Helsinki – a place I call Home

“Where thou art, that is home.” ~ Emily Dickinson

Helsinki is quaint. Helsinki is full of character. It is quirky. It is beautiful. It is where I journeyed across oceans to be wedded 14 years ago. It is where our little family was born.

This city will always have a special significance and place in my heart. For all these reasons and more, Helsinki is home.

But if there is one thing I love best about Helsinki, it would be this. It’s the perfect city to get lost in. Especially for someone as hopeless with maps and rotten with directions as I am.

Because getting lost means meandering through cobbled streets leading to unexpected and delightful little nooks and crannies. Discovering a secluded park bathed in sunshine. It means soaking in the old world charm.

After all this time, there is still magic in getting lost in this city.

Come, let me show you some of my favourite little bits that make Helsinki a place I’m happy to call home.

Helsinki is a city of unexpected gems – usually in the most unexpected of places. Grotesque and leering gargoyles. Small, subtle carved works of art tucked away in a hidden corner. Massive granite and stone scupltures. It is a city that unfolds its charms to the discerning of eye, the unhurried observer.

For a modern and one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, Helsinki has kept a beautifully enduring elegance. The city centre is a showcase of Neoclassical architecture at its finest and is home to the largest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in Northern Europe. (By the way, notice how chairs are lined up to face the sun? That’s how much we love the sun!)

If you love cafes, then you’ve come to the right place. Finns are the biggest coffee drinkers per capita in the world. Naturally, cafes are the lifeblood of this city.

For me, the one most endearing quality of Finns is their shyness.

Helsinki is classily understated with a touch of rustic charm. Old wooden cafes and ice-cream kiosks from a bygone era lovingly preserved. We often come here as a family at the weekends and stop for an ice-cream along the way.

Art finds expression in the Boulevard Park. There is nothing quite like finding refuge in a park on a peaceful, quiet afternoon.

Helsinki – JFK – Nagoya – Shanghai Pu Dong. This tree was decorated by the flight attendants of Finnair for the Helsinki World Design Capital 2012. I met this lovely flight attendant who was so kind as to let me take her picture. (I hope you had a great flight to JFK and I hope you like this photo! Happy travels.)

Well, that’s all for now from my little corner of the world. I hope you have enjoyed seeing where my feet have brought me this time. And as we say in Finland and your first introduction to the Finnish language…Tervetuloa! Welcome!