Week 52 – Helsinki for my birthday!

Another tick off the country list! That makes 41 visited now 🙂

I decided to be completely spontaneous and totally random for my birthday / new year this year (er, make that 2018… delayed publishing of this post, sorry!) and I ended up in Helsinki with my friend La La.

It was cold. It snowed. It was the best fun!

We didn’t have much planned other than just hanging out in Helsinki because:

  • We didn’t book enough of a holiday to venture up further north to try see the northern lights
  • We just wanted to enjoy the cold and snow and do something a bit random for new year

Helsinki itself doesn’t have much to do and is very easily doable in 3 or 4 days… even if parts of those days are filled with snow, or raining, or only consist of 6 hours of sunlight 😛

Prior to arrival we purchased the Helsinki Card which gives you unlimited access to public transport, includes a sightseeing tour, and offers discounts on entry at various museums etc., as well as discounts on restaurants, shopping etc.

Helsinki is a relatively small city center and you’re pretty much able to walk everywhere, but having the tram use is a big help when you’ve been walking for hours and all you want is to get back to your hotel room and put your feet up as it starts getting dark at 4pm.

There are many bars and pubs and restaurants around the city center, with most of them offering interesting cocktails or shot creations… it’s just a matter of finding some of them as they’re not in-your-face advertised – but we found that to be part of their charm!

For New Year we decided to try out the free-entry gathering on Senate Square where they had bands and DJ’s performing all night, with a spectacular fireworks display at midnight. Everything is in Finnish though, so unless you speak the language, don’t plan on understanding anything they’re saying, or singing to you 😉

Definitely goes down as one of my favourite holidays – just so completely random, and filled with snow!

Week 50 – Red Ivory wedding venue

I’m becoming quite the pro at fly-in visits to family & friends – especially if there’s a wedding involved. And this past week was no exception!

Family-friends of my family (?!) got married in South Africa (coz that’s where they’re from, and live), in Johannesburg, at a place called Red Ivory. And boy was it spectacular! And lots of fun!

I don’t have much to say for this blog post (saving my words for my degree 😉 ) but the photos should do it justice. Enjoy 🙂