Last weekend was quite the busy weekend! Thanks to amazing weather and our flat finally being complete (we couldn’t fathom the idea of going to Ikea for the sixth time or to the hardware store or any store having to do with decorating our flat, for that matter!), Wife and I ventured out into the city. On Saturday, we walked from Kallio to Kauppatori and stopped at a few places in between. In my previous visits to Helsinki before moving here, I had walked past the Helsingin Tuomiokirkko (Helsinki Cathedral) in the Senate Square, but had never actually stopped and really taken in its beauty.
Next, we made our way to Kauppatori, a market square in the center of Helsinki where we took the ferry to Suomenlinna, a fortress located about 20 minutes from Helsinki. The fortress, originally named Sveaborg, was constructed by the Swedes in the 1740’s in order to protect Finland from Russian expansion. It kept the Russians at bay until 1808 when the Russians finally succeeded and took over the fortress during the Finnish War. The Russians occupied Finland until 1917 when Finland finally gained its independence. The fortress was renamed Suomenlinna, which means Castle of Finland in 1918. How’s that for a short, but sweet history lesson?! Suomenlinna is one of my favorite places in Helsinki. I can’t wait to go back in the summer for picnics!
On Sunday, Wife, cousin-in-law and I went to the annual Helsinki Herring Festival. Once again, we made our way to Kauppatori, a very packed market square with people from various surrounding islands selling an array of herring to Finns and tourists alike. Wife and I brought two delicious samples home (not sure the flavors, but they were so good!).
While at the festival, I had Muikku for the very first time. Muikku are tiny little fish that are fried whole (YES, eyes, organs, scales…everything!) and served with seasoned butter. I must say, it’s an acquired taste…I’m glad I finally tasted them, though I’m in no rush to have them again any time soon.
On our way home, we stopped by Rakkauden Silta, the Bridge of Love, located in Katajanokka, where couples “lock” a lock onto the bridge and throw the key into the water, symbolizing their love and commitment to one another. How sweet is that?!! Of course Wife and I are going back and adding our own lock!
Last weekend was definitely a great one! I can’t wait for many, many more weekends like it!