It has been a really miserable winter in Belgium, while in Finland there was a hefty season of below -20°c and loads of snow. Somewhere in the midway of January I had the idea, that we definitely need to go and find some snow in Finland! A good flight connection appeared for last weekend and so we went. Off to a mini
holiday in Finland, with the goal of meeting my friends and family and snow.
When the time to go came, the real harsh winter had stepped aside, and I was afraid we would only get to enjoy the grey and rainy side of
Helsinki.. We landed during the night to the snow covered airport, greeted by a huge convoy of snowplows, a surprisingly handsome sight! And most importantly, no rain or grey weather!
Our dear friend had offered to house us over our stay, right at the heart of
the hippie district of Helsinki; Kallio. Once we crawled in, there was a night snack waiting for us and a very intriguing TV show about gigolos. You should never keep your telly open later than the midnight on a Saturday…
We only had two full days to spend in Finland, and a huge bunch of people to meet. Sunday, being the first day was planned full of eating related activities. After our host pampered us with breakfast we moved down for a brunch, where we were supposed to meet some other friends too, our dear hiking companions from Tampere. Brunch was taking place in one of the cosy corners of Kallio, in a place called Oiva. Oiva offers one of those brunches you will need for the killing of a massive hungover. The brunch is massive, buttery, meaty, hearty, comforting and huge. As well as delicious. If you happen to be in a need of such in Helsinki, go visit Oiva.
The eating did not stop there. After a short stroll around town it was time to meet some of my family members. The part of family, that still carries a lot of the hospitality of the people of Karelia. Meaning food, food as much as you can eat. On top of that brunch. Oh deary me, were we full after that!
After that short hangaround, we shifted our wobbly, whaleish bodies back to where we originally came from, only to sit on a dinner table, with some old, and newer friends. Our kind host had prepared some delicacies while we were eating out. Dinner was very Italian, trying to deceive us into thinking it was light, by hiding among a fruity snack. Failing miserably after introducing mud cake and profiteroles as desserts. By that time, both Waffle and me had gained 5 kilos.
After such a feeding we felt the need for some light activities, to get things going again. We headed for Espoo, stopped by a friend to have a second breakfast and entertain a stay at homer mom. Handily we were rather close to
Nuuksio National Park, the perfect location for a afternoon walk.
The day was sunny with occasional snowfall, absolutely beautiful setting for walking. The forest was pretty as a picture, with pillows of snow on the trees, sounds muffled by the snow cover on the ground, and absolutely no one around. Trail taking us to a few bonds and swamps. That was our relaxation moment in the midst of balancing the timetable of seeing friends and relatives and food. In the evening we were ordered back to the city center of Helsinki, drinking some nice Finnish beers and and chatting with who ever happened to come by. You know, those basic things you do. That night we stayed at one of my relatives, the sauna at his place was just the cherry on top for that day.
Tuesday came all too fast. Our last mission was to meet the last of my family and some more food. After some guitar solos and hearty conversations we needed to leave.
Always when I return to Finland, I get the feeling, that I am home. It is still my home country and the silence of the nature is the best remedy for my soul. Now I got my winter, which I was missing in Belgium and got to see my lovely friends, who magically always find some time to see me, thank you for that!