I love this city
We are leaving this afternoon again to South Africa. It is ski holiday next week here in Finland, and we are taking the opportunity to grab some sun!
Unfortunately our flights go through Paris and then Johannesburg before getting to Cape Town, but we save money with this route. I am in Cape Town for 10 days and like last time, Milja is able to spend a few more days there. She comes back the next week.
Armed with the new camera, we took a whole lot of photos while Mum was here. Milja has put a selection on Facebook. Here is the link…
Mum came for a very short, but fun, visit. She arrived very late on Wednesday, or very early on Thursday, I suppose, and left earlier this afternoon.
On Thursday we woke up to Valentine’s cards and presents, and then headed into Helsinki. We had a bit of a walk around Stockmann, as you do, and then went to Anttila to buy our new camera. We had a bit of an issue with money, as Mum didn’t have a her passport which is needed for credit card purchases over 50€, but after gathering money from a few different sources we bought the camera. It is a superb camera, and our first SLR. Check it out.
Yesterday we ate a lot. We had lunch and a lovely afternoon with Raija and Ervo, then dinner and a lovely evening at Nonna, Laura’s mum’s house, with Laura, the triplets, Nonna and Leif and Timo and Riitta. We had a very Finnish meal and I liked the reindeer. Yummy.
Today we had lunch in the middle of Helsinki with Laura and Lara and Elle (Nooni is ill). We went to a great cafe/restaurant/bar on Esplanadi, Helsinki’s own mini Central Par, Kappeli. More great food!
We dropped Mum off in Helsinki again a couple of hours ago. She will be in Tampere soon for her flight which leaves in a few hours time. It was fun having someone staying with us again, and to see Mum in Finland. Next is Lauren who is heading this way in early April.
I handed back the lovely Nokia N82 a few weeks ago, and went back to my old phone. It was great to test such a high quality phone, and took hundreds of photos with its very capable camera.
A week later, Laura brought me a new phone, this time the Nokia 5310…
I only have this one for this week, and will apparently get another tester phone this coming weekend. This 5310 is primarily a music phone (hence the buttons on the side) and is a mid-range model. It’s very thin and light and has all the features you would expect from a Nokia phone. Milja and I spent a long time playing the City Bloxx game that comes on the phone.
We went to Sweden on a cruise on Sunday evening with Raija and Ervo. It travels overnight, gives us the day in Stockholm, then travels back the next night. Minna is a club member and had a free cruise this month.
One of my favourite parts of the trip is the huge buffet dinner. Although it costs over 30 euros, it is well worth it. If you pace yourself, like we all did, then it is easily possible to have four plates of main course and at least two plates of dessert. Also, wine is free and there is beer on tap, followed by as much coffee and tea as you can handle.
The sea was quite rough on the trip out. We were going to stay up and wait for the Beatles tribute band, The Apple Pies, who were playing at 11:30pm, but I was feeling quite seasick (the first time ever on one of these cruises), and we headed back to the cabin early. Ervo had been happily snoring already since 8pm :)
We had a brief trip to Stockholm. We went to Gallerian shopping centre, had a look around and had some lovely soup for lunch. Then we wandered back to the bus station to wait for our return to the ship.
Luckily the boat ride back to Helsinki wasn’t so rough and after our many-course buffet meal (and after Ervo had fallen asleep while Raija and I read and Milja played on my phone) we went to watch the band play in the casino and played cards. The Beatles tribute band came on, but wasn’t as impressive as we had hoped and we left to get some sleep.
Yesterday morning we got off the ship, got a taxi home, had some breakfast with Ervo and Raija and then left home. Dexter had stayed in Turku because of our trip, so the flat seemed quite empty.
We drove down to Turku on Thursday afternoon. We got there at after 4pm, ready for a comic strip exhibition opening at 6pm, at a place called the Cosmic Comic Cafe. Mikko was sleeping because he works nights, and Dexter was having fun with Nyyti. We had a few drinks at the cafe (the cafe’s slogan is “beer and comics”) and waited for a short interview with the writer of the Hemmo Paskiainen comics that were on show, Ari Koskela. Niina and I got a book signed each and had a little chat with him. We watched two films with take-away pizza until we fell asleep.
The next day, we ventured into town with Niina and shopped even though it was very snowy. We also visited Underground Ullakko, a small comic shop that Niina frequents. Niina told the owner to have a quick look at one of my books that I had taken with me, and he liked it. He had a quick giggle then asked if he could sell some. Great news, my book is going to be available in a shop! It might even make it to their online shop. It continued to snow heavily then stop, then snow some more and we decided to stay another night. Mikko came out with us to cosmic mini-golf, which was great fun, and then to get more take-away and movies.
We left just after midday on Saturday. Luckily the weather had improved and the journey home was fine.