Helsinki

Exactly a year ago I was wandering around Helsinki, thinking how amazing it was to finally visit Finland.

Spending Christmas at home usually means getting flights with a random stop over somewhere and this time, I could spend a day in Helsinki on my way back to Edinburgh.

I arrived quite late, so after I checked into my hostel, I went for a wander around some of the busier streets in Helsinki. The Christmas mood and the decorations were all around the city, so it felt quite magical.

The city’s streets were frozen, so it didn’t take long until I found myself lying on the pavement. I decided that a pub might be a safer option, so I went to one across the street from my accommodation. I was surprised how quickly the local guys came to chat with me and I had couple of good conversations about life with the randoms. Finnish people seem to know how to live – boats, friends, fishing and freedom were the things they said they valued and I then realised I missed my summers in Lithuania.

Next day was all about exploring the city. I headed towards the market I spotted last night (it was closed then) and checked what local specialities were sold there.

I also walked past the Allas Sea Pool and saw people swimming outside, which made me regret not having a swimsuit with me. Even though it was a minus temperature and everything was frozen, they seemed to be really enjoying themselves in the heated pool.

I had a long walk around some parts of the city taking care not to land on my bum again. It was not the easiest task!

Eventually, I went back to the market to get some food since I remembered seeing a van selling fish. I went for a selection of things and it was delicious.

My last stop was the new Central Library that was recommended to me by one of the guys I chatted to the previous night. I love architecture and this building was a treat to my eyes. A beautiful and modern public space that seemed to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Even though I really enjoyed my short visit, I’d love to see Helsinki in summer. It is a green city and I imagine on a long summer day it would be a very relaxed and enjoyable place to chill. I’ll definitely go back to Finland one day, I want to see more of the country and chat to more of the amazing locals.