After a week in Finland, it’s finally time to pack up the suitcase and head home again. All week long it’s been gloriously sunny and Helsinki has been packed with happy people, relaxing in the parks and shopping in the shops. There’s enough time left to pick up any last minute purchases and to plan a big feast for the last evening’s meal.
When you tell a typically mono-cultural English acquaintance back home that you’re going on holiday to Helsinki, you usually get an expression that suggests you’ve just asked them to solve a really difficult puzzle. They know its nearby neighbors; Sweden is the home of Abba and Ikea, Denmark has bacon and Norway is the really, really expensive one. Other than the occasional F1 driver, they’re usually stumped as to what else comes from Finland.
Just for being a European capital with centuries worth of fascinating history and architecture makes Helsinki a worthwhile place alone. Add the location by the sea, the fantastic local designers, the markets and stores to spend your Euros in, plus the long, bright Spring days make this one of my favorite places in the world at this time of year. I’ve only travelled briefly into the North of the country, but then I guess that always gives me a reason to come back and spend some more time here again.