OK, so you’ve been in Helsinki for a few days now. You are done with the museums, bought the whole Marimekko summer collection, and enjoyed Scandinavian cuisine far too much. You have just woken up in your fluffy hotel bed, feeling slightly guilty for all this overindulging. Suddenly, your are overwhelmed by the urge to burn off the one too many fried herrings and Finnish vodka snaps, you had the night before. It is about time to re-connect your tortured urban soul with nature. Do something different. But what? Go where? The answer is “Pihlajasaari” (Finnish for “Rowan Island”), a little gem a stone’s throw from Helsinki. A perfect destination for people traveling with or without kids.
A few months ago, a classmate in my Swedish class mentioned that a Hanami (Japanese for “flower-viewing”) Festival will take place on May 18th, at the Roihuvuori Cherry Tree Park, in the outskirts of Helsinki. To be honest, I don’t really care much about flowers, unless it’s my wife’s birthday or our wedding anniversary. Then I’d better care about flowers, otherwise I might end up sleeping on the sofa for the rest of the year.
Today is Restaurant Day in Finland, as well in many other countries around the world. Restaurant Day is about people cooking for their neighbors, workmates, friends or complete strangers. It is also about bringing people together in a massive celebration of food, and in many cases, really good food. What it really amazes me about Restaurant Day in Finland, is how popular it has become in a span of only 3 years, and how it has changed people’s attitudes towards the concept of sharing, of getting together to have a bite and do some catching up with our mates, extended family etc. It is also a great opportunity to try different cuisines from around the world, without spending a fortune, as the case usually is, especially inFinland, where eating out is expensive and quality does not often meet your expectations.