Finally I am back from our three week sailing trip. You can imagine how happy I was to see my Nespresso machine after drinking all kinds of horrible coffee for three weeks! If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you’d join me for a latte or would you perhaps like to sample some tea from London?
I was quite glad to be home, even though we did have fun. I must say that the weather was quite extreme with strong winds and big waves – not exactly what we were hoping for on our first sailing holiday! We had quite a relaxed attitude to it all, exploring the places we visited and often staying at least two nights in one place. We experienced tranquil nature, busy touristy towns, Viking history, abandoned buildings, traces of the Soviet era, many different saunas and spas (and oops, I almost forgot to mention – cakes!!). On the way we chatted with other friendly sailors from Finland, Germany, the UK and Sweden.
I will be writing about the destinations we visited throughout the winter (when the boat is on the hard) for a breath of summer but for sailing enthusiasts, this is the route we took:
Espoo – Lähteelä – our yacht club’s island in the Inkoo archipelago – Jussarö – Hanko – Kasnäs (daytrip by bike to Högsåra) – Rosala – Kärdla (Estonia) – Haapsalu (Estonia) – Lohusalu (Estonia) – Tallinn (Estonia) – Espoo
Unfortunately at the end of the trip we had some engine trouble and now we are awaiting the mechanic to service it and our sailing is halted for the time being.
One of this week’s favourites has been conquering the huge pile-up of laundry. I washed laundry along the way whenever possible but what I hadn’t anticipated was that my daughter had invited a zillion friends over to stay the night and had taken new sheets for each occasion!! Without all those sheets I would’ve finished in a day but this time getting on top of the piles of laundry took four days!
When we arrived home, the apartment was very quiet as our daughter had gone out partying with two girls from Austria who had come to visit us. The sisters were so delightful, it was a joy to have them here. I don’t think you need me to tell you that travel is amazing. My daughter met one of the girls on her trip to Australia and they got together in Vienna earlier this year. Now the sisters stayed with us for a week. On their last day we visited Porvoo.
First, we had lunch at my daughter’s friend’s dad’s gas station on the way and picked her up in the process.
Then we had a stroll in Porvoo and went to Café Cabriole for cakes.
They have the most divine cakes and the macarons are to die for. I bought some to take home, look how huge they are!
After coffee, we looked around some more and then drove to the airport. The girls promised to meet up again soon as we waved them goodbye at the airport.
The day got even better in the evening when I met fellow blogger from Love Travelling. Marion is visiting Finland for a whole month and has done so for years in the summers! We went to Café Mellsten which is a restaurant in Haukilahti, Espoo right near the beach. We had some lovely goat’s cheese salads and sangria to go with it.
The evening was sunny and we had a wonderful time chatting for hours! The man sitting alone next to us seemed to enjoy our conversations as well and only reluctantly left when the sun rays moved off the terrace. I am so glad our timetables matched and we were able to meet, I hope to see more of Marion in Finland in the years to come. Blogging is even better when you get to meet the people whose blogs you follow and who comment on yours!
On Tuesday hubby and I spent some time hanging out on the boat even though we couldn’t go anywhere because of the engine. The sea breeze was a nice relief from the heatwave we’ve been having. Our son is happy to spend time with his friends now that we’re home that he doesn’t miss us at all. In the evening we went to Espoo’s Central Park to look for mushrooms. We found enough chanterelles to make a reindeer-chanterelle pie – my family’s favourite. And yes, you heard right – REINDEER!
In case you are interested, the recipe is something I just throw together. As I’m quite lazy these days with cooking, I just use a frozen pie dough which is possible to buy from the frozen goods section in Finland. The mushrooms are chopped and then cooked in oil. I place them over the crust (which has thawed and moulded on the pie dish). Then I combine creme fraiche, two eggs, spices (parsley, black pepper, chili flakes) and smoked reindeer dices (also available from the grocery store in Finland). I pour this mixture on top and finish off with some grated cheese. And into the oven it goes. You will know it’s ready when the pie crust has browned a little and the cheese has melted a golden color.
On Wednesday hubby and I decided to make an extempore trip to Seinäjoki. Seinäjoki is around 350 km away from us, so you may be wondering why on earth we went there. Well, it was for a housing fair!
Do you have housing fairs in your country? If you have never heard of this event, you will be interested to know that it happens yearly over here. It is always held at a different location around Finland. Actual houses are built and decorated for families who will move into them after the fair is over. During the housing fair anyone (who pays the admission fee) can go inside the houses and look around. It’s a great opportunity for housing developers, builders, interior designers and furnishing manufacturers can showcase their work for a huge audience. You still have till the 7th of August to visit if you are interested!
We ended up making a little road trip out of our visit which I will tell you about in a separate post later on.
Finally – if you are at loss at what to do this weekend (Friday or Saturday) in Helsinki, fear not. I have the answer for you: the coolest event of the year – Street Food Carnival in Suvilahti. I am personally looking forward to trying out Cone’s crepes and Fisu & Ranet’s fish & chips but there are many of my favourites there! I can recoomend BBQ on Wheel’s burgers, Kimchi Wagon’s noodles, Levant’s mezes, Fat Tomato’s reiskas and of course Brooklyn Bakery’s divine cupcakes (red velvet being my favourite).
I’ve really gone on for a bit haven’t it? Time for a coffee refill and the most important question – how are you? What has been going on in your life in the last three weeks? Join the coffee share community at Diana’s blog with your own post at or let me know in the comments below!