Helsinki

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 8:55 am and the Carnival Legend was in Helsinki, Finland.

We went to Truffles for breakfast with Tim and Gabbie.  I had a baked apple and smoked salmon with cream cheese on a bagel.

There was free internet at the port and we used it for a few minutes.

We all took the shuttle into the city center which was 10€ for each person round trip.

Got off the shuttle bus.  Ivan was looking at a city map.  A lady told us about a market nearby.  So, we walked down the street to the market.  Tim and I took some pictures.

Ivan wanted to use the internet, so we said bye to Tim and Gabbie.  We walked around to find a café where we used the free internet.  Ivan and I both had an espresso since we were tired.

We walked to the Hotel Klaus K for the meeting point for a tour.  This hotel is filled with lots of cool décor and artwork.

The Helsinki Food tour started shortly after noon.  Our guide was a goth girl who had pink hair, not sure what her name was.  She was really in need of a tan.

Bread with sour cream, veggies & herring

We had a spruce drink and a tasty bread with herring, cream cheese, onions and cucumber on top.

The small group of eleven started walking to our next food destination.  Eromanga is a home bakery.  Here, our guide started handing out meat pies called lihapiirakka.  Ivan said that he was vegetarian.

Lihapiirakka, a Finnish pastry

The meat pie was like a donut on the outside with meat and rice on the inside.  It was slightly sweet.  The guide plopped down Ivan’s substitute and didn’t say what it was.  Our guide never even told us anything about the meat pie.

It was off to our next stop which was at the market.  Our guide gave us reindeer meatballs with a cranberry sauce and little fried herrings with sour cream.  Ivan asked if he could get a water.  The guide looked at one of the guys who ran the stalls and said Uhh, I think you have to buy it.   You would think that since we’re paying 55€  per person for the tour, we could get a bottle of water for free.  Ivan ended up buying a bottle of water.

The reindeer meat was tasty.

Ivan with a little fried herring

Ivan and I both enjoyed the fried fish as well.

The group’s next stop was at Pure Bistro where we had a pine slush which is made from the sap of the pine tree.  An American guy said it tasted like Christmas which it actually did.  I could definitely have more of this tasty slush.

We walked to a square where you can see a big church on a hill.  The guide tried to gather us together to tell a story, but everybody started taking pictures.  She did tell one person the story.  She was a really bad guide.  She seemed shy and didn’t want to talk to us.  I think she thought it would be fine just to take us to places and not really explain anything.

Helsinki Cathedral

The group walked up to Helsinki Cathedral.  I asked her what it was.  She said something about it, but it didn’t make much sense.  All I got was that it’s a famous church on a hill.

Our next stop was Krypta Cafe.

Krypta Cafe in Helsinki

It was cool being in a crypt, but the food was really weird.  It was a cafe that sold tea, coffee and cakes.  We got a chocolate cake and an apple pastry.  Again, we didn’t get any explanation about the food.  It was just cheap cakes that you would get at a hospital cafeteria.

We walked by a lovely Roman building, but our guide didn’t say anything about it.  On most food tours, they will talk about the places we are passing by.

The group went to Anton & Anton next which is an organic grocery store.  A lady from the store told us about the blueberry and cardamom ice cream.  She was much friendlier than our guide.  Our guide seemed to look at her in envy since everybody was listening to her.  The ice cream was delicious.

We also got to taste cheese that was aged 5 months that was on a cracker with jam on top.

Tasty cheese & jam on a cracker

The last stop was at Chjoko which sells Finnish chocolate.  The store sold lots of chocolate and truffles.  Our group got a dark chocolate bar that was broken up in pieces and little milk chocolate balls.  Ivan thought it was cheap that we didn’t get any good chocolate truffles.  The guide only told us what kind of chocolate we were getting.  She said it would be our last stop and gave us our diploma.  A lot of people were asking what places we visited.  Our guide had to think about it.  She has got to be the worst guide we’ve ever had on a tour.  We’ve done a lot of tours during our years of traveling.  She wasn’t a good storyteller and never explained the foods we were eating.

The Helsinki Food tour was good for the food.. but it’s overpriced.  I’m sure it would have been a lot better with a good guide.

We walked back to the drop-off area and boarded the shuttle bus.  Ivan and I saw Tim and Gabbie sitting down.  The bus left at 3:45 pm headed to the port.

We tried to use the free internet at the port, but it wasn’t working.

Back on the Carnival Legend, Ivan went walking around.  I watched music videos in the room while I tried to work on the blog.  It was nice to chill on the balcony.

Ivan came back to get ready.  I fell asleep when he was in the shower.  When he was done, he told me I should get ready and meet him at trivia or at Truffles for dinner.

I fell back asleep since I was tired.  I showered, got ready and walked to find Ivan.  He told me that he, Tim and Gabbie won the British Pub Quiz and they each won a Carnival medal.

Ivan started off with a fruit appetizer while I got a vegetarian soup.

Ivan had the vegetarian Indian meal – the dishes change nightly.  I had a cheeseburger with fries for my main course.  I do miss my burgers when I’m pescetarian.

The waiters were getting ready to dance.  I told them Gabbie and I wanted to dance.  I went up, but Gabbie didn’t want to.  We danced to DJ Otzi’s Hey Baby (If You’ll Be My Girl).  I copied the moves of the waiters which were very easy to learn.

Jen dancing with our waiters

I love dancing and I realized I miss doing it.

We talked awhile with our dinner mates at the table.  Everybody left at 10 pm.  It was really windy outside and the ship was really rocky tonight.

Ivan and I decided to call it an early night and went to bed at 11 pm.

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2 thoughts on “Helsinki

  1. Dear Jen,
    I am owner of Food Design Finland Ltd that is making Food tours in Helsinki.

    I am so sorry to hear that we disappointed you on our Helsinki Food tour. We have been having increasing numbers of tours and therefore we are training new guides. Although we try to train them well before they start to make tours the best way to learn is just to start to do them.

    Could you e-mail or comment here your tour date and I have a look is there anything what we can do to compensate your disappointment. And surely we will do more practice with the guide.

    Tasty regards, Tanja

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