hello, helsinki…

Tulips at the Klaus K Hotel, Helsinki, Finland.

I recently had the pleasure of going to Helsinki. Wait. Let me start over. Recently, I was invited to go to Helsinki. Where? Helsinki. As in Finlandia. As in, “I can see Russia from my house.” Or the hotel room in my case.

Here were a few takeaways from my trip I wanted to share with you. Random thoughts and observations from my three days in this beautiful city…

Helsinki is far away. Like far away. I left California in the afternoon and got there in the evening. The NEXT day.

When you tell people you’re going to Helsinki, they will say, “WHERE?” Followed by, “WHY?”

The weather there is in Celsius, so while -4 degrees seems really cold, it’s like going to Tahoe Minneapolis.

Finnish people speak English. And very well.

Umlauts are all over the place.

Gas prices are in litres not gallons. So 1.54 may seem cheap, but it really isn’t.

During the winter months, the Baltic Sea is frozen. At least the part I saw.

Helsinki is 10 hours ahead of us folks in California. This equates to some serious jet lag.

Helsinkians are locavorians. I am making a gross generalization, but their food is some of the healthiest I’ve ever had. Except for the laskiaispulla, which is covered in almond paste, jam, whipped cream and a shit ton of sprinkles.

Even Helsinki cannot escape Angry Birds.

Finnish folks love to design and they’re damn good at it. They gave us Marimekko, iitalia and iPhone 4 covers. No Android one…yet.

Helsinki is the Design Capital of 2012.

Saunas are a big part of Finnish culture. It’s a way for them to relax and do business and they are everywhere.

Like any European country, Finnish folks party until 4AM.

Finns are very humble and modest. They believe in building long term relationships, and honesty is a virtue.

There is a small population of Swedes who live in Finland. And they speak Swedish.

Marimekko display, Louis Vuitton reflection.

I’ll be going back to Finland in a few weeks where I’ll spend a full two weeks there. I’m starting to learn the very basics in Finnish, like “thank you,” “I’m getting train sick, please stop,” and “hello.” And I hope to see more of the country and possibly take the train to St. Petersburg to hang out with the Putin protestors. In the meantime, you can see more photos here.


12 thoughts on “hello, helsinki…

  1. So awesome! I remember my European geography class in the 5th grade… I know exactly where Finland is:) And it actually sounds like a pretty cool place to visit.

    Especially if they serve stuff with almond paste and a shit ton of sprinkles on it. I am all over that.


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