Discovering Helsinki…again! Part 3
Helsinki - a city to enjoy? No, Helsinki - a city to fall in love with! If I would have heard this before, I would have laughed myself to death. I've been visiting Helsinki for quite many years, and I don’t know why and how this happened, BUT this time I discovered I actually adore the city. Inspired from my last visit, I decided to write about this new love of mine. The story is divided into three parts: how the idea of enjoying Helsinki came to my mind, shopping and the city ambience. Of course, there is much more I can write, but I tried to make it short and focused. This will definitely not be the last time I write about the Finnish capital.
Part 3 – Atmosphere
Time to relax, go to some cosy café and have a cup of warm glögi. This time we went to a small café right on Esplanadi. Sitting there by the window, watching the Christmas decorations gleaming in candle light, I realized one more thing: there is probably no other city where one can actually feel this whole Christmas atmosphere. Could it be because this country is home to Santa? Everything is decorated so generously, and the weird thing - still very calm, without pre-holiday-fuss. I felt fully relaxed, completely satisfied and happy just like when I was a child, when I simply waited for Christmas to come and didn’t have to bother organising anything!
The same thing with the restaurants: a special atmosphere created by top service, perfectly fitted decorations and great food exceeding all expectations. I visited a few new places on this trip, but I definitely give ‘first place’ to Sasso. Great fish, fabulous risotto and really good carpaccio accompanied by very good wine – I could not resist coming back for lunch the next day. And again not without a surprise, a totally different menu, which was just as interesting and tasty as the one for dinner.
Now to the weakest point in Helsinki – clubbing. I won’t mention the old and well-known clubs (and still not my favourite) like Helsinki Club or Kaivohuone. But I found a new place I really loved – Ahjo, at the beginning of Bulevardi. The interior design is absolutely fabulous and trendy with a mixture of styles at just the right places. The music is a good combination of style and composition - not played too loud, so you can actually enjoy a conversation without exerting vocal cords. The crowd is just right, creating an atmosphere for a glam party or pre-party. Service could be a bit faster, but such a tiny flaw actually can be viewed as part of the image.
Architecture is something I could never forget about. Gorgeous and very simple, yet cold and very cosy at the same time. My favourite buildings are on Bulevardi and Pohjoisesplanadi, like this cute miniature-castle made out of pinkish stone belonging to Handelsbanken. Fabulous! I like the parks where you can enjoy a cup of morning take-away coffee, sit on the bench and watch people pass by. And the small streets in the city centre, where you can walk with a good friend, have a good conversation and forget time. And on top of all that – complete security. Honestly, you can walk from a club (well, if you are able to walk) at 3 a.m. with no fear that some drunk will stalk or harass you in this capital city.
So, I better wrap this up and write the conclusion. Well, the conclusion is very simple – Helsinki is a city definitely worth visiting and if you enjoy for the first time, you will love it forever!
However, as I learned, it is never too late for anything.