HELSINKI, FINLANDMay 1 in Finland
Wow. This is a fantastic city! I have totally underestimated Finland. In 2017, Finland was rated the 5th happiest country in the world. It has one of the best educational outcomes on a global scale as well. In other words, they are doing something right.
We are lucky to have unwittingly arrived during the public holiday of ‘May Day.’ This is a big thing here in Helsinki. On May Day Eve, the city comes alive with people. During the day it was warm-ish and sunny. We rented City Bikes and rode around people-watching, wondering why there were an increasing amount of people wearing sailor’s hats, and why the many statues all had sailor hats on. We stopped at Market Hall for some famous Finnish salmon soup (yum!) and eventually came back to the flat for a mid-afternoon rest. By 6pm we were out again, and the streets were packed! Most people were wearing sailor-looking hats (which actually are something uni-related), and all the engineering students (of which there are many) wear brightly-coloured work overalls covered in patches. Everyone seemed to be carrying a large bottle of alcohol. Buskers played accordions. There was a musician who played glass bottles. Bands were parading down the street- most notably a drum band whose conductor was dressed in an inflatable dinosaur costume. Someone had filled the main fountain with laundry detergent. Groups of students were singing. Weird and wonderful people-watching. The boys played soccer in the square for a bit. Memorable day.
Today (May Day) was cold and rainy. The City was amazingly cleaned up after all of the partying, but it was very quiet and much was closed. A good day for doing homework with the boys.
At the airport, about to board for Rome. It is a sunny Spring day in Helsinki, good memories. Jesse is hobbling about. He had a sore leg after a stack on the last day skiing, but seemed to be recovering. After an hour's soccer the other day the injury has reared up again. Buz reckons it may be a hairline fracture of the fibula... which you can't do much about but stay off it. Not ideal for Rome! We are looking at crutches, but the pharmacist told us that you need to get them prescribed by a doctor here. We shall see what they do in Italy!
Ambled around the National Museum of Finland yesterday to school ourselves up on Suomi history. The gist is that it had an interesting prehistoric past, typically dark and religious middle ages where bring poor would have sucked abysmally, then found Itself in the middle of a tug of war between Sweden and Russia for its land. So pretty impressive they have maintained their identity and language. And possibly why they seem to be such adaptable people.
Also, amazing vintage shops! Bought 3 dresses for 6 euro! I can't wait to alter them a bit when I get my hands on a sewing machine. I think only getting 3 shows my level of restraint. Buz disagrees.
Anyway, 'kittos' Finland for a great stay!Read more