Well. Here we are. Travel is always is always an opportunity to expand, to know more, to push yourself hard. This trip is already proving to be just that. After British Airways at Christmas, we all said, hands down, that that trip provided the worst flight in the history of civilization. So now we have a new personal bestÖ FinnAir, JFK to Helsinki. Jesus Mary and Joseph. But we made it. Left our Hermes shawl on the plane, not due to the ever present jet lag, but the sauna+like atmosphere, which left the temperature no less than 80 degrees for the duration of the 7.5 hour flight. Funny thing. We made it. Ö=
We are with Joe From The Bronx and he will not leave 10 cents, let alone 10 cents euro, on the table. So we take the FinnAir bus into town for 5.2E each. Pleasant but actually eery. Helsinki was completely deserted at 10 am. And for those who must know, Helsinki looks like Seattle from the air, but is the size of Spokane in the actual. But on the approach it was like driving into Murray, Idaho. Wonderful trees everywhere, but no damn people or nuthinä going on.
The town, apart from the trees and the water, looks like San Jose California or Redmond Washington, architectually, which makes me wonder if tech isnät the prevalent industry. There is money in this town, too. Strolled after dinner and saw the shops. Tourists donät typically buy Hermes and Chanel handbags. Ö= Actually, looks like thereäs tons of money here. Weäll buy crystal and ship it home. Although our hotel is right across the street from a big post office and the post office museum. This led Joe Montana to wonder at dinnerÖ if the real criteria for selecting a hotel itäs proximity to postal or shipping facilities_ Freaking smart ass.
Talked to people on the street who told us to go to The Virgin Oil Company for dinner. Being dutiful, we did just that. The Virgin Oil Company is a Finnish Italian Restaurant, which actually, was more interesting that American Italian restaurants, who take themselves quite seriously. The vodka here is smooooth and icy and the beer is tall and warm. We loved that combination and sat and drank vodka and beer, Finnish boilmakers, for quite some time before ordering dinner. We wonder if we really are those people who have always had kids. But we didnät linger on that point for too long. Ö=
Some of the more interesting things on the menu included Blueberry and Mushroom Risotto, Risotto with tomato, grilled globe artichoke and semi+dried tomatoes. That was tasty. The drink of the night was a Rapartini Classico, Finlandia mango Fusion, DeKuyper Sour Rhubarb and Cranberry juice. We didnät have that but those vodka shots were fabbbo! fabbbbooo! FABBOOO, followed with Stella and Budar dark. I ordered salmon and Helsinkis is a place where they know how to cook fish that swims in cold water. Ö=
We strolled and strolled after dinner, itäs past 10 and still as light as noon, and delighted at the city, which is quiet. The Finns are quiet and surprisingly, good looking. Very blond with tawny, creamy skin. Of course, not as good looking as the Prussians, but certainly, good enough. I loved our waitperson who was blond, wore the black VIRGIN t+shirt with a knock+off Tiffany heart and a nametag that said äLauraä.
We were fortunate to persuade the Rockwood Clinic into prescribing a whole month of Ambien for us, so along with the vodka here, freaking sublime, Joe Montana and I believe this is going to be a good trip. Ö0 Sorry about no pictures. When I get back to Bellemaison, Iäll update all the posts, to show you what Iäm talking about.