Finland is a very young country and will turn only 100 on December 6 this year. There already is celebrations going in everywhere across the country to prepare for the festivities.
Come to Finland has specialised on vintage poster art and has launched a poster contest for Finland’s birthday. As a graphic designer and Scandiavia lover I could not hold back. Out of roundabout 100 poster my poster came in 4th and has been on display in the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki.
I have received such a wonderful invitation that of course I could not miss out to visit Finland in their anniversary year. I have only been in Helsinki once and for a couple of hours so I do not have to think about it for long. I cannot design a poster for “Come to Finland” and then don’t go to Finland, right?
But first things first:
Sisu – What is that?
Many of you have legitimately asked me what SISU was
FUN FACTSISU / FINLAND
SISU is a Finish word that is considered to have no translation in other languages. However, it can be described as a characteristic that only Finish people possess. It means courage, stoic determination, bravery, grit, you get it… The wild and arctic nature has given this power to the Finns. SISU is more than just a word. It is an attitude.
The Clarion Hotel Helsinki
The new Clarion in Helsinki has provided us with an awesome welcome deal so wen can enjoy a room with a sea view and a rooftop terrace that comes with a pool and a sauna. Swimming above the rooftops of Helsinki is just the perfect way to start the day, wouldn’t you say?
The National Museum of Finland
This museum is probably not the museum I personally would have visited if it was not for the poster exhibition as I have to confess to be not that enthusiastic about history. However, the poster exhibition is fantastic with hundreds of beautiful posters about Finland. And of course: My poster. I have to say, I am a little proud as I stand in front of it. I’ve never had anything exhibited in a National Museum so I have to savour the moment.
The Helsinki Brewery
Right in the center of Helsinki, not far from the cathedral, the Helsinki brewery invites guests into their pub. They have good food and of course: Lots of beer.
My personal advice: Try the beer sampler. You get five small very different and very interesting beers from the brewery.
The Löyly Sauna
Although our hotel has a sauna we have a reservation for the new Löyly sauna down by the water front. I have been to all kinds of saunas but actually have never visited one where you can take a dip in the open sea.
I have to admit, the Löyly sauna is a little crowded and touristy. As it is a mixed sauna (which Finns usually don’t do) we keep our bathing clothes on in the sauna. That feels just a bit wrong somehow. Anyway, the place is still beautiful. There are two saunas and a fireplace where you can enjoy cold drink.
The sauna also has a deck outside but in this freezing weather it is deserted.
But there is always those few crazy and insane people who have to jump into the sea with a water temperature at 0°C, right? The difference in Finland is that it is not just a few. Almost everyone in the sauna is up for the challenge. And for some it is not even a challenge. SISU is right here and we gather all our courage and inner warmth to be part of it.
Book in advance
The Fazer Chocolate Factory
On Sunday we take a trip to the Fazer Chocolate Factory which has just opened its new visitor center in October 2016. On weekends they offer an English tour where you learn about Fazer and chocolate for about one hour and then get to dig in. The whole room at the end of the tour is filled with Fazer chocolate and for about half an hour you can eat as much as you want. I’m filled up after ten minutes already, whis is a good state to be in when you exit through the shop. It makes you spend a lot less money. Plus you also get a free goodie bag anyway. Pay a visit to the Fazer Café right in the visitor centre if you’re still hungry or get a cup of amazing Fazer hot chocolate.
The visitor center is right next to the factory so it is a bit outside of Helsinki, near the airport but we thought it was worth the trip 🙂
Book in advance