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Finland
By Bob Enzel


SNOWSHOEING IS A FUN ACTIVITY TO DO WHEN VISITING FINLAND. IT IS EASILY DONE JUST OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL CITY OF HELSINKI WHERE THE BEAUTY OF NATUR IS COVERED IN UNSPOILED SNOW.

It's not complicated. "If you can walk, you can walk in snowshoes". Merely strap on a pair and you’re ready to go. February to April is best for sun-filled days and an abundance of snow. A thirty minute ride out of the Helsinki railway station will bring you to Nuuksio National Park where you may take an organized snowshoe hike. http://feelthenature.info/snowshoe-safari-in-nuuksio-national-park

Snowshoe off the trails...

Overnight adventures in the taiga of Kainuu, Eastern Finland will let you trek up ridges for a vast view of beautiful countryside, cross frozen lakes and rivers and check out spectacular frozen waterfalls.

http://www.upitrek.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=20&Itemid=33

See the Aurora Light Up Dark Forests
As fun as snowshoeing is during the day, doing it in the middle of the night is a real thrill. See the Northern Lights blazing in the sky will make it a memorable experience. Make it happen for you in Levi, Lapland. http://www.lapinluontoelamys.fi/english/winter-activities/night-tour-to-levi/

Further afield there are several choices for snowshoeing. Or, scroll down he below site and check out some short films on "an ice water dipping", "dog sledding" or cross-country skiing. http://www.visitfinland.com/article/take-a-white-hike-2/
 


Helsinki Dining

To best explore Helsinki do it by walking This will allow you to check out the many restaurants for both lunch and dinner while shopping, sightseeing and strolling the lovely Finnish capital.

Here are a few of the many choices in alpha order:

Ask... It's proprietors have worked in top restaurants before opening this seasonal and organic restaurant in an art nouveau setting in Kruununhaka area.
www.restaurantask.com/

Chef & Sommelier..."Organic, handmade and pure are the keywords here". This restaurant is located in the "posh" area of Eira.
www.chefetsommelier.fi/en/

Eat & Joy/Muuuu Maitobaari...Finish local food products to take home. Eat & Joy is in the Farmers Market in Kluuvi Shopping Centre.
Muuuu is their Milk Bar.
www.eatandjoy.fi/eatjoy-farmers-market-and-eatjoy-kluuvi-market-hall/ 

Juuri..."Famous for its specialty, Sapas, a Finnish take on...hors d'oeuvres". Finnish fruits, "classy" finger foods,"wild" main courses.
www.juuri.fi/en

Nokka...First time visitors will like their Helskinki Menu. Ingredients are from local suppliers and small farms.
www.ravintolanokka.fi/en

Olo...Opened in 2006, Olo has already been awarded a Michelin star.
"Modern Nordic cuisine with respect for traditional raw ingredients".
www.olo-ravintola.fi/en

Spis...Small and cosy. Featuring a fresh Nordic vegetable ingredient philosophy, with meat and fish on the menu also. Artisian wines and Nordic beers.
www.spis.fi/philosophy

Teurastamo..."A abattoir-turned-creative-food-hub...Innovative. A place for small food related businesses to try out new concepts".
www.teurastamo.com/en/teurastamo.html

Helsinki Sightseeing
The architectural works of Alvar Aalto, considered as the “father of Scandinavian design” was featured last year, but are always worth a visit.

Enso-Gutzeit Headquarters built in 1962 is a box-shaped modernistic building with a white marble façade. It’s located at the city’s waterfront, but is a working office building and can only be viewed from the outside.

Academic Bookstore on the Esplanade was built in 1969. The Aalto Café on the far balcony is a great place to enjoy a snack while perhaps shopping for a guidebook?

Near the Central Railway Station is Finlandia Hall is a city landmark with a marble exterior and copper roof. The concert hall was completed in 1972 and the Congress Wing in 1975. Lighting, furniture, moldings, panels and flooring allows the viewer a peek at Aalto’s attention to detail.

Riihitie House constructed in his early years (1936) was home and office for the Aalto family until 1955 and a working office until 1976 when he passed away. It’s located in Munkkiniemi, about a 25 minute tram ride from Helskinki city center.

The campus of the Otaniemi University was also designed by Aalto between 1949 and 1965. It was renamed Aalto University in recognition of the architect’s achievements in technology, art and economics. It’s located about 15 a minute bus ride from Helsinki center.

For more information on the Iconic buildings of Alvar Aalton click on the below sites.
http://www.finlandiatalo.fi/en/architecture/guidedtours/
http://www.alvaralto.fi/htm#aaltohouse/
http://www.riihitie@alvraalto.fi/
http://www.wdc2012helsinki.fi/en


Kotka Maritime Festival
At the end of July, the Kotka Maritime Festival is the largest maritime carnival in Finland. Concerts from classical to rock, exhibitions, street theater and a Children’s Maritime Festival takes place around the Vellamo Maritime Centre in the Old City Port.
www.visitfinland.com/


Tampere Fish Market
Twice a year in spring and Autumn at Laukontori Square in the Southern Finnish city attracts seafood enthusiast to view and eat the most diverse range of fish in Finland…in a festive outdoor atmosphere. The fair is in April and late September-October. Tampere is about 1.5 hours by train from Helsinki.
www.gotampere.fi/


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