EUROTRIP 2013: TAKAISIN MAAN LUMEN JA JÄÄN
I really don’t know what to say about Finland. It’s one of those places that always make me feel good, that I don’t have a single bad memory about… I love its nature, people, language, chocolate, drinks, music… It’s true that this time I spent only a couple of days in Helsinki (without any Metal concerts), but they were for sure more intense and fun than most of the cities I visited during my trip!
As soon as we arrived in Helsinki by ship (and after doing the check in at the amazing Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel of course), we went straight downtown to check some of the attractions there before meeting my good friend Sami. We had enough time to visit the beautiful Helsinki Cathedral, the Parliament Hill, eat some fish at the Hakaniemi Market Square, and even walk by one of the most famous Rock & Heavy Metal music pubs in the whole Scandinavia, the great Tavastia Klubi, which by the way was the place where I met Sami back in 2006 during an unforgettable Stratovarius concert!
But the most memorable attraction was for sure the Temppelinauko Church, which was excavated into solid rock and has a beautiful copper dome. Many people would say this church is not even close to the beauty of some other cathedrals in the world, but for me what really matters is that it’s unique and peaceful, and without that huge amount of gold churches normally have it becomes even better. Not that I don’t like gold, but it’s too easy to look beautiful just by adding tons of gold to something! If you visit Helsinki, don’t forget to add the Rock Church to your itinerary.
Then we finally met Sami, who was really nice to take us to a billion other attractions before going for a BBQ! I don’t remember the names of all the places we visited, but the coolest ones were the Helsinki Olympic Stadium, the Finnish National Opera, the Sibelius Monument, and the Hietaranta Beach. I wish I had had more time in Finland to spend at least one day at that beach, it looked so nice…
The rest of the day was reserved for a true Finnish BBQ, which included a smoked salmon so delicious that I cannot describe! And of course, the best part was spending time with Sami and his beautiful family… Again, I wish I had had more time to spend there with them! I felt home!
Unfortunately, we had just one more day in Helsinki… However, this doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great time again! We visited the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, where it’s possible to spend the whole day if you want; bought our huge load of Fazer Suklaa, because we might not have a lot of money but are not stupid at all; and met the rest of Sami’s family, including his awesome mother and sister! And to end our trip to Helsinki on the highest possible note, why not a visit to one of my favorite pubs from my trip back in 2006? I was so happy to see that On The Rocks still exists! It’s still there, always rockin’ and kickin’ ass! I hope it never closes, as I plan to visit Helsinki many more times and of course going to On The Rocks for a beer is mandatory. Well, as Finland is the most Heavy Metal country in the world, I guess I can rest assured the pub will always be there waiting for me! (And I’ll return, no doubt about that!)
Did I say “ending our trip on the highest possible note”? OK, so I’ll have to post here one more time what in my opinion should be Finland’s national anthem… The Land of Ice and Snow! This song is so great, just as great as this amazing country! Rakastan Suomea!
Next stop is probably the craziest place I’ve ever been in my life… We will win this for Mother Russia!
“Missä miehet ratsastaa
Siellä lampaat ei voi laiduntaa
Missä miehet ratsastaa
Siellä kuulee susien ulvontaa”