This is way overdue since shiz happened since my last post that has gotten all up in my face. Hehehe. This post is pretty lengthy since I wrote it weeks ago and was too lazy to edit too much since it’d take away most of the details. But anywho, here you all go!
Yay! We finally arrived into Helsinki!! *twirls* So good to be back after 6 years! Suomi, I love you to the black-hole and back.
It was way too early when we got into Helsinki. Instead of the 6.35am arrival as per the itinerary, we somehow landed at 5.25am. That’s a whole hour earlier! Who the? What the? To the pilots that day, I don’t know what you did to make us arrive earlier but dude, both of your piloting skills are just impeccable especially when it came to the turbulence over the Andaman sea.
Commenting on the whole arrival into Helsinki in the early morning, it was the cheapest flight that we could afford at the time. Ahh…the sacrifices you have to do when booking flights with a limited budget. I’m pretty sure there were slightly cheaper flights on other airlines like KLM but Finnair is an airline that I just had to get on. Finnair is LOVE. #Finnair #Supporter4Life. I love everything about the airline. If only I get to travel on the airline more often…Finnair, please sponsor my travels to Europe in the future. HAHAHAHA I have no shame. #freetickets #letmetravel
Anywho, the one thing I LOVE (yes you heard me right) about some of the facilities that they have is Finnair’s plane cameras. I’m pretty sure that this feature is a relatively new one (yes, i looked it up). In terms of camera placement, there’s one at the tail and another below the plane where you can view what’s down below during the entire trip starting from take off to landing. Pretty cool stuff that takes the whole flying experience up a notch. It’s even better when the country you’re visiting, in this case Finland, has great natural sceneries. So, if you’re travelling overseas into Europe and want your travels to be exciting, I’d suggest Finnair. Best shiz evvaaahhh
Apart from the eerily quiet atmosphere into the luggage pick up area, getting in was a breeze especially through immigration. This being my first time through Finnish immigration, they were really good, friendly and fast at their job. By the time we were done, it was already roughly 6.15am? So, we decided to first get the Helsinki Card for our first 3 days in the city. To know more about the Helsinki card, you can visit their official website at here for more info. They have several options that you can choose from depending on how you’d be travelling. We pretty much utilised the card as much as we could during our stay. hehehe
Tales of the inner fangirl
Also, there is one thing I need to share with all of you. Only because I need to tell the whole world of this awesome coincidence. So, while on the way to purchasing our sim cards at the R-Kioski at Vantaa Airport, i saw Jone Nikula. Yes…This dude. (points to poster below)
If you love Finnish rock and listen to Finland’s Radio Rock like yours truly, he’s THE dude to end all dudes. If looks could kill you, he’d be it. Look at the man. Grumpy cat ain’t got nothing on him. He walked past me and I was like duuuudeee…DUUUUDDDEEEE. My internal fangirl went balistic. I have a RBF so I looked like I am angry even though I’m not thinking about anything on most days but on the inside I was squealing and jumping around like a crazy woman. Lawwddd, my heart.
After the whole Jone Nikula internal fangirling session in my head, I had to pinch myself and bravely went to the counter, got my Sim cards and proceeded to just wait for Marica and her dad to pick us up while we waiting outside of the Starbucks at Vantaa Airport at around 8am-ish. It was a little bit hard to get used to the cold again after reverting back to the equatorial climate for the past 5 years so, naturally, i froze my tush in the Finnish summer air. Thank the heavens the Sun was out in full force. Once Marica and her Dad picked us up and after all the hugs and introduction, we were off to her dad’s place for breakfast!
So here’s the back story of how we ended up being picked up by the Juvonen duo. 2 weeks before my trip, one half of the bestie, Marica, who lives in Suomi texted me via Whatsapp asking whether it would be alright if she and her dad could come and pick us up. Wooot wooot of course I said it was okay! I haven’t seen both her and her family since the last time i visited! Next thing i know, a few days before the start of the trip, she said that we could come over to her dad and step mom’s place for brunch or something before we check in at 1pm at out AirBnB place. YAAAAAASSS!!!! It’s been so long since i’ve seen them so why not? Would help them get to know one another, I can taste their homemade cooking again *fist pumps all the way* Plus…the cats ya’ll…those cats!!! Them fluffy cats that they have are mine to pet in all their furball glory!
If it’s one thing that I love about Finnish people is their hospitality, music and the food. Oh lawd, their food. I didn’t manage to get pictures of the food because I was too busy salivating and stuffing my face as much as I could, which wasn’t a lot since I was tired and sleepy from the long journey. HAHAHAHAHA But to sum it up, we had mustamakkara (blood sausage from Tampere), karjalanpiiraka (Karelian pasties), leipajuusto (Finnish bread cheese) and few other bunch of yummy food that I forgot their names. But I did get a pic of the area since Marica isn’t comfortable with people taking her photo. Cue the cat and butt photos!
Adventures in a living and breathing outdoor museum
If you love nature, exploring and practically planning on getting lost, then Seurasaari Open Air Museum is the place for you. It’s basically a small little island where, as you can guess, is a Museum all on its own. Summer is the best time to visit since it won’t freeze your tush off and also because a lot of people will be there just to enjoy the small beach-like areas on the island with their family. So if you’re bringing the kids along on your trip to Helsinki, this is a great place to enjoy nature and the Finnish summer time.
There are several ways of getting to Seurasaari Open Air Museum that you could find all over the Internet. Heck, I even planned it in advance but as usual, random things happen and you might as well. But lucky enough for my family and I, we got a free ride from Marica’s dad to the museum before we checked in at our AirBnB accommodations. I didn’t manage to visit the last time since it was winter and the likeliness of my equatorial skin freezing the bejeebees off was way too high. So, I pretty much promised myself that this would be the time that I fully braced myself for summer adventures in Suomi.
For someone that loves nature, this was HHHEEEAAAVVVEEEENNNN. Too bad I wasn’t wearing a long flowy skirt of sorts… Because i’d be trolling around the entire place like the inner hippie fairy goth child that I am. I even managed to get some Pokemon playing done while I was at the Museum. I don’t usually like getting tanned but it was cold and I needed warmth so there are pictures where I’m looking like YAASSS SSUUNNNN!! Here’s a collection of photos while we were at the Museum. There’s a ridiculous amount but feel free to browse about.
Journey to Kamppi to the sounds of Ville Valo
We started our adventure at Seurassari around 11am and managed to finish by 12.40pm. So that gave us ample time to get to our accommodations by 1pm. After driving around and getting chided by Marica’s dad regarding Ville Valo singing ‘Jykevää on Rakkaus’ on the radio, it was pretty much slow and quiet most of the way to our accommodations in Kamppi. Ville Valo has the best voice there is, especially when he starts singing in Finnish. Oy vey~*
I will be doing a separate post on this in the coming weeks since it’ll be specifically on the places we stayed throughout our trip for the two weeks that we were in the Nordic countries that we went to. This post is already lengthy as is so yeah…
Borneo’s Hippie Fairy Goth meets a Finnish Supermarket.
After more than a day’s worth of flying, naturally, we slept in for a few hours once we checked in at our place for the next week or so. As soon as we got up around 2 hours later, we headed over to Kamppi Shopping Centre which was less than 3 minutes away from our place to get some grocery shopping done. One, because we’d be staying at our place for slightly over a week. And Two, because i love cooking and doing that in Helsinki pretty much helps you save a lot if you’re traveling in a group. Plus it helps to know that Nordic countries are famed for their ridiculously organic groceries. I’m looking at you, Strawberries!
One thing that my family loves whenever I travel with them is the fact that I like to research on things like transportation, maps and places to shop and buy food. Research people. It makes my world go round. That and the fact that I enjoy going everywhere on the internet to read random things. So, during my previous research of supermarkets, I recalled there being a Lidl supermarket at Kamppi Shopping Centre. We went over to Kamppi shopping centre to get our supplies for breakfast the next day. Note that we already have instant noodles because my aunt and uncle brought them just in case they missed spicy asian food. Only cause we’re South East Asian and being #AsianAF is a way of being. TRUTH.
I had to get a hold of myself because I have been dreaming of buying groceries at a Finnish supermarket for quite some time. I kid you not, I dreamt it for months. God knows me so well he put that dream in my sleep. HAHAHAHA Anyway, here’s what we got by the time we finished our mini excursion for food:I kid you not that all of this, was less than 20 Euros. And it fed all 3 of us for 4-5 days worth of breakfast. Malaysia, you gotta step up your game yo! I…can’t even….Laawwwddd. I can still, to this day, remember the taste of the tomatoes, the bread cheese and that bread. Why does it taste so different? My aunt and I have a theory that it’s the water since we feel that it’s similar to all the time that we go up country to my mom’s village and food tastes SO different. We were deliriously sleeping again after taking some bread and cheese for dinner and decided to head back to sleep.
Boy oh boy were we in for a great time the next day. Hehehe.
<To be continued>
Sneak peak of the next post!