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Helsinki: Day Four

Posted on Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Dave!I didn't think that Helsinki was that much closer to the North Pole than home, but I was wrong. Sunset here is around 10:30pm, which means it's light out until 11:00pm. Usually I like the idea of wandering around a city at dusk because the light is so fantastic for photos, but can't seem to get motivated to go for a walk an hour before midnight.

But anyway...

Yesterday I made such grandiose plans for today.

Finland has hundreds of islands floating off its coast, so I was keen to take some kind of cruise that would let me see some of them. The cruise I found is a three-hour excursion up the coast to the town of Porvoo, and seemed to be exactly what I was wanting. Just look at all the cool islands and stuff along the way...

Finnish Coast
Map taken from Google Maps!

But then I woke up this morning and the last thing I wanted to do was climb on a boat for three hours, then slog around a tourist-trap city for two hours, then spend another three hours on a boat back to Helsinki. There just isn't enough islands in all of Finland to make that sound appealing. Especially after the trip to Estonia yesterday.

So I down-sized my plans and thought that a 90-minute harbor cruise would be a better option for me.

But as I was getting ready to walk to the South Harbor, I admitted to myself that even 90 minutes on a boat crawling with tourists was too much.

So I down-sized my plans once again and decided to eat lots of Finnish pastries today.

The pastries here are pretty amazing. I especially like the Karelian pies, which have a thin crust filled with some kind of sticky rice and an egg glaze on top... not overly sweet, but tasty. Today I went for something different, and ended up with the Finnish version of a cinnamon roll, and some kind of twisty sparkly donut that had anise (licorice) flavoring...

Finnish Pastry

After wandering around the neighborhood shops for a while, I decided to go back to the hotel for a nap before lunch. Since I'll be headed home this weekend, I might as well start prepping myself for the time change.

But mostly I just felt like being lazy for once.

Lunch was pizza at a really good Italian joint just down the street from my hotel. As I was waiting for my order to cook, I looked up and saw the Chick-Fil-A cows drawn on a chalkboard next to a sketch of Sophia Loren for no reason at all...

Mor Chikin

Random stuff like this really makes my day.

But not quite as much as stopping in the corner market for a Coke and some chips only to find Cheese Balls with a penis-shaped mascot and MINIPUSSI...

Mini Pussi!

Delicious! And just right. I'm so glad I didn't splurge and get the MAXIPUSSI.

After my late lunch, I wandered around the city some more, snapping a few pictures for duck soup. It was all good until I got back to my hotel and found out that my camera somehow got set to 32-BAZILLION ISO, so everything was all grainy...

Grainy Photo

Lesson learned. Check your ISO every time you take out your camera. I'm just thankful that this happened on shots that I already had... if it had happened for my entire Estonia trip I would be freaking out.

When it came time for dinner, I just wasn't hungry enough to justify paying $40 for something to eat. Instead I decided that I wanted an OREO McFlurry for dinner. Unfortunately, the local McDonalds didn't have OREO. I was given choices of "licorice" or "powder" or "Smarties candies." Licorice didn't sound appetizing as a McFlurry flavor. Powder had me concerned that it was a cocaine-based flavor, and I needed to get my sleep tonight. So I went with Smarties, which are kinda like M&M's back home... but not really, as the flavor is different (and the chocolate firmer, but smoother and less sugary). It was totally delicious, and my day had been made.

Until I was walking back to my hotel and got attacked by this thing...

Wacky Wiggler Helsinki

As I was making my way past it, the tube deflated and smacked me on the head. I took a step back and was getting ready to beat the crap out of it, but decided I didn't want to spend my last night in Helsinki in jail.

Turns out advertising here is just as annoying as it is back home.

Except when it isn't, because most times I find Finnish and Estonian ads to be oddly subdued. They definitely want to keep your expectations in check...

Expectations in Advertising

Finnish Ad: Probably best in town.

Estonian Ad: Decent bowl of elk soup.

I'll bet the ads for escort services here are a real hoot.

And now I suppose I should start packing my suitcase and getting ready for my flight back to DutchyLand tomorrow. Given how utterly lazy I've been all day today, that's going to take a major effort.

Maybe I should just do that in the morning?

Yeah. This can totally wait until morning.



I never learn.

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Categories: Travel 2013Click To It: Permalink


  1. i can’t stop giggling at you getting whacked in the head by the inflatable thingy! HIGH-LARRY-US! (says the girl who never got whacked by the inflatable thingy.)

  2. martymankins says:

    Nothing like eating a bag of MINIPUSSI before having a Smarties McFlurry.

    Safe travels to you.

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