With our treasure hunt in Helsinki’s business district over, we headed straight back to the Hotel Scandic Paasi to show off our finds for the Scandic Hotels #Nordics48h mini challenege, grab a bite or two to eat and have some much needed and well-earned ‘Loyly’ time. Loyly by the way is the steam that comes from sauna (which the comments on the clues helped us figure out).
Arriving at the hotel however, we were quickly distracted by the colourful and rather unique designs in some of the other rooms in the hotel lobby. It was kinda like being in a cool yet quirky design studio and gave off a vibe I have to admit, I was very into. Plus it looked quite cosy which was something my weary feet were pleased about!
Remember when I said, how the hotel was built in a listed building which means that the hotel couldn’t change the original structure underneath and had to paint it. You get to see a bit of the history with squares (or rectangles) left untouched with the original walls underneath still untouched.
Back in the room, there were quite a lot of refreshments all chilled and ready to be indulged in…
And a table was set for dinner!
We wasted no time indulging in said refreshments (asides the ones spent taking photos 🙂 ). We’re not ones to let a good bottle of bubbles go to waste!
*Apologies for the messy counter by the way. I accidentally spilled some water from the tap and was too impatient to clean it up. Bubbles wait for no one! 🙂
Finally, food arrived! 🙂
Yikes! I have forgotten what these little pastries were called (not my fault, I was so hungry I didn’t pay attention when I was told… okay, maybe it is my fault a little) but they’re actually savoury, made with rye and filled with rice (or barley, depending on which one you get) and they’re eaten with some egg butter.
Just googled it by the way, the official name is “karelian pastries”. Thank you Google!
The main meal was a salmon stew served with lovely rye bread which by the way, is so tastier than it sounds… It’s got huge chunks or salmon, served in a rich creamy sauce rich with spices and filled with tasty chunks of potatoes which have absorbed all the delicious goodness.
It was spectacular! Immediately after the meal, it was time to relax and veg out in the sauna. I just realised I have no photos of this but it’s probably for the best, all you would have seen is two travellers looking like barrels of wine from eating waaaay too much.
For the next part of the evening, we a bit of a treat – we got to meet up with Finnish musician Jaakko Eino Kalevi! Now, asides from being a genuinely nice guy, Jaakko is a fantastic musician. The Guardian has the first article we’d read about him but we recently found articles on Redbull and Mojo that might help you get to know more about Jaakko and his music. If you wanna skip the articles, head over to Youtube to check out some of his favourite songs – “Deeper Shadows” (my favourite too) and “No End“.
Jaakko also used to be a tram driver before his music career took off so he suggested we hop on a tram and explore a bit of Helsinki off the beaten track. We soon ended up in a bar, cafe, sauna and laundrette all in one! The place was Tintin themed and we wasted no time whatsoever in getting beers and wines in…
Jaakko and I pondered important questions about life like true scholars… (Not really!)
And then we headed off to explore some of the city before catching a tram again…
We slowly made our way to a rooftop bar, where I found an Alvar Aalto sign again that my ‘treasure find’ could potentially be a winner!
We chatted about everything and anything over cocktails and had an amazing evening just relaxing and taking in the sights! Before we knew it, it was almost 1am and we decided it was time to head back to the hotel and get some sleep! We had another early start for the next day after all…
But of course, there was no way I would leave without taking any photos! 🙂 These photos of Helsinki were taken just before midnight by the way. Look at how clear bits of the sky still look! 🙂
There’s just something about cities at night isn’t there?
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