Unseasonable heat has hit Helsinki and as I look at the warm jackets and thermal tops that clog my luggage I hold out hope for Norway to exhibit some of the cold weather we were told to expect.
25C+ in the capital of Finland is mighty pleasant and adds to the distortion of the internal body clock when 10pm is as bright as 11.00am in terms of sunlight. If one added in some alcohol the day and the night could slip by with ease.
It's been a delight to catch up with daughter Ellen and have her share her favourite haunts around the city ~ admittedly these have mostly been bars, but all the same... (No I jest... Ellen has shown us restaurants as well! )
A lovely trip by ferry to an island in the port that was the military base charged with the defense of Helsinki in early last century, had the added bonus of large gulls playing on the thermals created by the boat just off the stern.
The island was a delight to stroll around and provided lovely views of the harbour. It would seem that it is a place where the young folk come to picnic and sunbathe amongst the large rocks that dot the shoreline. The island has multiple cafes and restaurants and various other buildings relating to ammunition drives, barracks and the like dot the landscape... oh, and cannons of course.
We started our Helsinki experience fresh off the plane at a family dinner generously hosted by my father John and his wife Robyn who arrived days earlier on Ellen's birthday and stayed on until we arrived. The Finnish rather than the French Connection also joined us for dinner. Minna and her husband Wille, Minna's parents Marijutt and Arti, and brother Mikko all provided Ellen with many family moments over the last six months. For this we are extremely grateful.
The great shame is that we didn't have much time beyond the dinner to spend with the family who are clearly beaut people. Having said this, Wille found time to take us on Sunday to a new information centre in the national park area near their home in Espoo, some 30 minutes by train from Helsinki.