So After 24 hours of travel I arrived in Helsinki to Aliisa and her dad waiting at the airport. My first impression when approaching to land was that this is the land of a million lakes. They are everywhere. Also ... the trees are rugged an abundant. It instantly reminded me of the west coast minus the mountains. The airport was totally different than the one in Amsterdam where I had my layover. Amsterdam must be a hub to Europe as it was totally packed, and with people from all over the world. Helsinki's airport is Zen. There were sounds of chirping birds being played over the speakers in the washrooms. I mean .... who else does that!!
Ok ..... once in the car we went on a mini tour before getting to Aliisa's place. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday so we went into the city and drove around the harbour and other areas .... which I am of course not familiar with yet ..... with aliisa pointing out the sites all along the way. The architecture is amazing. The buildings are very angular and pastel. And you can tell right away that this city has a lot of stories to tell about time long past. The streets of cobblestone .... horse and carriage garages ..... the older architecture etc etc.
Once at Aliisa's it was nice to relax and stretch out a bit. After a quick nap to recharge we went for a short walk exploring the neighborhood. She lives about 4 km's from the city centre but you would never know it. It's a very quite residential area made up mostly of flats.
OK, I'll wrap this up as it's is getting a bit wordy ..... I have to brush up on my blogging skills :) So, to sum up, my first impressions are that Helsinki is a clean, tidy, organized city rich with history. There is of course a European flare and the connection with nature is obvious as there are parks everywhere. I'm looking forward to seeing and learning more about Finland and the rest of Scandinavia.
Forgive any mistakes ....... I'm writing this at 4 am. Jet lag sucks!! :)
Walking on the rocks near Aliisa's Apartment