When you think of “Helsinki” or “Finland”, what comes to mind? When I used to think of Finland, I really imagined something similar to Canada; an outdoorsy culture (where winter is at the center of most activities), reindeer, and Olaf from Frozen. Yes, Olaf. Because why wouldn’t you imagine a cartoon snowman when you think of “Finland”?
It was mostly sunny, though not very warm, when I was in Finland. So, when I got to the center of Helsinki, crowds of tourists were out and about. Helsinki has a beautiful shop culture, with a seafood market close to its historical center. The salmon is, undoubtedly, amazing. Although I wouldn’t say Finnish cuisine is my favourite, I did appreciate the variety, the seafood, and the love for potatoes.
After a full day of touring the center of Helsinki, we were gifted a miserably rainy day. My friend and I decided to use that time to relax before heading to a Finnish cottage for the weekend. Similar to Canada, heading to the cottage in the summertime seems to be the norm for Finns who have accesses to cottages. So, I was lucky enough to see that side of Finnish life! Having been brought up on several summers at a cottage, or campsite, it felt like being a kid again.
In addition to visiting Finland for personal reasons, I also got to attend a conference related to technology. It was fascinating to see all of these people, from various parts of (mostly Northern) Europe, speak only in English. I realized how fortunate I am to be able to visit a completely foreign country and have everyone there be speaking the language I’m the most comfortable with. And the topic of the conference was also fascinating, and will be something I will maybe talk about in the future!
So, if you have the chance to visit Helsinki for a day or two, it’s worth checking out.
More photos from Finland below: