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Missing Helsinki


I don’t know if it’s because I hadn’t been to Helsinki for a year and therefore was seeing it through new eyes, but it was sooo nice to be back this summer, and the city has never looked so beautiful. I had really been looking forward to showing the city I (more or less) lived in from the age of 19 to 28 to Matthew. He seemed to appreciate Helsinki and kept going on about how good-looking the people were. I completely agree 🙂

Although Edinburgh is great, I really miss Helsinki, and even more so: my friends! We managed to meet up with my lovely uni friends (that I hadn’t seen for 2 years!) and my lovely friend from my other school with her kiwi husband (that I hadn’t seen for 3 years or smt!), but completely forgot to take photos! 🙁 Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to see all the people I wanted to, but will be back soon and our door is always open!

The weather was also great which really made the city even more appealing. Here are a few pics of my Helsinki (that Matthew took).


What I really love about Helsinki is that it’s surrounded by sea. I had the privilege to live only 100 meters from the shore, and used to love going for runs along the coastline and taking walks on the ice in the winter. Now my younger brother and his girlfriend live in the same flat – lucky ones!


Matthew found a place he really liked for some reason.


The old green trams are such an integrated part of the city scene and a good way to get around. (Watch out for the nutters/drunks that always seem to be quite chatty and always seem to be on the same tram you’re on…If you live in Helsinki you know what I’m talking about!)


Helsinki is quite well known among architects, mainly because of Alvar Aalto and the Jugend (Art Nouveau) architecture. If you’re an Aalto or Jugend aficionado, go to the Tourist Office and get yourself a free map that lists buildings of interest.


The Helsinki Cathedral is beautiful, and that’s where all the tourist flock to in summer (as you can see). The old quarters are being regenerated and turned into shops and restaurants, which is nice and surely appreciated by the visitors.


The obligatory ‘sitting on the steps leading up to the cathedral’-photo.


I love this photo in all its simplicity. (Photo art a la Matthew.)


A visit to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress  island that is a Unesco heritage site is a must if you’re in Helsinki. It’s great for a picnic, a relaxing walk or playing with cannons.


It started raining when we were on the island, so we had to take refuge in one of the lovely cafes.


Also loving all the parks in the city that get crowded during the summer months when people come out of their holes.


More chilling in my favourite park – Sinebrychoff park – with some London friends as well as local friends. (Notice how long and creepy Matthew’s arm looks like.)


Amazing sunset in south Helsinki.

SaunabusOnly in Finland…

I really hope it won’t be another year before I get to visit Helsinki again!

x Nina x

Nina Äikäs

<p>I’m a Swedish-speaking Finn who left Finland for the lovely and thrilling London town in 2011, but after meeting an equally lovely and thrilling Scotsman I somehow now find myself in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. In February 2015 our gorgeous little girl arrived and made us a happy family of three. Follow my blog and get to know us!</p>

  • Monica Aikas

    Ja, det hoppas jag också (att det inte tar så lång tid innan du kommer till Finland alltså). Bloggen är en underbar lovsång till Helsingfors (så lät det inte när du bodde där …)! Och hälsa Matthew att det är jättefina foton; en del är rena konstverk!

    September 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    • ninaaikas

      Ja graset ar val alltid gronare pa andra sidan staketet…

      September 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm
  • Annika

    Aaaawww, i feel somehow sorry for you to hear that. We miss you too! I know u know all this but i want to say it anyways. Remember that Finns are jealous of you that you got to get away. You appreciate Helsinki more now, since you have now been chewing greener grass for few years. Maybe Scotland is not the best place to emigrate to but I know Scotland has something great that Finland doesn’t have.

    September 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm
    • ninaaikas

      No need to feel sorry for me! I think every single person who moves away will feel homesick at some point. For me it’s more about the people, I wish my friends and family could be here! Helsinki has its advantages, but so does Edinburgh. Living abroad and being in a relationship with a foreigner means there will always be compromises – I’m sure you know that 😉

      September 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm
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