Archive for November 9th, 2010

Little day trip to Helsinki

Like I mentioned the other day, we decided on Friday night that Sunday would be a lovely day to take a day trip to Helsinki. (Have I ever mentioned how much I love living in a place where taking a day trip to another country is so simple? I love Europe!). Sunday morning J, my father and I boarded the Viking XPRS ferry and left Estonia and its hail behind, heading for a nice sunny (but cold) day in Finland’s capital.

We opted to go to the breakfast buffet on the 8 am ferry, which at 10 euros was quite a good deal. There was a pretty decent selection and we all ate as much as we could and drank as much coffee as we wanted, ensuring we wouldn’t need to stop in an expensive Helsinki cafe soon after arriving.

My modest first plate juxtaposed with my father’s overloaded one. He was full after that; I went back two more times :-). That first plate had grapefruit slices, a Karelian pastry with egg butter, slices of salmon and herring, a chunk of blue cheese, and a bit of pancake with jam. I also tried some of the warm foods (eggs, sausage) and finally had a bowl of yogurt and a cookie. Our plan worked– we walked all over the city and didn’t stop for lunch until between 2 and 3 pm. Being the snacker that I am, I ate a banana somewhere in between, but my father and J didn’t have anything. I don’t know how men do that! Our day included a visit to the very cool Temppeliaukion Kirkko (Rock Church), which is a church that’s built right into a giant granite rock.

Inside the Rock Church.

We had planned our lunch stop for when we’d be wandering around the neighborhood of Kallio, which is filled with pizza joints, kebab places, and interesting exotic grocery stores (apparently also cheap bars, though I’ve never been to one). J treated me and my dad to the staple Finnish street food, kebab. I actually ordered a falafel pita since I wasn’t in the mood for a lot of meat.

I was starving, so I enjoyed the pita, but to be honest the falafel were a little too bready and peppery. But it was a good size– it filled my tummy without making me too full.

A little later we stopped in a cafe for coffee and dessert, and after that we hit the Sports Academy pub so that my father could watch the Formula One race (he’s a fan). Once we were on the ferry back to Tallinn we of course hit the shop on the boat, and then the three of us proceeded to consume an entire large bar of Marabou milk chocolate. In my defense, I’m pretty sure I only ate one row. My dad and J like their chocolate :-). It was a sweet ending to a fun day.

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