White Nights in Helsinki

Trip Start Aug 19, 1992
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Trip End Aug 19, 2010


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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Saturday, July 29, 2006

The plane to Helsinki is nearly empty, and we all are able to take

window seats to view the lovely islands around Finland. When we arrive,

we're the first through passport control; there is no one at customs. We take a taxi to town; the streets seem very empty.

After checking into our hotel, we immediately head out in search of dinner. Near our hotel are three bars, and all the tables on the pavement are filled with people enjoying the beautiful, warm evening. We continue to walk towards the center of town and find many, many people out and about. Many of the streets are pedestrian-only; the cafes are clean and inviting; many people sit out on the grass in the park, drinking beer and wine.

Since we have a tradition of eating at Mexican restaurants in odd places in the world, we opt for this fare ... the restaurant is actually very crowded; all outdoor and indoor tables are taken. We finally find a place in the hallway of the adjoining mall. The food is, of course, not really Mexican, but the drinks are good.

We wandered after dinner, then had coffee and dessert at an outdoor cafe along one of the main streets. Enjoyed people watching; many people who passed us were on their way to the park; several were clearly drunk. One young man passes us, wearing a carrot suit and pushing a wheelbarrow. He was with a group of friends, so we figured it might be a bachelor party or other initiation rite. Or it could just be his thing.

As lovely as it is, around 2300, we were too tired after an exhausting day, so we decided to return to the hotel. Paul and I fell asleep right away, but the kids apparently stayed up for hours, reading (or should I say "reading") the many different Finnish dialects published in the Gideon's bible. What odd children we have.
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