Blueberry juice. Folded linen napkins. Korvapuusti. Multi-coloured buildings. Tiny parks tucked in between streets, tram crossings and apartment blocks. Grandiose windows. The clatter of the tram. Lingonberries. Moomins in every other window. Turrets. The lurch of the boat. A crown of blue flowers. Sea air. A complete lack of advertisements, and the surprise of walking down the street without being bombarded with billboards and placards, needing a few days to place what was missing. Landscaping. Juliet balconies. Aesthetically laid out shops that were more like galleries. Wood-panelled saunas. The smell of coffee. A plethora of dogs. Small, well-behaved Finnish children: all chubby cheeks and very blonde hair. Carved spoons. The lap of the waves. Endless sunny evenings. Blue and white patterns: the cathedral, the flag, the flat, all our outfits and the endless clouds in the skies.
I have so much to share: zoos, museums, incredible vegan kebabs, a whole suitcase of souvenirs. Helsinki was perfectly charming: accessible, neat, friendly, and welcoming in a way I can’t ascribe to any other European city I’ve visited. We basked in the sunlight during the 16 hour days soaking everything in. These are just a few of the flurried memories I brought home with me.