Archive Page 2

Helsinki

There’s no denying that Helsinki in November is a dismal place weather-wise, but it’s hard to argue with the beauty of it’s architecture and atmosphere. The countries closeness to Russia is truly apparent in it’s ornate buildings, wide streets and exotic feel. The orange roofs and domes can fool you into thinking that you’re in St.Petersburg. I remarked to several people that Helsinki reminds me of the film Dr. Zhivago and so it does because it was filmed here.

Where are all the people you ask? They are all inside the cafes drinking gloggi and eating pastries with the heat turned up to max. After we took these photos we visited the beautiful little place on the esplanadi in the photos and video. It’s lovely to open a door and have a blast of hot air hit you in the face, smell cinnamon buns cooking and order a mug of steaming hot red wine with a lit candle at the table. It instantly cheered me up.

Okay, okay

I know all you guys really want to see if photos of Helsinki.. ad to tell you the truth we haven’t really gotten our photo gear setup enough to get good photos yet.. I could just blame it all on my new Nokia E71 and the pile of garbage camera it has (which will be the topic of another post). Now, though, we have a proper digital camera and Christen’s iPhone (wow, a camera phone that actually takes pictures good enough to keep) as back up, so we are good to go.. until we get back to Helsinki for a little photo shoot, here are a couple photos we have already managed to take.

Mc D’s

The Finns love fast food. You can’t go too far with out seeing a McDonalds or local equivalent, Hess Burger.

The Chicago Star is not quite as good as my personal favorite the Texas Grande.

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Weekend trip to Porvoo

This past weekend we all packed into our car and headed off to Porvoo, Finland’s second oldest town. Established in 1346 Porvoo was an important trading town that was repeatedly ransacked by the all sorts of people throughout history but fortunately survived to become the beautiful town it is today. Porvoo is full of wooden houses and cobble stone streets and with it’s riverside settling sort of reminded me of Nantucket town..

We were able to get in and out between rain showers (this is after all November in Finland). Porvoo is defiantly a place we’ll go back to during the summer, and if any of you come visit.. this will be one of our tourist stops.

Furniture..

Wow. Tomorrow if we have any luck our world will change. We get our furniture! For the past few weeks we have been making use of i) random work stool we bought at IKEA and ii) a bench we found in our sauna. Yes – we have a sauna – this is Finland!

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Sunday walk

Sunday was beautiful fall day here in Finland – we we went for a little tour of our neighborhood. We found a nice little seaside walkway and took Bobo for a walk. One thing we have noticed here in Finland, is that there are walking trails everywhere.. and when I mean everywhere, I mean everywhere. Christen and I have come to call them gnome trails.. more on that later. For now here are some pictures of our walk this afternoon.

Bear Steak

There are all sorts of exotic things one can eat in Finland… Reindeer, fried herring, lignin berries and or course – bear. Now, I never really knew people ate bear but when presented the opportunity to have some at one of Helsinki’s finest restaurants how could I say no.

So this past Saturday Christen and I went into town to eat at Saslik, an old Russian restaurant that has become one the the Helsinki’s cooking institutions (and despite the fact that Finns don’t eat out much, there are some halfway decent places to eat here).

Saslik itself is often described in guide books as a step back in time to Tsarist era Russia.. and that’s pretty mush what we found inside. Velvet walls, overstuffed chairs, oil paintings of the old Royal family on the wall, accordion players and of course – lots of Vodka.

The bear steak wasn’t cheap. 80 Euro. But I figure this was pretty much a once in a life-time thing so I indulged (though I held off on the caviar). Bear meat was very, very gamey. It had a real strong taste I am not sure I liked very much.. But – over all the food was excellent. Christen really liked her chicken Kiev.. and the side dishes were good.

So there you go. Bear at a Russian restaurant in Helsinki. The photos below are a little dark – but it should give you an idea.