The cocktail called my life, part 2

A dear friend’s wedding


The first week in May was also filled with program. One of my dearest friends got married! Due to many factors she decided to have a simple ceremony at the register office and the mosque (her husband is a Muslim), and I was one of the persons who joined her there and later on at the wedding reception. I have now been to two weddings of dear friends and I must say it doesn’t get easier. I always get tears in my eyes, my friends are so beautiful! And this bride was no exception! She was amazingly beautiful! It was an interesting experience also to witness a marriage in the mosque in downtown Helsinki; I had never been there before.


The wedding reception was held at Palace Kämp Hotel Kämp’s Kämp Café restaurant. It was stunning, a real luxury! The wedding bouquet was thrown in the Esplanade Park, just next to my working place. I didn’t catch it, but I surely enjoyed the whole celebration!

 Source: Finnish Elle

My first business trip abroad


On the 5th of May I went on my first work assignment abroad, to our dear neighboring country Sweden! Visit Finland, the marketing actor for Finland abroad, has organized the Finland days, held in the central Railway Station in Stockholm. The city itself was very familiar to me, but I had never before spent a night there in a hotel, nevertheless worked there so it was exciting! We had a stand in the main hall of the station where four different areas from Finland were represented: Helsinki, Turku & Naantali, Ostrobothnia (Western coastline of Finland) and the Åland islands. Our goal was to promote Finland as a destination and remind the Sweeds about us.

 
Nevertheless, at least in Helsinki, Sweeds already represent our second largest visitor segment. I noticed though that it was important for us to be there since Sweeds had a lot of questions about Finland and Helsinki seemed to be least familiar area to them (out of these four that is). Many of the Sweeds asked about where Swedish is spoken in Finland. The language really seemed to be a determinant factor concerning the decision to visit Finland. Many Finns came to talk to us as well. It seemed the recent parliament election had caused a reaction even in the Finns living in Sweden.



I found the Sweeds very nice and friendly. All the people I talked to had a positive attitude towards Finland, which was nice. It was also fun to get to know tourism actors from other parts of Finland. The city of Naantali had brought the Moomin troll and little My with it since the Moomin world, a theme park made in the honor of the cartoon characters, and they were a huge success. I had never imagined that the Moomin characters would be that popular in Sweden. People, even adults, actually ran directly for the characters and wanted to take photos with them. Before I had only witnessed similar reactions concerning Asian people but this was the first time I saw something like this in the Nordic countries.

Source: Touring Cars

I was thrilled because I also had the chance to get to know Stockholm by night since we stayed in the city for four days. I went with my colleague to restaurant Riche, which is famous for its after work hours. Restaurant Riche is one of the most legendary places in Stockholm, dating back to 1893. With a Parisian restaurant as its example, the place has strived to create a unique atmosphere. And that I must say that it truly has succeeded in.

Source: Riche

Once we got to the restaurant, the tables were all taken, so we ended up at the elegant bar, first standing but later, after one hour or so; we finally got a place to sit. Here it was evident that the crème de la crème was. The people were extremely elegant and sophisticated and we enjoyed ourselves very much. Later we heard that this place was popular also because the Royal Swedish princesses used to come there.

I can’t really come to think about any place in Helsinki that would be similar to Riche. Sweeds love to dress up and be elegant. In Finland it’s still a minority that likes that. Maybe restaurant Teatteri could be considered somewhat similar. I was happy to notice some fashion trends in Sweden that differed from the ones in Finland.

In Sweden, women had a lot of jackets, kind of blazers. These were usually black but also red. I like the red ones, they were so intense.

 Source: Randys

Women also had a lot of red or blue nail polish, fascinating. The blue ones were the same color as the smurfs back in the days.

Source: Swedish Elle

Men on the other hand never wore ties, only open shirts or bowties. With bowties they always had colorful handkerchiefs. I thought it was delightful.

Source: Gefundenes Fressen

We ended the evening, after having far too many wine glasses at Riche, at restaurant Sturehof. During its more than 100 year old history, Sturehof has undergone a number of interior changes. Opening as a beer hall, the place got a more restaurant like inside in the early nineteen hundred. A refreshment in the year 1936 added elements of the new and controversial Swedish modern style with its very limited ornamentation. The splendid glass works from Labouré in Paris which are now separating the Stureplan bar from the dining room, were purchased in the same year and are the only remaining item from that, now extinct, interior. The 30’s restaurant combined the old with the new, but altogether succeeded in creating a simple and light atmosphere in keeping with the spirit of the time.

I must say that I had the best lobster soup ever at Sturehof. It was pure heaven!

Source: Enjoy wine & spirits

Even though at first it felt hard being alone in Stockholm, getting from the airport to the hotel late in the evening, after some days it felt like I had been living there for a long time already. After all, once you speak the language, without much effort you adapt to the surroundings. Business trips are fun when the team you work with is good. You also start to appreciate small things in the hotel, like good internet connections and breakfast buffets.

Season novelties in the tourism business

During the last couple of weeks I have also had the possibility to get to know the new actors on the tourism field this summer. This summer Helsinki offers three different sightseeing tours by bus. That’s more than ever before. We also have more options concerning combination tickets (bus&boat). We also have a selection of new design products like a design tour on bus that starts in the design district in Punavuori but then ends in the new design area of Arabia.

Source: ART AND DESIGN CITY HELSINKI OY

Later this week I will also get to know the Tuusulajärvi area, located some 30 minutes from Helsinki, and including e.g. the home of our national composer Sibelius. I can’t wait to get acquainted to the area since it’s something we get asked a lot about at the tourist office. I'll keep you updated on the visit. Until then, thank you for reading my blog and please comment if you have any thoughts or comments about the post!

4 comments

  1. I love your blog! :)
    ciao ciao from Rome
    BExCLUSIVE MAGAZINE

    http://bexclusivemagazine.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Grazie mille per il complimento! Segui il blog se ti piace :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you! You are welcome to follow it if you want :)

    ReplyDelete