Finland – what a blast!
Here are some photos of Jade’s and my 2 night visit to Helsinki, Finland. We had a great time!
If you are interested in going to Helsinki, here are a few tips for you.
Flying into Helsinki is easy peasy. We took the direct one hour Finnair flight right from Arlanda (Stockholm) to Helsinki. You were offered a coffee, tea or blueberry juice to drink, that was it. By the time you got your drink it was time to put the tray table up! When we landed in Helsinki, the signage was a little difficult to understand but we asked for help. We’re Americans! Of course we asked for help! 🙂
We had only carry on baggage so we walked right outside to where the Finnair Bus was waiting to take us to downtown Helsinki. The bus ride would have cost us 6 € but thankfully his machine wasn’t working so we got a free ride! The trip was starting off great!!
The 30 minute bus ride showed that Finland (at least so far) looked strikingly similar to Sweden with the roads, the trees, the snow, the cars, the apartment buildings.
We arrived to the central station and found a little 7-11 type store (kioski) that sold us a 3 day transit ticket for 18€ each so that we could jump on and off any tram, bus or even take a ferry if we wanted to. This was a very smart idea to buy this since we didn’t have any limitations on how to get places. Our local Finnish friend Meri recommended we do this. Note: there is NO service desk at this train station! The people at the kioski can help you, they spoke English and they were friendly .
We took a tram directly to outside of our hotel, the Clarion Helsinki. It was a new hotel that was built right on the water and there was a roof top pool which seemed to be a draw for the locals. We arrived at 12 and asked if we could do an early check in. If we wanted to pay them additional 30 € we were able to do so. Yeah… no.
We ate lunch in the hotel restaurant and left our luggage with the front desk and headed out to explore. Our friend Meri met us and showed us around the town. We saw the Presidents Palace, the Helsinki Cathedral (impressive), even a sauna in a ferris wheel, saw people dipping themselves IN THE FREEZING cold waters of the bay as well as sitting outside in just a towel after relaxing in the sauna. The temperatures were -17 degrees Celcius and BITING. freaking. cold. The buildings downtown definitely had more of a Russian influence than the ones in Sweden do.
We came back to the hotel to check in and if we wanted a room on the water side, it would cost us 30 € extra, but that was for both nights and a one time charge. Fine.
The roof top pool was pretty cool. Literally, the water was not warm enough for us to stay in for more than 2 minutes. People were in the water with hats on since it was so cold in the air. Yeah, a bit too much for us. The sauna on the other hand was like an inferno. There were Finnish women who kept shovelling more and more water on the hot coals. HOLY hotness! I couldn’t make it past 5 minutes in there. This reminded me of my childhood when we would come to Finland and visit the relatives and they would not just make it so blazing hot they would also beat you with the birch branches to stimulate the blood flow.
Jeeez, when did I become so weak?? 🙂
Saturday we got up and enjoyed a large buffet breakfast at the hotel and headed out to meet my 2 family members that I haven’t seen since I was a young girl. It was wonderful to see them again and get caught up. Both are super creative, incredible artists and they shared their Instagram photos of their ceramics and paintings. They are actual full time artists! WOW! I see where the families creative genes went.
We were going to eat at a Russian restaurant for lunch but that restaurant had closed down and was now an American restaurant. It was a place called Sue Ellen’s. Nothing like some Carolina Fried Green Tomatoes in the heart of Helsinki. 🙂
We met up with Meri again on Saturday night for a delicious vegetarian dinner and got to experience a little bit of the Helsinki nightlife.
Sunday we enjoyed the sauna again (for 5 minutes) and then checked out. We asked for a late check out but that too was going to cost us extra. Are you seeing a common theme with Clarion Helsinki here?
We did some last minute shopping, ate a simple lunch ay Marks and Spencer and took the train back to the airport. The train was only 5 € and it also took 30 minutes just like the bus ride because it had stops every 2-3 minutes. Nice ride, easy to get back to the airport and no issues.
The airport was PACKED on the return trip but one cool thing was that we were flying back with the Swedish Olympic Team!
We will definitely go back to Finland again soon, to travel around a bit more. Thomas and I are planning on taking my mother back to her “old country” this summer. It will be good for her and us to re-connect with the family and our roots.
Taking these little get away trips really fuels my soul.
Do you take the time to re-fuel yourself?
What do YOU do? Share with me, please, I would love to know.
Now that I am refreshed, I am ready for this upcoming weekend of Life Coach training!!! I can’t wait to meet my fabulous classmates and see what they have been up to since our last session.
Hard to believe that I only have this weekend and then the first weekend in May left till I am a certified Life Coach. The time is going so fast but I must say…. I am really enjoying the journey.
Are you enjoying your life’s journey? I sure hope so. If you are not, what can you do differently? What are you dreaming of doing?
Let me help you get there.
Its time to seize the moment- CARPE PUNCTUM. The time is NOW.
Are you ready? I am here for you when you say YES.
Thank you for reading this today. I appreciate you believing in me. Together we are stronger.