While on vacation in Finland, the last city I visited was the capital Helsinki. I would have loved to ‘play tourist’ a bit while in the gorgeous and vibrant city, but I was there for a much less touristy reason – the annual Tuska Open Air Metal Festival!
Since I was spending three whole days in metalhead bliss seeing some of my favourite bands, live, in their home countries (I’m sure any North American fan of Scandinavian/Nordic metal can agree what a treat this is!) I didn’t really go out too much to eat while in the city. Most evenings I was heading home from the concert grounds too late to get more than just hamburgers (there was both a McDonalds and a Hessburger close to my hotel), and for other meals there were several vendors at the concert grounds, plus there was a grocery store a block away, and across the street was an open-air marketplace.
The marketplace was amazing – bustling with activity! There were many stalls with vendors selling fresh berries like the strawberries above (blueberries were also plentiful!) and many selling flowers as well. There were also vendors selling other fresh produce, nuts, preserved meats, and a few selling consumer goods like leather purses. It reminded me a lot of the Market Square in Turku, and made me envious that we don’t have neighbourhood markets like this in Calgary.
Just like in Turku, we discussed how lovely it would be to bring some of those lovely fresh flowers back to our hotel room – if only the room had a vase!
As a note, this is just one of the market squares (in the Kallio district) – not “the” Market Square, which is near Helsinki’s South Harbour. The harbour front market square was similar – but was so exceptionally busy that I didn’t get a chance to take any photos. They had similar items for sale, but had a lot more consumer goods along with produce, and seemed to cater more to the tourist market due to their location. (I even saw Reindeer fur items for sale!)
I adored my trip to Finland, and can’t wait to go back again. Before going I did look for sushi places, and had picked out a few, however because of my concert schedule, and my travel companion’s disinterest in sushi, I never had the chance to try anything. Helsinki is known for having amazing food though, like the modern take on South Asian cuisine at Farang. Blogger Foodie In Finland shared a blog post recently – check it out! http://foodieinfinland.blogspot.ca/2012/03/farang-helsinki.html
If you’re interested in my music travels, check out Throwing Horns Abroad – where I’m sharing some of my music-centric travel adventures!