Last week I was in Helsinki with TH. Since it was a work day for him, I was on my own. The Alexanterinkatu & Esplanade had a huge number of tourists (not seen in the picture below) walking towards the Senate square & the harbour.
There is something about Helsinki that perks me up instantly. I have heard from a few Finnish friends that Helsinki ilmapiiri (mood/atmosphere?) dampens theirs spirits but it is exactly opposite with me! When I first moved to Finland, I lived in Helsinki for the first year. It has so many memories with TH. To start with, the airport reminds me of the first time we met in real life, the florist at Kamppi reminds me of the beautiful flowers TH would buy for me every week just before he got on the bus. Our first coffee shop date, our first grocery shopping at Alepa (it was the only thing near to where I lived!), our walk along the harbour & the ferry ride. The list is long but you get the drift!
I love the market places (tori & kauppahalli) both in summer & for Christmas. The summer market at the Helsinki harbour where boats to Suomenlinna start is lovely with fresh produce. The walk along the harbour all the way to Kaivopuisto makes me so happy! It is quieter and pleasant. It is nice to watch from a distance the Ferris wheel, cruise ships, ferries, private boats & of course people!
Later that day, we met a couple of people for lunch and as I mentioned my pleasant morning, the Finn in our group said that there are usually two kinds of people in Finland – lake loving and sea loving. Then the question was – Am I sea loving kind? No, I am quiet loving, people-watching loving, Helsinki ilmapiiri loving kind and the city just happens to be by the sea!