Finland, Finland. 8/23/18

Today we have a lovely day in Helsinki. I think I am going to have to put some of my pictures in a smaller format because I have so many pictures of food!!! Our excursion is a Taste of Finland! Unlike yesterday’s tour this one was much better with a personable docent and lots of great information.

Helsinki indoor marketplace

We start at the Old Market which is full of wooden stalls with lots of Finlandish taste treats. There are pastries, canned game, reindeer, and all sorts of fish.

We get to have a taste of smoked reindeer and this is followed by a sit down tasting of delicate gravlax and crawfish and chili mayonnaise on Swedish rye.

Crawfish in chili mayo and gravlax on rye

We have some time to look around on our own. John and I take the time to walk around the market but also have a little sit down with a cup of cappuccino.

Story is a coffee chain like our Starbucks

Then we venture to the outdoor market. There is lots for sale here. All sorts of fruit and vegetables, prepared foods, and items for the home. It is hard to imagine holding this fresh air market when the temperature is way below zero. Our guide tells us that sometimes when visiting dignitaries visit their president whose palace is right across the street he takes them to the outdoor market to sit and have a cup of coffee and a treat.

Outdoor market…

right across the street from

President’s palace.

The outdoor market is a wonderland of berries and mushrooms plus cooked items, clothing, and housewares.

All sorts of berries

Chanterelles and porcini

Finland is 70% forest and 20% lakes. The Finnish people are allowed to go foraging and fishing for no fee everywhere.

We now have some free time to look around the market and the surrounding area. We go to the Town Hall (free bathrooms!), the Presidential Palace, and the Uspenski church which used to be Orthodox when the Russians were in control here.

After meeting up again with our party we walk to Senate Square and either the square is so big or the population of Helsinki so small that everyone can fit in it. There is a statue to Czar Alexander II because he was nice to the Finns and let them have some autonomy. The Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral is also here.

Helsinki Cathedral in Senate Square

We board our mini-bus and take off for a short tour of the city when our guide realizes she has left two people behind. This is the second day in a row that our tour has lost people. After a while they are found and we hurry back to the boat.

Dinner tonight is at the Chef’s Table where we further ingratiate ourselves by talking about Croatia with the Croatian manager. John actually hints that he may be a distant cousin of the owners of Pilato Winery. We have no shame but now we do have a standing invitation to eat at Chef’s Table. Mission accomplished.

Dinner tonight is Asian Panorama. Here are some of the dishes –

Chilled King Crab with coconut foam paired with a Ponte Prosecco Trevino

Lobster and Chicken Shu Mai plus a Tuscan La Pettegola

Peking duck wrapped in an egg pancake. We change their suggested wine to a Villa Santera Primitivo

On to Russia tomorrow!