Friday, October 25, 2013


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A ten week full time internship and two half marathons in two weeks under the belt, I was really looking forward to my 'reward trip' to Helsinki to visit my good Finnish friends from last semester. I've been really interested in Scandinavian countries this year and I was interested to see how different or similar Finland would be compared to Norway and Denmark which I've visited before. I didn't know anything about Finland before this year; I probably would have guessed that Helsinki is somewhere in eastern Europe, but after hearing about it so much through my friends, I really wanted to visit it. The Finnish language is a completely unique language (nothing like Swedish or Danish), they love extremely salty liquorice, saunas are a very important part of life and alcohol is super expensive due to a huge tax (so masses of Finns go with big trolleys and suitcases with a boat to Estonia to buy cheap alcohol - it's quite funny). We also took that boat to Tallinn one day, a city which I also really liked - very cosy cafes, pubs and cobblestone streets. In Finland I stayed in Espoo, Finland's 2nd biggest city, but only about 15 minutes to Helsinki. Espoo is around a bay and the Autumn colours in the nature was beautiful when I was there - it didn't feel like a 'city' at all. The food was amazing too - I tried reindeer meat which was some of the tastiest meat I've ever tried (and actually very ecologically friendly and ethical), Finnish cheese with cloudberries, lingonberry moussey porridge, cinnamon rolls, delicious salmon, rye everything and lots and lots of coffee. Apparently the Finns are the biggest coffee drinkers in the world and I could definitely see that. Helsinki is such a cool city - I particularly liked the modern art gallery Kiasma, and the design museum. It's definitely a very design-orientated city - the new library for the Helsinki university is what dreams are made of. It might not be such a well-known country (especially in Australia), but Finland is definitely worth a visit.

iPhone photos - didn't have enough space for my real camera unfortunately!

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