say goodbye to the capital of Finland and get on my bike to ride to the former capital of Finland: Turku! To visit Sini (Suvi's cousin) and her kids.
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