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Travel blog I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but I'm intercontinental and I eat French toast (Beastie Boys) | | | Photos available at www.istockphoto.com/georgeclerk

Me Thinki, Helsinki

FINLAND | Sunday, 16 September 2007 | Views [2934] | Comments [2]

WTF Magazine. Welcome to Finland indeed!

Helsinki seems like a great place, despite the chilly Baltic wind that blows from time to time.

Having done some tourist bits on Saturday, I headed out later for my first full-on night out, mainly at a huge, traditional pub with a live venue upstairs. They have an odd system of charging here - entry is free, and the cloakroom is a few Euros. But you have to pay at the cloakroom even if you have no cloak, so it's basically just a cover charge. Upstairs they had a blackjack table, so I set myself a limit of 20 Euros ready to lose it, but somehow managed to leave with 55 Euros, through total spawnyness.

Alko - Finland's state owned monopoly off license, and the only place licensed to sell beer over 4.7%, wines and spirits. Good name!

When he was chatting, the croupier talked exclusively about Formula 1 (very popular here, I saw a chap dressed completely as Lewis Hamilton, with the full Sparco suit complete with all advertising). The croupier wasn't a fan of Hamilton though, but he pleased the two friendly Spaniards at the table by going on about Alonso - 'He a real Race Driver!', and tried to appease me by saying that Coultard had qualified 12th!

Anyway, when I left the pub Helsinki was in full Saturday night streets packed with drunkards getting kebabs mode, and I promptly managed to get completely lost on my way back, but I eventually found my way after walking around for some time!

Unfortunately I didn't make it to the tourist attraction in Espoo called 'The Weegee House'. See: www.weegee.fi

They've got a great city bike scheme, you pay a 2 Euro deposit to unlock a bike, then you get it back when you return the bike to any one of the stands that are all over the city.

Good placenames here as well - my favourite is Töölö (this street goes there), but Espoo and Porvoo are good too. Most things seem to end in 'i' though.

Unfortunately the afternoon of the day I arrived was the only sunny period, the other two days have been overcast and mostly raining. Managed to get some iStockPhoto-graphing done though. Seems like there's plenty to see here.

This large UFO landed just before I arrived - here's a photo from today...

Nah, it's actually a church - Temppeliaukion Kirkko - which is cut right down into the rock. Pretty impressive inside. The photo in the dark above is genuine... but not taken by me!

Will - that's the best I could do, there's at least one more in the photo gallery... bet you can't pronounce that right to the end!

And to finnish... hadn't heard of this Scottish whisky before I came to Helsinki...

Tags: On the Rails

Comments

1

Is there any kind of Baltic wind other than a chilly one?
Loving the blog so far mate. Great photos too. I was expecting a pun using 'finnish' and you didn't disappoint, although you kept me waiting till the end. The finnish, surprisingly enough.

  Kevin Sep 18, 2007 4:23 AM

2

What a flash back! I remember those crazy bikes - not too comfortable as the wheels are solid rubber! Great photos, and have a vodka for me.

  Lorraine Sep 21, 2007 12:07 AM

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