Monday, December 19, 2016

Helsinki, Pt. 1

Helsinki, Finland
At the beginning of the month I went on a spontaneous trip to Helsinki, Finland. It wasn't completely last-minute, but, for me, three-weeks notice is pretty impulsive. I had received a message from my aunt a few weeks prior asking if I would be able to take off work for a few days to meet her and my uncle in Helsinki. Since Russia has obnoxious visa requirements it was easier for me to go to Finland than her to come to Russia. The timing couldn't have been better! I just finished with one of my adult classes, so I didn't have to take any time off of work.


The flight to Helsinki was rather uneventful. It actually went by rather quickly. Helsinki is closer to Moscow than Ufa is to Moscow! It still blows my mind how big Russia actually is. I arrived in Helsinki around 1 pm. I arrived in Helsinki later than expected because of Sheremetyevo Airport. Funny story about the airport. They took us on a bus to the airplane in a completely new area of the airport. It was at least a 15 minute drive. I guess it's not that funny, but it was strange. They also had to de-ice the plane which took about 10 minutes. Despite all that, the travel went by quickly.
My aunt, uncle, and I went to our hotel, and quickly mapped out our day. Since it's December and Finland's daylight only lasts a few hours we knew we needed to get out fast to take advantage of the few daylight hours that were left. It was about 2 or 3 pm when these pictures were taken! We walked from our hotel to Helsinki Cathedral, Senate Square, and the National Library of Finland. All three are in the same vicinity so we didn't need to go far. They are all free to visit as well. The National Library is free, and they allow you to take pictures, you just need to leave your coats and bags in the cloak room. Also, sorry for the horrible quality of the photos. I still can't take pictures indoors. I recommend checking out the National Library. It is so beautiful and contains so many amazing collections of books. Plus, I'm always a fan of free!
Afterwards, we headed towards Esplanadi and Market Square where my aunt and uncle had been previously. We looked at the small market, and then tried to find something to eat. It was a lot harder to find something to eat than we thought. Since it was dark and my body was still on Ufa time I felt like it was 8 pm when it was only 3 or 4. We ended up eating at Aino where I ate the most delicious creamy salmon soup! Afterwards, we walked through Esplanadi and looked at some of the Christmas lights. Then, we headed back to our hotel. We didn't do much because it was cold and dark, and, honestly, it was just nice to be able to see family. I haven't seen anyone in my family since I went to Spain last December, and I have seen my aunt and uncle in an even longer time since they live in San Francisco.
Before I visited Helsinki I contacted two expat bloggers for suggestions on what to do. Brittany from Celebrating Daily and Amy from Newlyfleds were extremely helpful in responding to my e-mails and giving me advice.

Have you been to Helsinki? Where did you go? If you haven't, is it on your list?

6 comments

  1. That is so awesome you went to Finland! I'm seriously living through you, I admire how many places you travel to! And I love the photos you took, even the indoor ones. The library looks absolutely wonderful. The ceiling and architecture is breathtaking! I'm so glad for you that you got to see your family!

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    1. I'm living through you too! I think you are more brave than me being in Korea without anyone!

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  2. What a cool getaway, Jasilyn! :) My family is originally from Finland, so I'd love to go there someday and meet all the distant relatives. Can't wait to read part 2 of this series!

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    1. Really?! Ah! You definitely have to go! It's really expensive but worth it! :)

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  3. Love these photos! It looks beautiful there.

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    1. You would love Helsinki! All the art and design is right up your alley!

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