It was a good thing that our in-flight movie player failed to work in our 12 hour flight from Singapore to Helsinki because we each were given a 20 Euro voucher by Finnair, and we slept. This meant that when we arrived at 6:40 a.m. Helsinki time, we were fresh and well rested.
Some people think that our first impression of a city depends on how and where you enter it from; on what you see at this first point of entry. But I feel that my first impression of a city depends also on the first contact we have with the locals - and within the first two hours, Helsinki came across as efficient and self confident (it is the World Design Capital of 2012) though a bit aloof.
When the nice lady at the hotel let us check in at 10:30 in the morning, the meter went from aloof to possibly friendly but shy (or limited by lack of a common language between us). Our only word of Finnish (or more correctly, Suomi) was 'kitos' (kee-tosh) or thank you.
|the Esplanade Park (Etelaesplanadi) that leads to the harbour|
|our breakfast room where guests are invited to pack and take away their lunch as well|
|streets of Art Deco buildings|