12 reasons to drop everything and go to Helsinki
The most honest people live in the capital of Finland. That’s what representatives of American magazine Reader’s Digest, who carried out an experiment with a lost wallet, state. A wallet with a family photo, contacts and fifty dollars was left in the streets of European capitals. It resulted in citizens of Helsinki returning 11 out of 12 wallets.
In Helsinki one can drink tap water. It is classified as exceptionally clear and of highest quality. Several years ago UN-Water undertook a study and admitted tap water in Finland to be the clearest in the world. Photo silakkamarkkinat.fi
In Kallio there is everything: vareniki, cheap sushi, theatres, sex shops, inns, baths, flea markets, back-street parties, a jail and even a youth rock club on the basis of local mortuary. The only thing missing there is a police station. It is the most popular district in Helsinki. It was initially built for the working class therefore its dwelling stock consists of single-room boxes of apartments with tiny kitchens, cramped sanitary facilities and shared shower units in the basement. In Kallio they give food and clothes to miserable on Wednesdays. City legend has it that it was in these nested boxes of apartments where Helsinki slang was born, a special language, incomprehensible for the majority of the Finns.
In Finnish capital an old lady lives who raps. Eila Nevanranta, a 76-year old pensioner, once got so angry at teenagers who scattered garbage everywhere that she decided to address them in their own language. That was how Eila wrote her first song with the message that one mustn’t drop litter. It got on air and the pensioner woke up famous. Currently popular granny sings about solitude, homeless people and environmental problems. Eila is a frequent guest at Finnish youth venues.
Europe’s best selection of vinyls is available at several music shops in Helsinki. As nearly as all genres are sold here, from jazz-funk-blues, electronic, rock, 70s-80s pop to folk rhythms of peoples from all over the world all the way to tunes of certain tribes. Photo eater.com
There is snow in Helsinki even in summer. One can have a look at it on Sofiankatu (Sofia Street) in the City Museum.
There are hundreds of pictures within the framework of “Last Year’s Snow Was Falling” exhibition. They depict Finnish capital in different years with its winter joy and amusements. There are also pictures of citizens fighting bad weather and struggling with consequences of snowfalls. One can have a look at snow for free. Photo mappytravel.com
It is easy to come across a shiver of sharks, jellyfishes, blob fish, South American piranhas, a starfish and thousands other rare creatures in the city. They are all gathered in Sea Life Aquarium. One can watch life of predators from inside. There is a glass tunnel at the bottom of the pool where sharks swim. And at specific hours one can see a skate, willing to get some fishes, stick his head out of the water and start champing with pleasure and waving its tail like a dog.
Vanilla and chocolate doesn’t come as a surprise here. In Helsinki one can try ice-cream with oil tar or glazed national Finnish delight salmiakki that has sal ammoniac in it. Here they know how to make ice-cream out of everything.
For veganists soy, rice and oat ones exist. For those trying to lose weight there is low-fat ice-cream, for those with digestion problems – lactose-free one. Photo silakkamarkkinat.fi
There is a vast diversity of berry liquors. And because they are made on crystal clear Finnish water they have inimitable taste and original recipes. In Helsinki one can buy alcohol drinks made of fenberry, blueberry, cowberry, cranberry, seaberry and strawberry.
One can learn Nordic walking in Helsinki. It is good for health of the entire body. Fitness parks, resorts, health centers, sports bases and sanatoriums all over the world actively advocate this simple and useful open air exercise. It is sports walking with specially designed sticks. During such walking body burns 40% more calories than it does while simply walking. And it puts into operation almost every single muscle.
You can listen to your heart and enjoy silence in the centre of a crowded Helsinki in the Chapel of Silence. Photo flickr.com
It is made of fir and black alder and can accommodate up to seventy persons. There are no religious images in the Chapel, one can seclude oneself there, listen to own heart and find peace.
Ghosts like Helsinki very much. There aren’t enough family castles for each one but they settle for Finnish theatres and ordinary old houses. Locals say that they saw a ghost of a man in the building of Alexander Theatre as well as a ghost of a woman called Birgitta in an old villa in Puotila neighborhood.
Unlike Birgitta, a ghost from the theatre is pretty peaceful and calm. It has a rank of a commander. He occasionally slams doors, throws things down or stops a lift. People from the theatre are at terms with him, they’re even friends.
Cover photo thenational.ae