Every year in early October, Helsinki’s harbor and Market Square transforms into a lively, colorful, maritime-themed set, complete with wooden fishing boats and good-looking traditional sailing boats. Fishermen from Finland’s archipelago and coastal towns and little villages, bring their latest fish catch to Helsinki to take part in the capital’s annual Baltic Herring Festival (“Silakkamarkkinat” in Finnish).
The group of islands that form Suomenlinna Fortress is one of Helsinki’s most popular destinations. Suomenlinna is easily accessible by ferry from Helsinki harbor, and the ride takes less than 15 minutes. In addition to being enlisted in UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a unique monument of military architecture, there are two other good reasons for visiting.
I’m going to be honest with you. I love Finland. I love Finns, Finnish nature, Finnish culture, and to some extend, Finnish food too. What I am not particularly fond of is Finnish Midsummer (Summer Solstice). The fact that someone purposedly travels to a mosquito-infested area, just to experience a “traditional midsummer” in the countryside, remains another inexplicable finnish mystery to me. And it is not only the mosquitoes that put me off. The weather in June has this tendency of being on the cool side. And this year, the tendency is far too obvious.