Even though Finland was a next-door neighbour when I grew up, I’ve never been to Helsinki. The first thing that struck me on arrival at the airport were all the signs in Swedish. I had kind of forgotten that Helsinki is bilingual. The trilingual signs at the airport (Finnish/Swedish/English) also looked a bit uneven. The Finnish word for Entrance is like a metre long while the Swedish word is “In”.

Arriving in the 17th of July, I arrived just on the right day as the Tall Ships Races 2013 are held in Helsinki 17-20 July 2013. I had no clue if this, of course. The buzz down by the harbour was fabulous. It was a bit like stepping back in time with all these tall sailing boats moored at the quay, some of them looking like they came straight out if some pirate movie.


The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma was definitely worth a visit. The exhibition Parallel Worlds by Eija-Liisa Ahtila was fascinating. There were just room after room with very interesting, beautiful and thought-provoking video displays on huge screens. I wish I’d had more time!


I also liked the drawings-on-the-wall exhibition Unframed by Dan Perjovschi. Lots of funny, tongue-in-cheek graffiti, working as a running commentary on modern life.


There were also interesting-looking film diaries about Andy Warhol and John Lennon being shown, but I didn’t have the time to watch these either. I could have spent half a day here!

Next on the agenda is a day tip to Tallinn before I start my train journey east.


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