finland

dreaming of helsinki.

oh so pretty

Although I only spent 24 hours in Helsinki, it felt like much longer. By the time I arrived I had been on planes, trains, and buses for too many days to count and I felt like a walking zombie. That day in Helsinki felt dreamy and illusory, moving in slow motion in the best way.

DSC_1076
cute and modern coffee shop
stunning architecture

The air in Helsinki was biting, but crisp and refreshing in an invigorating way. Styles are simple and modern, but bursting with color. The people are subtle and kind, constantly surprising you with their generosity.

DSC_1121
the brightest yellow gelato i've ever seen
heart of polas
DSC_1164
marimekko curtains in sara and jussi's apartment

Sara and Jussi made the trip. Warm and welcoming, funny and sweet, easy to be around -- I felt like I had known them for years. Not to mention that the way they treated each other was beyond touching; best friends with the utmost respect for one another. It was inspiring.

sara and jussi <3
sara and jussi's apartment

Yearning for an adventure. Can you tell?

helsinki.

marimekko
DSC_1089
fish pastry
rice porridge pastries in the market
DSC_1079
design/furniture store
fresh finnish strawberries

In ways Helsinki was as exotic as I expected. It was only dark from around eleven until four in the morning which felt completely bizzare, although helpful when we had to wake up at five for our flight. I can't imagine the winters with only four hours of light all day. I would be seriously depressed, but Sara said everyone is used to it and takes lots of Vitamin D.

Another interesting thing is that they have no concept of small talk. Sara said they don't even have words for it in Finnish, which definitely goes with their whole life philosophy of efficiency. Even their amazing decor revolves around practicality. I'm obsessed with the focus on white with bits of bright colors. Marimekko is a huge designer and you recognize the same prints everywhere. The whole city feels like Ikea, but better.

finnish friends.

picnic in the park

The highlight of our trip so far has been meeting new friends, Sara and Jussi. Sara and I found each other via blogging, and she and Jussi graciously offered for us to stay with them during our short stay in Helsinki. We could not have asked for better friends to show us around. They made up our couches with Marimekko matching sheets, acted as translators and taught us Finnish words (Hei! Moi! Kiitos!), walked with us for miles and miles around Helsinki, talked to us nonstop and answered our millions of questions, took us grocery shopping at Stockmann, bought cheese, fruit and sparkling wine for a picnic in the park, and made us feel totally comfortable and at ease.

ice cream on the baltic sea
DSC_1224
picnics = happy
DSC_1243
sara and jussi

Sara and Jussi have such a gorgeous life together (photos of their picturesque Scandinavian-style apartment to come) and I loved being a part of it for 24 hours. I hope I see them again very soon.