I am travelling again on business and, yet again, I have found myself in Helsinki. This time it is like a picture postcard – the snowy streets illuminated by the soft glow from a street lamp. It’s lovely but I have to admit that it is cold! We landed with snow on the ground and snow in the air, temperature was already below freezing when we landed at 9pm last night.
I didn’t get much of a say in the hotel for this trip as it appears there were few room available. So, I stayed in a good hotel in a decent sized deluxe room. It appears there was a fashionable bar in the hotel and I got use of a separate lounge with, what I imagine, is a great view of the city (when it’s not dark). The downside is no wireless Internet – which is quite unusual for this part of the world.
I really like the people of Finland, especially Helsinki. They are always friendly and welcoming; everything seems so clean and efficient – although I am sure that there are natives that would dispute that. For a city with 560,000 people there does seem to be quite a bit of space – which is great and makes for large areas of clean, unbroken snow. Interestingly, 10 per cent of the country is water (which seems a lot) but I imagine that a great deal of it is ice right now.
The streets were snowy and many of the back roads had compact snow but the driver’s were oblivious to the skidding. The pathways were also, often, ungritted but people just walked along without a care – which made my carefully placed steps look silly.
Finland declared independance in 1917 but became and member of the European Union in 1995 and has adopted the Euro which makes transactions easy for me as I have always have a stock of Euro coins that I need to use up from my various visits. I really must remember that I need to come here for a holiday and explore it a little more. I will, of course, have to save as this is not a cheap country!
On this day…
- 2003: To Play Or Not To Play?