Finland is still a place where healthy outdoor pursuits are in high regard. It may be getting dark by 4pm, but the outdoors is still there for your enjoyment. Varieties of skating, wind gliding, fishing through holes in the ice, horse riding/ trotting, skiing (down as well as across), snow boarding and tobogganing are some of the things my friends do, and there’s a blog I read from time to time by someone who ice climbs in the Helsinki area.
When the weather is a great as it has been (trust me, overcast & snowy is a heck of a lot better than overcast and rainy!) you also get the odd fun contraption like the thing in the pic above, a hoijakka (or napakelkka i.e. navel-sledge?! pivot-sled? any North American readers out there with a name suggestion?) This one’s on the ice between the very silly Sibelius monument (glowing in the dark in the background) and the very lovely Regatta Cafe.
So today was special as my radius of activities extended massively. Not quite to being whizzed around on a hoijakka but certainly to beyond the 15 metres on foot or the 10Euros worth by taxi I’ve got used to in the last couple of months. I can now resume that (other) old Helsinki tradition of spending Sunday afternoons sipping coffee or tea. On my very own steam and supported by crutches with spikes (for the ice), together with my life companion, I walked a few hundred metres along Sibelius street to Merikanto street and over to our old friend Cafe Regatta.
We think it’s safe to say that good cheer, silly humour, hot drinks and excellent korvapuusti are available there all-year-round (kokovuoden).