The Organ Recital

An Organ Music Festival was going on this summer in Helsinki. The short recitals took place in different churches of the city; on weekdays only because on weekends, more important things are happening. Unfortunately, due to the combination of my work meetings schedule and Boris’s schedule, we were only able to attend one concert on Tuesday.

Photography inside the church was not allowed. Boris told me, that at the previous concerts he attended there were signs on the seats suggesting people to skip rows and to sit sparsely. At that concert, there were no signs, but people were just choosing their seats away from each other, so that the church was filled in a vey nice distant way.

I hope that next summer, they will have the same festival again, and I will be able to attend the concert at Suomenlinna!

Roses

It was only when we passed the Helsinki Botanic Garden on one of our bike rides that I realized that I didn’t see roses that summer. It is not like I was not allowed, the Chicago Botanic Garden and many of the city’s smaller rose gardens are open to the public. It just didn’t happen. And when I saw the blooming roses, I wanted to come back and on feet and enjoy them.

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Biking in Helsinki

We biked a lot :). Biking is one of my favorite things in Helsinki, but now it was even better. Since I got my very own bike here, I didn’t have many opportunities to ride it. This time, I rode it every day. And not only because the weather was cooperating, but also because Boris made it a habit for himself, which I was also happy about. I used to nudge him into doing some physical activity daily, and now for the first time, I do not remember since when, although the gym is still closed, I exceeded my move goal every day.

The biking routes were exciting. The first time, I didn’t even try to take pictures. THen I asked Boris if we can do multiple stops next time, but I could not tell in advance where I want to stop, so I only took a third of all the pictures I wanted :). I tried a couple more times, but I still didn’t capture a lot, like four swans, very close to the bike path, or mounted police :).

But whatever I got, here it comes.

First day, first ride
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A Virtual Walk in the Park

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.”

Skating in Helsinki

The weather in Helsinki is extremely mild this winter, and there was barely any snow. Because of that, Boris was still biking almost every day. Before our departure to Cyprus, he asked me how I feel about biking. First, I liked this idea, because it sounded surreal to bike in Helsinki when I was not biking in Palatine for a while. However, although I had proper shoes with me, I lacked other winter-biking equipment, specifically pants, and gloves. My hands are getting frozen even when the temperature is in the 40s, yet along 30s, especially when biking. On Saturday, after we came back, it was sunny and still no snow, but there was a substantial wind. 

I thought that I would be better off going skating in the city center, so when Boris went biking, I got on the train, and in ten minutes, I was by the skating rink. It was minutes past ten, the rink had just opened, and hurray – there was no like! I paid for the skates and skating and hurried up the ice.

It was wonderful! The rink s huge, and ice was perfect; there were very few people, and although I originally planned to skate for just half-an-hour, I ended up skating for the whole hour and could skate more, if I didn’t have to meet Boris for lunch. 

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A Short Stopover in Helsinki

Helsinki is most definitely not on the way to Cyprus – for anybody except me! This time, Boris and I agreed that I will come to Helsinki, and then we fly to Cyprus together. That was another reason I worried a little bit about the flight delay – our flight to Cyprus was at 7-20 AM the next day.

But as I said, everything got resolved. For a long time, I was suspicious about Icelandair initially, but now I like their flights – they are the shortest since they pass the Atlantic closest to the North Pole, and their connections are also quick. And now that I know they do not serve hot meals on board, I am OK with that :). Even this time, with three hours delay, I got to Helsinki at a reasonable time.
I love the new airport transit in Helsinki, especially since I installed the Helsinki Public Transit app :). Now I can buy my ticket on my phone and do not waste time at the station.

You can enter the station straight from the terminal
The trains operate every 5-10 minutes

The same ticket will be good for the train to get me home!