We spent a week in Helsinki, exploring, discovering and learning. Helsinki has long been a dream destination for the both of us, so when we had the chance to explore this amazing city for several days, we packed our warmest jackets, sturdiest tripod and landscape lenses and away we went.
Helsinki was colder than we anticipated but the weather didn't stop us from exploring even its most obscure corners. There were so many things to do in Helsinki. We indulged in Finish sauna, tried to jump naked in the frozen sea (spoiler alert, we didn't do it!) and saw some of the most surreal landscape made of giant, broken, ice sheets.
Above all, Helsinki was about escaping digital distractions. Every single month we plan on visiting a new destination with this very idea in mind. We want to live in the moment and be together, enjoy each other's company and allow ourselves time to really process what we see around us. And hey, just because we are travelling vegan, it doesn't mean we can't have amazing food. Countless times Helsinki chefs prepared vegan food for us, even though the lunch menu was tailored for other dietary requirements.
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Here is the most anticipated photo essay on our website. We know so many of you replied to our Instagram stories and asked us for this, so here it is: a way to showcase Helsinki through our eyes (and lens).
Helsinki from above. We arrived just before the sunset and captured a warmer side of Helsinki. Although, if you look at the horizon, you can still see the frozen sea.
Allas Sea Pools was one of our favorite way to spend an evening. The pools were 28C whereby the outside temperature was more like -5C. Next to this steamy pool, you could find a pool filled with water from the sea (full of ice). Some of the bravest men and women dived right in, then walked slowly towards the sauna. We got out of the warm pool and literally ran to the sauna.
Look how peaceful the Market Square in Helsinki is. I especially loved the little ducks chilling on the frozen sheet of ice just by the harbour.
During our time in Finland, we decided to take some day trips from Helsinki and enjoy the wonderful Nuukio National Park. I absolutely love snow and I'm in my element when it's cold outside.
On the Tallink cruise from Helsinki to Tallinn. I always wanted to see the frozen sea, hence it's a dream of mine to visit Antartica. For now, I was pleased to see this surreal landscape right in front of my eyes.
This is Löyly, one of the coolest public Finish saunas in Helsinki. The reason why I loved it so much, is because this sauna leads right to the seafront as you can see above. That little cut in the ice is where brave people can jump in right after a session in the sauna. No, we didn't jump in, although we did try.
Another picture of Helsinki from above. It's actually so refreshing to see a city which is not dominated by skyscrapers.
We absolutely loved the idea of Finish sauna and we didn't hesitate trying it. In fact, we loved it so much that we booked two private sessions to enjoy the sauna at our own pace. This was in the Aallonkoti Hotel Apartments where we stayed for a whole week.
We are soft adventure lovers, hence we will never, ever pass on the opportunity to enjoy a quiet walk in nature. Turns out, Finland has more natural oasis rather than busy and tiring cities.
I just want to jump on the ice and cross the sea this way. There is something so magical about seeing, quite literally, a sea of ice.
Rönnin Pihkalalva is a Finish balm made from spruce. It is 100% natural and it works magic on the lips because of the spruce resin which is one of nature's little gems. I normally don't use lip balm much, but given it was so cold, and this little resin wonder smells like wood (so nice!) I thought I will try it. Turns out, I can't live without it anymore.
This picture was taken with our tripod and the camera set on a timer. We wanted to show the type of exploring we love to do, and add a bit of colour to the picture too. We are wearing the Hai Nokian footwear which kept us from getting wet. Just remember to wear warm clothes when exploring Finland.
One more picture of the Baltic Sea. I simply can't get enough of this landscape.
I am a winter child at heart. I never liked summer (except the fact there was no school during summer), but always had my affinity towards autumn and winter. There is something special about the cold season. That first morning when you wake up and it smells like winter. The smell of log, the beautiful snow, the perfect scenery. I know not many people enjoy the cold. G, for example, loves those long summer days, with no rain, cold or snow. Wearing a Makia parka in this picture.
Despite the seasonal preferences, we have one big thing in common: we both love nature, whether is under the scorching sun, or in the coldest of the winter days. And where there is nature, there is room for adventure.
The snow you see in this picture was not powdery, but almost entirely frozen. This made it easier to navigate in the national park and enjoy taking countless pictures.
We will forever remember Nuuksio National Park. On the right of the picture, there is a lake which was entirely frozen. We are so happy we took this day trip to fall in love with Finland's nature.
We were en route to Löyly here, just by the seafront. There was this crazy wind and the sun just went down which made this white landscape silent, eerie and simply perfect.
Can you see the Silka Line in the background? That beautiful cruise ship is an actual ice breaker, which makes challenging journeys possible. We never thought we will enjoy a cruise so very much.
Maybe not the ideal home, but sure is a cute little building right in the forest. The picture was taken in the Nuuksio National Park.
This is the view we enjoyed for a whole week from our apartment. We had a studio in the Aallonkoti Hotel Apartments where we had so many cool things from Marimekko. The teapot, the plates, the pillows and even the bedding were all from Marimekko. Oh, and it was in the beautiful city of Helsinki where I got the chance to discover two of my favorite things: vegan chocolate from Goodio and an amazing green tea with wild berries from Nord-T.
There is nothing cooler than having a long walk in a silent forest, all covered in snow. Although the temperatures were well below 0C, we had an amazing time hiking and reconnecting with one another.
Even though it was a little colder than anticipated, there are epic ways to keep warm in Helsinki. We both had our Vai-Ko beanies which were life savers during our time spent around the harbour. It may not look it, but my hair was actually frozen in this picture.