Wrapping up our Vacation in Helsinki

Here is the conclusion of my last vacation. You can pick up the thread here if you’re just now joining us.

Tallinn day 8

Not much to do today but pack, have a cappuccino in a cafe we like (the Black Poodle in old town), and roll our luggage to the ferry terminal.

Helsinki day 4

We arrived in Helsinki (where we had started our vacation 20 or so days ago) at 4:30 or so. By the time we walked to the hotel, checked in, and showered it was probably around 6:00. We went for a walk. We ended up in a shopping mall that had a Dwok Mongolian Grill, 7.80 for noodles with chicken and shrimp. The food was tasty, kind of like lo mein in a Chinese restaurant in the US only with a lot more chicken and shrimp. The portion was big too making it an excellent value for Finland.

Otherwise not much to report. We were glad that we had booked a hotel on the opposite side of the city than where we stayed before because when we walked we saw different parts of Helsinki.

Helsinki day 5

We first hit a hair salon that carried Knotty Boy products because my wife’s new dreads (she got them in Estonia) were itching here and she’s not supposed to wash them for a few more days. Instead she woke me up at 3:00 AM to complain and then washed them anyway. So we got her some spray to relieve the itch.

Then we walked a ways to the Helsinki City Museum, which we chose because it’s free, for an interesting look at the city’s history. We then saw some interesting shops in the Helsinki Design District and had lunch in Bar Llamas, a Mexican themed place where I had the best chicken soup I’ve ever had in my life.

Then back to the hotel to grab towels and off to the beach. Hietaniemi beach is the busiest one we’ve seen so far in Finland. Interestingly, most of the people there were playing beach volleyball – there were very few people just hanging out on the beach. It was nice to have good beach weather and plenty of sun at 6:00 in the evening. The one or two people in the water looked cold enough that I was happy to lay in the sun for a bit and skip the swim.

Since the Helsinki Festival is going on we were able to find good live music no problem. Just look for “Art goes Kapakka” signs. We went to an Italian restaurant, Vespa, where a pizza and linguini set us back 40 euros. If it hadn’t been for the free music I’d have felt pretty ripped off. But the food was good and the music was good so no complaints. The group was Jazzpartout:

Delicious mix of gipsy swing, Musette waltz and chansons: Mika Huusari (harmonikka), Petri Krzywack and Kimmo Iltanen (guitars) and Matti Tegelman (double bass). The “harmonikka” looked like an accordion, not a harmonica if you were curious.

We stopped by another show but only caught the last song.

Helsinki day 6

Our last day in Helsinki was the last day of our vacation. It was pretty much just eat and get to the airport. We did have an hour or two in the morning where y wife went back to the hair shop to talk to the dreads master. Dreads in Helsinki = 42 euros an hour. My wife’s took 18 hours. Good thing she had them done in Estonia for 200 euros plus another 40 euros for the tip (though I certainly realize that’s not cheap either).

We visited a flea market and a building with some vendors selling antiques and then had some fun trying to find the bus to the airport from Helsinki Central Station. That place could really use some better signage.

We arrived at Incheon, had the dog hotel owner pick us up, got our furkids, and drove home. The dog hotel stuff worked out real well for us. We do have one additional dog as of today so next time it may be more complicated and expensive though.

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