Day 3 – Helsinki and Porvoo

Hi all, I am writing this blog entry at 4am in the morning, still a bit jet lagged and restless and also being woken up by the Finns still celebrating their world cup win, they sure are happy about it! It is already light outside and as we went to bed about 10 pm it was still light as well, not sure how much darkness they get but it would not be much. Matt is sleeping as I write this, he did wake up momentarily and gave me the good pillow. I have a thing about pillows, they need to have some substance…

Yesterday we went to Porvoo, an old historical town about an hour from Helsinki by bus. Matt researched this place while we were still is Australia as a possible spot to check out, so off we went. It was a bit drizzly and cold today so we really could not sit on the river or hang out at one of the café courtyards, but I can imagine it would be nice here in the summer. It reminded me a bit like Richmond in Tasmania, an old village, tourist spot, cobble stone streets, lots of cute little buildings and many of them operating as shops, galleries and so on. Of course we thought we better have lunch here to check out the local fare, so we went to the place that said it was authentic Finish food. Well it was a bit hard to read the specials so we had to go with something safe, I had a basic schnitzel, salad and rice and Matt had a Swiss schnitzel, stuffed with ham & cheese. Matt also tried a glass of home brewed ale, did not rate it too highly.

We soon departed Porvoo back “home” watching the countryside pass by on the bus. Lots of birch and pine trees around this region. Back in Helsinki we had a little wander through a few shopping areas before heading to the roof top bar of the Torni building. It was only by chance that Matt asked someone if there was anywhere in town where you can get a view over the city and they suggested this bar that is 2 buildings away from where we are staying. It was amazing and we could not believe how few people were there or seemed to know about it. Matt felt right at home of course, a little upset that this barman had a lift to carry his stock up to the bar but happy none the less, views, beer and a little roof top bar man camaraderie fixed him up. I had a raspberry Mojito, yummy.

Back to our room for a few hours down time before dinner. Matt went out for a little while for a couple more brews and booked us in for dinner. We read about this place for dinner and were told it was one of the most authentic and original good Finish restaurants in town, again we were perfectly positioned almost right next to this restaurant, we had a great location for our hotel. 7.30 booking off to Kosmos. Our dinner menu this evening, I had Lobster Bisque for entrée and a Moscow platter for main (sauerkraut, pickles, olives, Salmon roe, chicken, sour cream and bread). Matt started with a Finish antipasto platter (pickled herring, salmon, forest mushrooms, pickled cucumber salad and smoked reindeer), he could not resist a main of Reindeer served with a berry sauce and potatoes, the reindeer is very much like a cross between venison and kangaroo, it was cooked to perfection. Wine for Matt, G & T for Connie, no dessert, too full off to bed, although it was still light??

Sorry for this long probably over detailed blog entry, I blame the jet lag, might try for some more sleep now, wish me luck. Today we have half a day left in Helsinki before a 4-hour flight to Madrid to start our 2 weeks in Spain. We will be staying with my cousin Miquel in Madrid, looking forward to Chorizo and Churros!!

Ps: don’t forget to check out the Images by country, we are adding more each time we do a blog entry.

Cafe Fanny - Tee Hee, Porvoo Old Town

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