Helsinki

City oasis

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One summer Sunday I made my first visit to Toimela urban allotment garden. This was the first time, but I am quite confident it won't be last, I might go again this week. The harvest markets have started early due to warm summer. This suited me fine as it was the day for groceries after the fridge contents were some preserves and light after the moving flats business.

The garden was a short walk from home, tucked away behind a small forest. It is quite central location, but I would have not found it by accident. After a road through the forest, and a small parking lot, the lush garden opens. It is unbelievable that city is right outside the area.

The tables were full of berries, herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Prices were at times on the high side (garlic or herb bunch 2e per piece), but kale was very cheap (1e per bundle), and green beans (2e) were the best looking ones I have ever seen in Finland. The produce is of course much fresher than in stores, pick just in the preceeding days, and the price level is quite close to produce market prices. Now that there is no market nearby, I can subsitute with this!

I bought quite a pile of root veggies and onion, and some herbs to try. The berry counter had the longest queue, and the berries were sold out in around half an hour. Thankfully I did not need them as I had spent the previous day picking red currants at my mom's garden.

Green stop: cold-brewed tea and veggies in a bag.

Green stop: cold-brewed tea and veggies in a bag.

Catch of the day

Catch of the day

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The best part: crispy crepes with homemade jam

Lux Helsinki

The annual Helsinki outdoor light show Lux Helsinki actually took place towards the end of the holiday, but I decided I will write about holiday in whatever order I feel like. 

I have always visited Lux Helsinki when possible, and each year it has been bigger and more popular than before. This year the popularity was further increased due to relatively warm weather after few days of freezing temperatures. During the first days the temperature was -20C degrees, but by weekend it was only few minus degrees. Additionally, it feels like the "lights on" time has decreased, packing the visitors to fewer hours, but I am not sure though. Over the nine years the event has changed a lot: now there are both videos and sound when compared to first years. Another change is the tighter focus in the city centre area. Maybe around five years ago the route was all the way from the Cathedral to the Olympic Stadium, but this year it was mostly circling the Cathedral. I suppose this also has an impact as the larger crowds don't spears so much. 

The huge popularity, which is also becoming international, is of course very great thing, but long gone are the days when you could enjoy the installations with just few fellow observers without the crowds :D

Below are some (shaken) photos of this year's offering! The Cathedral is usually very nice, but this year it was a bit of a disappointment. Instead my favourite was a video about a bear and a lynx in a fores. It was by Marimekko and displayed on the wall of the Bank of Finland. I even took some video of it, but I am not technically advanced enough to post it here today. I will sort out posting videos some other time.