Today was our first full day in Helsinki. We met this morning at 8:30 outside of our hotel and found a quaint little bakery a few blocks away for breakfast. We gorged on quiche, yogurt, and the some of the best croissants that I’ve ever had. Next, we went to a department store called Stockmans (Finland’s Macys) so that the people whose luggage had not arrived yet could buy some clothing. Personally, I just wandered around the store and was amazed at all the different items the store was selling.
After shopping, we went to the National Museum of Finland. We split up into 3 groups and completed a scavenger hunt across the museum. The art and other artifacts were all incredible, but I would have to say my favorite thing was the throne in the museum.
After a quick lunch in the museum cafe, we met Alix’s second cousins Petra and Ritva. We took a bus with them to Ramboll, an engineering firm where Petra works. There we met Pyry, whom we chatted with about Ramboll and Finland in general for about an hour and a half.
After Ramboll we went to Petra and Ritva’s house. We watched a video on Finland’s education system, talked, ate, and some of us even caught up on a little sleep. Some of us even tried salmiakki, a beloved Finnish candy which is essentially salted licorice. We left Petra and Ritva’s house and took a bus to a fish market in Helsinki. We ate some form of oddly fried sardines, which defintely tasted interesting, and browsed around some of the shops there.
Eventually, we made it back to the hotel where we rested for a little bit. At 8pm, we met up with Alix’s relatives and her parents for dinner at Juuri. We all had a four course meal with two appetizers, an entree of rainbow trout, and a dessert. During dinner we recieved the great news that everyone’s bags had finally gotten into Helsinki. Mr. McMahon and Mr. Craig selflessly decided to go and get our bags for us from the airport and everyone was reunited with their bags in the hotel by 12.
We are all looking forward to another great day tomorrow!