It was easy to get the Christmas feel in my Helsinki neighbourhood by having a short walk.
First, we enjoyed some coffee and cake overlooking the Mannerheim street.
Then we checked out the Christmas street in Aleksanter street.
This street led us all the way to the Helsinki Cathedral where we saw Ari’s snow photo on a banner.
From here, it was easy to reach the Helsinki harbour where the Christmas market is.
There is a small Christmas market also on the top floor of Kämp Galleria. We also tried the new minimalistic Ramen restaurant. The Bao was tasty!
It might look like we are not suffering from the soaring COVID 19 cases, but we do. We have some 2,000 cases a day in Finland. Omicron is also here. Somehow I feel that this is not going to end. We just need to know how to navigate and live with it.
How are you all? I really want to know how are you feeling at this time. How are you coping with the seem to be endless COVID 19?
We had a short holiday with a short time to plan. But what a joy to spend that short moment in Switzerland. Switzerland is so beautiful. I highly recommend it. For this blog post, I will let the photos talk!
With travels slowly easing, especially to those who are fully vaccinated, we also took a chance to spend a Saturday in Tallinn. I’ve been to Tallinn many times before. However, this time we took a large cruise ship from Helsinki to Tallinn and it was a very nice experience.
There is a list of must-do when spending a day in Tallinn. One of them is having coffee and cake at Maiasmokk Kohvik in the old town. Established in 1864, it’s the oldest cafe in Tallinn. It serves good coffee and delicious cakes. Dining out is another thing and this time we tried a fusion style Asian restaurant. We have passed by this restaurant before but I’ve always been suspicious of anything fusion. However, the food was actually tasty and was not much a fusion at all! We had Yakitori Chicken skewers, Tom Kha Gai, Roti Canai (a bit too oily), Yellow Curry with duck and Korean Bulgogi beef. So it was a bit of everywhere in Asia kind of food experience. They were true to their taste. I highly recommend this place called Tai Boh.
There is much to explore in the old town where one can spend 5 hours quite easily. It’s a pretty town and a nice area for walking. So wearing good walking shoes is a must! The day ended with a record breaking 32,737 steps which is 20.97 kms walk and an amazing sunset on the way home. Tired but happy!
The song, We lost the summer by TXT, was kind of my theme song last year. It was one of my most listened song during the pandemic and I hope it will not remain this way. However, today, I felt like the summer is nearly over. The wind is blowing cool air and the nights have been chilly. Tomorrow, I’ll return by my desk and start thinking what is next for me. A lot of reflections need to be done there…
But to end this summer of 2021, I booked a trip to Paris. I thought Paris will be a bit empty, but no, there were a lot of people. Although, there were obviously fewer foreign tourists and the need for a COVID pass (EU COVID certificate for me) to enter museums and other tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and Sacré-Cœur Basilica made queues disappear. But the time spend just walking, sat at a cafe and having a perfect meal was just so worth it.
In any case, the saying that Paris is always a good idea didn’t fail me. It was a good idea to spend a short trip in Paris and to cheer Hooray to the end of the summer that I took back!
Did the world become a friendlier place or is Budapest always been like this?
After a year and 7 months, we were able to travel outside of Finland again. Europe has reopened especially to those who are fully vaccinated. Hungary has also claimed to have reached herd immunity or at least, a large portion of its population has already been vaccinated. It’s very rare to see people wearing masks and there are no social distancing whatsoever. Restrictions have been lifted and it seems like the old times. However, there are obviously less tourists which is nice in many ways. There are no crowds, no tour groups and all that.
I was really loving the architecture in Budapest. I can imagine how glorious this city was in its former days. I can’t stop admiring all the fine details placed into building this city. But what fascinated me even more was how friendly and helpful people were. It was so amazing! This friendly atmosphere was something that I didn’t expect. Is Budapest always been like this or did the world become a friendlier place?
When we booked our hotel room, we chose the cheaper option. But, we were upgraded to the best room of the hotel which has two double rooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a rooftop which faces the Hungarian Opera. It was such a treat! And one of the must places to visit in Buda is the Fisherman’s Bastion. Such a breathtaking view!
I also recommend climbing the Citadella for its amazing view of the city after sunset and when the city lights are on!
The world is opening! At least, Europe is! Non-essential travel to and from Finland is now possible, but with special care, of course! Interestingly, my first tour after all the lockdown happening around the world was in Jeollanamdo, South Korea.
Sat infront of my computer at 10:00 in the morning, the tour started. This tour was offered by Trazy! You can click the link on the side bar to know more about Trazy. Here are some photos from the tour!
I’m not much into adventure tour. So the Yeosu ZIP line from Odongdo island didn’t appeal much to me. Neither the U World Luge and the Sky walk at Yeosu Art World. I’m not much a market type either. But the food was really looking so good! I’ve learned that Jeollanamdo has a special type of Kimchi.
The last part of the tour was amazing! We even visited the place where Youn Stay was filmed! It was beautiful!
I asked the tour guide if it is already possible to visit South Korea. There is still a need to quarantine and there are still COVID daily cases. But they are expecting for the country to be 100% vaccinated by the end of the year. So visiting South Korea will be fully possible next year!
My first live online concert was in Seoul and my first ever live tour was in Jeollanamdo. So probably, I will get to visit South Korea someday and watch a real live K-Pop concert. Well, maybe in 2023!
It’s that time of the year again when the Suomenlinna island is dominated by Bunias orientalis. And to be honest, it is so beautiful! The meeting of the yellow flowers with the blue skies and blue sea is something not to be missed. The sight makes the heat unbearable…
Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage site located about 4 kilometres away from the Helsinki city centre by ferry. It is a popular destination among the tourists and the locals alike. BTS was here in 2019 too! On this hot summer day, people are here for a swim, for a picnic or just a simple afternoon walk.
If you are the type of person who enjoys spending the afternoon sipping cups of tea at a beautiful place, I do recommend visiting Salutorget located in Pohjoisesplanadi in Helsinki.
It is said that Salutorget is one of the unwavering landmarks of the historic Esplanade. Its rich history can be felt in the magnificent Art Nouveau bank hall built in an old merchant building. The restaurant’s location for more than a hundred years on the corner of the maritime Market Square means that Salutorget is part of Helsinki and Helsinki is part of Salutorget.
I’ve enjoyed afternoon teas in different places before, also in different countries. But one thing that stood out for me here was having oyster and a teaspoonful of pouched quail egg with my tea!