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Cold Helsinki Business Trip
During a short 3-night business trip to Helsinki, I got the chance to explore the capital of the Finns a bit.
It was Ocotober and cold winds pierced through my coat, skin, deep to the bone!
To me, even the words "Helsinki" and "Finland" sound so freeeeeezing cold!
I arrived with Finncomm Airlines' Embraer ERJ-170 jet. It was my first time ever on this plane and I was very excited about the flight.
Indeed, it felt different, sounded different from Boeings and Airbuses, but it sure was comfy...
It had a mere 70 seat configuration and it felt more like a large bus flying in the air.
Upon arrival, I've found that Helsinki wasn't as "boring" and "ugly" as some told me it would be.
I came across a city far more diverse (with plenty of nice hidden attractions, which I discovered) and it was far more dynamical that I had expected.
Before I attended my conference, I only had a single full day for visiting the city and only a few hours available on two other days...
It was a bit of a rush, but at least I was able to get a taste of the Finnish capital.
The late afternoon rain had stopped me from exploring the city early enough, but I still had late evening and early night at my disposal, after the rain.
Helsinki turned out to be unlike nothing else I've ever seen until then...
The Finnish capital felt a bit weird, but not in the bad sense. I'd say it was strange in terms of architecture, atmosphere, geography, climate...
It was a lot bigger, more colourful, more massive, but also more delicate than I had anticipated. And a lot of other things were totally new to me...
This was the main reason I traveled to Helsinki. But of course, exploring the city was my second reason...
The single-day conference stretched from early morning until early in the night. Quite an interesting experience. I also met a bunch of friendly new people.
One thing you must do when in Helsinki is to visit its churches...
Some of them look really weird, but there's a wide variety in terms of design.
Though, the distances between them are quite long and getting around in this city proved to be rather difficult.
Because almost nothing seemed to come on time except the subway! I was disappointed in the Helsinki transportation system.
Most of my time I just walked... Not "for fun", but because I had to!
The train station is one of the top attractions and situated right in the city's center. I used this area as a starting point and reference point for most of my urban strolls.
How come they never mention these in the guide books?
I discovered an old fire station building, wicked thick-walled houses like the one on this picture and other hidden attractions...
In front of the Helsinki Cathedral I came across this open-air exhibition of bear statues. Each bear had this typical teddy bear-shape and represented a certain country.
Some designs didn't make me think of that particular country at all. But they were all nice!
It's vast, you can walk for hours... Obviously, there are multiple ports, but pretty much most of Helsinki's shoreline is a port area.
Various small boats, coast guard patrol boats, cruise ships, personal yachts, heavy ferries... they're all there!
Talk about urban art: no, not the graffiti-type violation of public property, but purposely-placed pieces of art like statues, for instance. These made the city look "less boring". Even exciting...
Helsinki seemed like a "nest for design". Wicked art, wicked shapes... you should see these photos!
I couldn't help myself, I had to share a few photos of Helsinki's street signs and posts. Some of them are totally weird and I can't make out what they refer to, but what's nice is that there are many bilingual signs (Finnish and Swedish).
Although I had the chance to try some of the best foods in town, I didn't immortalize them with my camera... my apologies.
So this is merely about a few interesting drinks and some snacks...
For a business trip it was good, just a bit low-lit and having a cold room in Helsinki can be pretty bad!
Far enough from the center to have to take tram/metro or taxi...
Here's my Radisson Blue Seaside Hotel personal review...
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