The big day!

Helsinki Travel Blog

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I love the fact that all signs here are in Finnish & also Swedish
Finally, the holiday I have been looking forward to for so long. Finland; the home of metal; my favourite genre of music and the reason for visiting at this time: to see one of my favourite bands Children of Bodom in concert in Tampere. Plus the need to begin to satisfy my longstanding obsession and desire to visit all the Nordic countries! It was also my belated birthday celebrations after my 'special birthday' in March, so all in all a pretty epic trip in the making. I hope I hadn't hyped everything all out of proportion in my mind!

After a hitch-free and very pleasant flight with Finnair, in which I enjoyed a nice chitchat with the middle-aged, Finnish gentleman sat next to me, who requested my assistance translating some Dutch legal documents!, we began our descent into a snowy Helsinki accompanied by a mixed bag of emotions, mainly excitement, surprise at the snow which hadn't been forecast plus worry that I hadn't packed adequately, ie.
Helsinki railway station
Enough warm clothes! We left a very warm, clement Netherlands behind to discover Winter still very much in full swing in Finland, which is a delight for me as I much prefer the cold, Winter months!

Our journey continued via a bus ride from the airport to Helsinki railway station, from there a 2 hour train ride North to the city of Tampere, thoroughly enjoying the scenery along the way: beautiful, brightly coloured wooden houses nestled between the snow-topped trees. I lost count of the number of times I uttered the words ''That one! I'll buy that one when I win the lottery!'' Unfortunately it was rather misty and murky with dusk falling around us, so I was unable to obtain any decent photos through the windows of the train.

In short, 11 hours later (including +1 hour time difference) we arrived at our hotel in Tampere, thoroughly relieved after a rather stressful journey at times due to cancelled trains and unnecessary delays to begin with in The Netherlands (Thanks NS!) However any anxieties/concerns we had melted away instantly upon our entrance into the hotel.
Most favourable review in the entry below!

It was late evening by the time we'd checked into the hotel and unpacked our belongings, local supermarkets had already closed, but fortunately we stumbled upon a pizza place in the neighbourhood 20 minutes prior to closing time. 'Happy Pizza' was a standard, cheap and cheerful establishment but it looked clean and inviting, the chap working there was ever so friendly, providing us with two large pizzas but only charging us for the small sizes. Great start to the holiday! However I think our order got a little lost in translation as I requested a topping with salami or pepperoni, which it did to be fair, but also tuna?! My other half ordered some kind of meat feast but didn't ask what kind of meat would be included. Risky business! I can safely say even after we both sampled it, neither of us could christen the peculiar taste. Though I'm not a huge red meat eater so it could have been reindeer for all I knew! Nonetheless they were both very tasty. An early night then ensued to prepare for the week ahead.

moshers_moll says:
Great taste in music you have! \m/
Posted on: Feb 20, 2011
where-to-go-fmd says:
The best music ever !! Love this country !
Posted on: Feb 20, 2011
moshers_moll says:
Excellent! Hope you have a great time, I'm envious. Really wish I was back there now :)
Posted on: Jun 27, 2010
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I love the fact that all signs her…
I love the fact that all signs he…
Helsinki railway station
Helsinki railway station
photo by: portia