Helsinki

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.

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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!

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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.

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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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