Currently Browsing: Helsinki

High Up in Helsinki – December 4-6

Helsinki marks the farthest north we have been all semester. It was a big shock for us when it started getting dark around 2pm after not really getting light all day. But anyway, we stepped off the ferry to a brisk evening in Helsinki and attempted to reach the central train station where we were meeting our host. In Helsinki, we were trying something new: couchsurfing. This is where we make an agreement to stay at a host’s place and sleep on their couch, exchange stories & culture, and learn to be like a true Finn. Our host was Kalevi, a Colorado born, Oregon raised, college kid who liked Finland so much he moved there. And guess what, he gets free education, and a small stipend that helps pay the rent each month. In our last email he told us he would meet us at the central train station around 5:30pm and he would be there wearing a red ski jacket. So that’s what we did. But we needed help in getting there so after we bought transportation tickets (one ticket works for all the buses, metro, light rail—it’s great), we walked outside to the bus station and I asked a guy in his mid-twenties, who was wearing a dashing long coat, which bus we should take. He told us to follow him as he was going by the train station and that he would show us. The conversation that ensued showed that he was very friendly and eccentric, contrary to rumors that portray Finns as shy. He was very helpful and after we were within eye shot of the station he left us to go enjoy his evening. After meeting Kalevi, we went back to his place to drop off our stuff before leaving for the pub crawl. Kalevi runs the “Helsinki Pub Crawl” every other Friday night...