Sunday, February 22, 2015

Helsinki, Turku, Happy Lunar New Year!

These past couple of days I spent some time in Helsinki and Turku.  Helsinki I'm no stranger to, I've been there maybe five or six times now.  It's an awesome city, the Finnish are simply incredible at design and that resonates with me.  Turku in its hay day used to be the capital of Finland, now they have approximately 175 000 residents living there and from the looks of it, a substantial student population during the day I was there.  It's about 200km away from Helsinki and buses and trains run there pretty often.

This time I visited the Natural History Museum, National Museum, went x-country skiing in Palohein√§, Turku Castle, Turku Cathedral and also did a countdown of Chinese New Year from Kamppi.  Plus ate a lot of food of course.

16th Feb Flew to Helsinki via Finnair.  The airport in Gardemoen was frankly quite dead, I'd never seen anything like it, not that many people at all.  My flight was in the evening though.  Later at night it was tricky trying to find the apartment, I didn't get in until past midnight.

Waiting to board!

Lighted paper statues near Kamppi.

17th Feb Went to Fuku sushi for buffet lunch.  Then walked to the Natural History Museum.  They have impressive dinosaur statues there on the uppermost floor.  And a skeleton of the now extinct Steller's sea cow, one of only 7 in the world.  Dinner was Char Kway Teow (go on... try and say it!) at Singapore wok.  Watched "Jupiter Ascending" after dinner.

Skeletons of various animals.


18th Feb Caught the bus to Palohein√§ which is a popular spot for skiing.  Ski'd for 3 hours or so.  I went on three different tracks, finished off with the intermediate track.  I was pretty bummed at this point and fell down a few times.   My fastest speed was over 30km/h.  Of course I was the only Asian there, which I'm pretty used to by now at this point.  Thereafter caught the bus back to Kamppi and caught the Chinese New Year celebrations and countdown.  Apparently this is the 9th year this has taken place in Helsinki.  Had some food at the food stalls, there were a lot of people.  Also did the countdown, that was cool.  Later during the evening watched "Kingsman: The Secret Service".  Also ate the same dinner as the day before.

Somewhere in the forest...

I was skiing...

Chinese New Year celebration and countdown near Kamppi.  Lots of people!

19th Feb  Buffet at Scandic Marski and visited the National Museum.  The evening movie was "Unbroken" which is an inspiring movie about Louis Zamperini.  Dinner was at Singapore Wok again, but this time I ordered bee hoon (vermicelli).  Also stopped at Tortilla House, talked with the two guys working there, who were Mormon!  One of them is moving to Utah next month.  After that visited the  Tiger shop in Kamppi which sells all sorts of interesting things, before watching "Unbroken".  It's a pretty good movie, I recommend watching it if you haven't.  Inspirational.

National Museum


World's oldest net, circa 4000 BC

20th Feb Early start to the day and arrived in Turku around 11am using Onnibus.  Caught the bus to the Castle and spent several hours there, then back to Market Square and to the Cathedral.  Finally caught the bus back to Caribia and ate pizza at Kotipizza while waiting for the bus.  The pizza was alright, frankly I've had better.  Later back in Kamppi grabbed some McDonald's, since everything was pretty much shut.  I settled for a "Fillet-o-fish".

Turku Castle

Turku Cathedral

21st Feb Woke up at 5am and caught the 6:40am bus to the airport.  It was surprisingly packed, the flight was full and there were many people in the airport.  Walked around a bit and saw some cool sleeping pods, nice!  Bought some provisions, chocolate, sandwich and a smoothie before boarding.  Arrived home around 11am local time.  Bloody tired as anything but it was a really good couple of days.

Sleeping pods, comes with free shoes! (No not really, the one on the right is occupied)

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