Helsinki in the winter – Hometown roaming

The spring ever so slowly marches onwards and the days get longer, the nights less cold.

Icy roads

Due to the changing temperatures the roads are sometimes practically mirrorlike frozen ice. Very slippery, makes one wish for Icebugs or other studded shoes.

Parking for cars?

Parking cars has been a real pain this winter, with sights like these not uncommon. The parking spaces will melt eventually of course. This particular parking space seems to not have seen a city snow plow for all winter..

Melting streams

Running water always melts early and is a true sign of spring to see sights like these in the forests and parks of Helsinki.

Wood fungee

Just a quick shot of a birch tree which has fungus growing on it.

nordic skiing

Nordic skiing has been a proper national sport once again with the very cold winter giving even us southerners enough snow to be properly immersed in skiing. Same paths are used for walking as well here which can cause a little ill-will sometimes amongst the more selfish skiers.

mitts

Some poor soul had to go home with frozen fingers it seems..

icicles

Pretty soon there will be enough warmth day and night that sights like this will be gone and green leaves will sprout out. Definitely looking forwards towards proper spring and eventual summer.

Meilahti villas 3

The Meilahti area of Helsinki is known for its beautiful old villas. The area also houses the residences of the president and the prime minister of Finland so it is very highly regarded.

Meilahti villas 2

Beautiful old houses are a joy to look at and to photograph as well. Some of the houses in the area are used as restaurants currently as it is quite expensive to maintain them.

Meilahti villas 1

Beyond the villas of Meilahti lies the outdoor museum island of Seurasaari.

old school

Here you can find old school Finnish huts, houses and a church, as well as enjoy the calm of forests and nature in the city.

Sibelius

Jean Sibelius was/is our national composer and this monument was built in his memory.

Helsinki architecture 1

Different styles of architecture can be found in every city in the world. I love to see houses that have been done using something else than straight lines.

Helsinki architecture

Although there is a simplistic beauty to be found in straight lines.

railway station

The central railway station is a hub of the city and the clock tower a landmark for the people mingling in the city.

All frozen in

Soon, hopefully, the ice will melt and boats can move about freely in the waters of the Helsinki region.

senaatintori

Time for a little snacks or coffee seaside. Apparently great fish to be had, not really to my taste though.

Enjoying the sun

Or one can just sit in the sun and enjoy coffee and the company of a loved one.

Rastila

Moving towards the eastern parts of the city, more nordic skiing in a place that will be a beach in the summer once more.

winter shores of Helsinki

Sun starting to set and giving a beautiful light.

sunset 2

more tk

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Grasshopper on jeans

Grasshopper on jeans by Jere Ketola (JKetola)) on 500px.com

This little fellow decided it was totally safe and fun to come and sit on my knee. What was I to do but grab my camera and do a quick photo of him. Wish I had had a better macro equipped lens on so I could have done a proper portrait of him.

 

 

City lehden Syö! viikot

City-lehti on jo muutaman vuoden ajan järjestänyt hienon tempauksen, SYÖ! viikot. Ideana on yksinkertaisesti se, että ravintolat tarjoavat tiettyjä annoksia kiinteällä hinnalla (tänä vuonna 10e) ja siis reilulla alennuksella normaaleihin hintoihin nähden. Näin paikkoihin eksyy myös sellaisia asiakkaita jotka ehkä arastelevat ravintolojen imagoa/hintaa. Hyöty on molemminpuolinen, uusia asiakkaita eksyy ravintoloihin ja hyvien kokemuksien myötä uskoisin että myös moni palaa täydellä hinnalla syömään. Ja lisäksi on aina kiva testailla paikkoja hieman järkevämmin hinnoin. Voi vaikka uskaltautua testaamaan ruokalajia jota ei muuten ikinä tilaisi.

Tämän viikon listoilla on ollut muunmuassa majavaa joka lienee aika eksoottinen ruoka, vai mitä?

Oman viikon käynti tuli tehtyä tällä kertaa Maya -ravintolaan, joka sijaitsee Rautatientorin kulmassa, hyvinkin keskeisellä paikalla.

possua

Cerdo Chimicurri valikoitui vaihtoehtoisen vuohenjuustosalaatin sijaan omalle lautaselle. Annoskoko riittävä, maku erinomainen. Mayaassa oli sopivasti vilskettä vaikka oli arki-ilta. Annos saapui kuitenkin todella nopeasti, olettaisin, että annoksia oli jossain määrin valmiissa tilassa. Tai liekö vain valittu se nopein annos tällaiseen tutustumistarjoukseen, jotta mahdollisen ruuhkan yllättäessä saadaan ruokaa pöytään. Possu oli kuitenkin sopivasti valmistettu ja kastike sopivaa, lievästi tulista. Paikkahan ammentaa Väli-Amerikan kulttuurista tunnelmaa.

jäädyke

Jälkiruoaksi jäätelön tapaista, Mojito -jäädykettä eli Nieve De Mojito. Maukasta ja cappuccino tarpeeksi vahvaa, että yöunet kärsivät..

Mayasta kiinnostuneille lisätietoa löytyy tästä. Ja Syö! viikot jatkuu 28.3 saakka. Lisätietoa paikoista ja tarjouksista täältä.

This post in Finnish at the moment, relevant only to those in Helsinki at the moment so to speak. 

Coffee!

Fratello Torrefazione is one of the new breed of proper coffee houses in Helsinki. Located in the renewed New Kluuvi  – shopping centre it is directly beside the main building of the University of Helsinki, and as such the place is a teeming with academics enjoying refreshments.

Fratello features its own baristas who make excellent coffee from fresh ground coffee.

fratello

I usually tend to enjoy the dark roasts that are not exactly the favorite of Finns per se, but I feel the mild coffee does not really taste well. Cappuccino is of course always a safe choice as well as Cafe au Lait.

Photo 22.3.2013 16.41.22 (1)

A chocolate muffin for a little taste of bakery to go along with the coffee.

Photo 22.3.2013 16.41.32 (1)

And freshly made Guatemalan blend of coffee, black with no sugar. Suprisingly there is no need to use milk with this coffee, even though I cannot abide most coffee without a bit of milk.

Fratello webpage here.

what coffees do you prefer?

Strindbergs Backfickan

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Strindberg cafe has been a permanent landmark in the heart of Helsinki for years. After renovation of the building it resides in it moved to a slightly different location. The cafe now is in two stories and inside the shopping centre of Galleria Esplanad there is the lunch restaurant side called Strindsberg Backfickan.

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The menu is as usual three different portions to choose from and quite typicall priced for Helsinki. A nice bustle was to be found with almost all the tables in use upon my visit.

Regular buffet table with salad, bread and the main food and drinks excluding water costing extra.

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From the days options I chose Swedish hash (in Finnish Pyttipannu) is a great simple traditional Scandinavian dish which of course is not the lightest calory wise due to the amount of oil/potatoes/meat and eggs. Also one of those foods that can be found in proper restaurants as well as in a tent beside a rock festival. So a food that can span boundaries of poor and rich folk. Pretty good food and the company ate salmon which was good as well. A fun option if around the center of the city during lunch hours.

The website of the restaurant can be found here

Rice Garden – sushi

Sushi is not exactly my favorite food, but I have learned to eat it (for various reasons). It is not a suprise that some Sushis taste better than others, there are after all differences in all foods/restaurants. One of the easiest to eat ergo in my mind also the best Sushi can be found in Hakaniemi at a place called Rice Garden.

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The restaurant is fairly large and has a relatively nice price for different portions. Miso soup comes naturally as standard fair as well as tea/coffee afterwards. The restaurant has very nice lunch options as well as the more expensive fairs in the evening.

 

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This portion was the basic smallest lunch version which starts at 8,80€. All varieties taste pretty good, and I am told by a Sushi lover that these are some of the best Sushis you can find in the Helsinki region price/tastewise. Totally recommended for those of you that like the taste, or would like to give it a go!