The other day, I asked Boris to take a picture of how does the nature in Helsinki looks like now. He said, he already did, and sent me a link to several images of awakening nature. And then the next morning, when I called him at our usual meeting time, he has outside, walking in the Sibelius park (he lives right by it).
He showed me the flowers and the trees in bloom and the bikers and the dogs :). And I didn’t feel sad like “oh, I wish I was there!” On the contrary, it felt so nice and so special, it was really “as if I was there.”
One of the craziest things I ever did – the flights both way with two connections, more time in the air than in Helsinki. But if I am supposed to be not just a godmother for Sonia, but a Fairy Godmother for the whole family, I have to measure to these standards!
One of the best things in Finland is Finnish cuisine. Although it’s difficult for me to select just one thing which is ultimately the best if pressed to make a choice, I will choose the Finnish salmon soup.
Boris and I have a whole grading system for the establishments in Helsinki and around, which serve the salmon soup. Sometimes the place we love would stop serving the salmon soup or do not serve it every day, or the quality degrades. However, for the past several months, our Number One salmon soup place is a ravintola by the pier of Suomenlinna, right where the passengers disembark for the ferry.
I do not know why it is almost never too crowded. Perhaps, because people think that the first place they come across can’t be the best. Or maybe they do not like salmon soup as much :).
But we made a choice. Sometimes, when we do not even have time to walk around the island, we come there just for the soup – after all, it’s only 15 minutes of the ferry ride. For 10 euros you get a quart of soup as thick as a stew, yummy like nothing else, as much of the freshly baked baguette as you want and a cup of coffee or tea.
I was talking tons of fall foliage pictures in Helsinki because this time of the year, the colors in Finland are already breathtakingly beautiful. And if didn’t even start in Illinois :).
Boris’ apartment is right by the Sibelius park, which means any time you get outside, there is plenty to marvel, and tons of pictures are just asking to be taken.
I was taking this picture (the sun was setting slowly and shining through the yellow leaves) when I saw a car on the opposite side of the road slowing down, just like the passerby would slow down when they see you taking pictures on the street.
I could not believe this slowing down was related to me :). After all, it was the opposite side of the street. May be they slow down for the red light ahead? But then… the car made a U-turn and slowed down, almost stopped, right in front of me. I saw a guy on the back seat looking out from the rolled down window, holding the camera! And he was taking a picture of this tree! After he was finished, the car drove away.
Maybe you won’t find it funny, but we laughed for another good twenty minutes, recalling the incident.
As I’ve mentioned, there was a lot of biking this time in Helsinki. The last two days were too cold for biking without gloves, and I did not have any biking gloves with me. But that’s the beauty of having your bike – when I could bike, I did.
I can’t even start to describe how everything in Helsinki as suited for bikers. The house has bike storage, where bikes can be stored not only standing, but also elevated.
Boris asked me to call him on facetime when the plane touches the ground so that he will get ready to go to the railway station. I am so happy that I have my internet with me for no extra cost! Yes, my Sprint plan is not cheap, but with my amount of travels, it’s great that I never have to think about it. The moment the plane lands, I can start using my phone.
I have not been here since May, and I forgot that I have a Helsinki transportation app on my iPhone. I could buy my ticket on the way from the baggage claim to the train, and hop on the first train that has arrived. It’s a minor delay, but it shows how we all are creatures of habit. I forgot the way I did it once but remembered how I did it for many years.
When we met at the Central Train Station, he took me to Robert’sCoffee for a cappuccino with a cinnamon bun. It has become symbolic for me – the first meal on the Finnish soil has to be a Finnish cinnamon bun 🙂
It’s the 50s here, compare to our upper 70s, but the fall colors are beautiful!
And I finally got a bike! We talked for a long time of me having my own bike in Helsinki so that I won’t have to rent each time. Boris was always saying that this goes not provide any economic advantage, but the difference is in time not wasted, and I believe it’s worth it.
Most of the stores were closed on Sunday afternoon, and I didn’t like the bikes we saw (they didn’t fit my small body :)), but this morning we finally got what I needed!