Note: First of all apologies for the delay, university and life are keeping me quite busy at the moment which is why I hardly find the time to write my blogs at the moment. In order to keep up the blog and to write about everything at least not too long after it happened the following posts won’t be completely bilingual. I might translate them at a later point and let you know
Ihr Lieben, Alltag und Unileben haben mich aktuell fest im Griff und es ist gar nicht so leicht parallel weiter im Blog zu schreiben. Dennoch habe ich einige Artikel in Planung und möchte gern weiter berichten ohne das die Zeitabstände zwischen dem Erlebnis und dem Entstehen des Texts zu lange werden. Aus dem Grund werde ich die kommenden Artikel nicht alle zweisprachig verfassen können – mal deutsch, mal Englisch. Zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt hole ich das sicher noch nach 😉
Well, but now it’s time to talk about our last stop during of our six day-journey to Northern Europe: Finland, Helsinki
Monday, 14th March
Happy to have the Euro back, we arrived Monday night in Helsinki and took the bus to the city. After paying in Krona in Norway and Sweden, constantly switching currency and counting money, Euro is nice and easy again. Well, but only until we enter the supermarket and see the prices being even higher than in Sweden or Norway. To be fair, we knew before that those countries are some of the most expensive places in Europe to travel to but we still didn’t expect that. However, people need to eat so supermarkets are still the cheapest option and we got ourselves a little dinner and breakfast for the next day.
Since our airbnb was only a 20 minute walk from the central station, we extended the route a little bit along a nice alley and the harbour. Really beautiful first impression of Helsinki – cozy, colourful lights, still people on the streets but nothing major – seems to be a rather quiet place and not as big as other capitals.
Before we can finally get into our airbnb we have to wait for our host and decide to go out for a drink. We found a nice place to drink all sorts of craftbeer from all over the world. Being adventurous and following Tess’ rule having an alcoholic beverage in every country she goes to, we drank some Finish beer – interesting, but I think we both had better ones before as well. By the point we eventually made it in bed, both of us were quite tired and started to feel the amount of travelling and walking we had already done during the last few days.
Tuesday, 15th March
Bright and early, we started our next day, walking through the sunny Helsinki following some interesting routes from a tourist map. Wandering around the city we got to see lots of different things, as a completely frozen harbour, churches, park, monuments, a nice market hall at the harbour… interestingly, many signs were not only written in Finish, Swedish or English but in Russian. This is even more common than English most of the times. Furthermore, the style of architecture somehow reminded me a lot of the very clear, simple constructions that have been set up during communism or after war, mixed with very complex also ‘Russian’-like, richly ornamented houses. I don’t know why I felt that way but due to that feeling I had to re-establish the feeling of the welcoming atmosphere and beautiful first impression from the night before.
Nevertheless, we found some very lovely spots, like a church build into a mountain of stone or Soumenlinna, some islands just in front the harbour (15 min via boat), where an old fort was made into an outdoor museum and is Cultural World Heritage nowadays. The weather was really good in the afternoon and we enjoyed our lovely walk across the very green islands. It’s been a nice change in colour and surrounding from being in cities with many buildings and cars a lot before.
We enjoyed our last full day very much and got a lot into talking about social and cultural differences, traditions, languages, nations and their politics… well, life in general, I guess. It was really interesting and I liked the chance of exchanging thoughts on various topics you usually cannot talk about with people from your own culture. Thanks again
Here are some pictures for you to enjoy…
Wednesday, 16th March
We had to get up very early that morning to be in time for our first plane. Back in Stockholm, our flight to Dublin was a little bit delayed but around lunchtime we landed again in Ireland, safe and sound as before.
It’s been a lot of travelling and new experiences in very short amount of time, but it was definitely worth it and we enjoyed this trip very much! I like the Northern Europe culture a lot, even though it is very different from Germany and Southern Europe – people deal with life in a different way, more pragmatic and direct. In general, the more I travel the more curious I become in terms of culture, people, traditions, countries and travelling, being out there – it never stops and I’m looking forward to many more trips to spots all around the world.