Helsinki is on the list. Saint Petersburg was nearly on the list, but Helsinki is definitely on it. My plan on this Round The World trip is to travel for a year and then decide on where I want to live and what work I’d like to do, and now after visiting Helsinki, I can say that it’s an option!

IMG_6236Christmas Markets in Senate Square with Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki had beautiful architecture and design, and the city was so pleasant to walk around. I explored the city mostly by myself but was also accompanied by a gentleman named Frank, who is a 62-year-old that I met on the train platform in Moscow en route to St Petersburg. Frank and I got along so well and just talked ‘smack’ whilst we hung out, mainly at the Aussie Bar where we stayed until stumps, three nights in a row! He can party with the best of them, had some great stories to tell and we even took a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia together.

DSC06909Frank and I

It’s hard to describe why it’s on the list, but I had such a great time in Helsinki, felt right at home and met some locals who were pretty amazing and this was by far the biggest highlight of my stay. I could see myself living there, but I think the hardest part would be learning Finnish – I can’t roll my Rs!

IMG_6262The Sun trying to break through

The Five Senses of Helsinki

Helsinki looks like beautiful women. The locals I met were all beautiful women, but you can’t help but notice how stunning they are as you walk around town. There must be something in the water!

Helsinki feels likes Melbourne. I don’t really like to say one city is like another, but Helsinki felt a bit like Melbourne with its architecture in the city centre, central railway station and trams all around town.

Helsinki sounds like gravel under my boots. Unfortunately there wasn’t any snow during my time in Helsinki, but as most cities do, they use salt and gravel to break up the snow when it does appear but without any of this apparent, the sound of gravel shifting under my boots accompanied me everywhere.

Helsinki tastes like Reindeer. I like to try new things, but I never thought I’d eat reindeer! The meat tasted like beef, but was a bit drier and had a twang to its aftertaste.

Helsinki smells like Glögi. Glögi or mulled wine is red wine mixed with sugar, which is heated and contains spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and bitter orange. Great for a cold winter’s day, especially when the sun sets at 3:00pm!

I will always have very fond memories of Helsinki and am planning on going back in a few weeks with a friend, Marco. But now it’s Christmas and time to celebrate in Liechtenstein with my second family!

Country number 35 – Finland… Check!

Country number 36 – Estonia… Check!

IMG_6327Christmas Markets in Tallinn, Estonia