I was excited about this part of our itinerary, Finland had always been a place that I wanted to visit. The visit was short, I think just about six hours. However, we got the opportunity to browse around the shops and have coffee and cake. I mean, what more do you need when your on holiday!
We had the guide book, so I had seen the railway station before. Impressive. Needless to say the language is very hard to read and very different from other nordic languages, so I believe. However, we managed with English no problem.
The shuttle bus dropped us opposite a department store called Stockmann in the centre of town. The weather was changeable that day, sun, rain, hail and wind. It was like a British holiday! What do you pack when you encounter all of those in your first hour! The Stockmann store met all my scandi design dreams with a wide range of products, displayed in a super cool way. My previous career involved merchandising, so I could fully appreciate the methods of display. Making me want to BUY!
Marimekko is another brand that both my wife and I like. With it raining outside, we browsed around its new flagship concept store on Mikonkatu in the Galleria Esplanad mall. Simple graphics are used throughout the brands collections in ceramics, textiles and fashion products. My wife purchased a ring, when I wasn’t looking. Enough said!
While in the mall, we stopped for coffee and cake. The Finnish are well known for there huge coffee consumption. So I was expecting a lot on the quality of the coffee and cake. I wasn’t disappointed with either. Even the toilet was high tech in the rest room. Sorry, no images.
Next stop the gift shop, this shop only sold Finnish made products, which was good to see. So postcards, old school, I known. But the graphic design style reminded me of 1930’s travel. So we had to get some. Sometimes the simple things are still the best.
By now, I was starting to get tired. One of my great joys in life has always been to stroll around the shops on holiday. Seeking out new places, however, now doing this simple thing is really hard work now. Simple walking can make me breathless, however, I always try to push on and do more. Lupus suffers will know what I mean. Sometimes, the people I’m with, don’t understand. It’s not their fault, it’s just part of my life now. Learning to manage change can be hard at times with a health condition. Also fifteen years just passes in a flash. I always thought that time slowed down when you get older. It doesn’t it speeds up. You always remember yourself as you were. And not as you are. Having a nine year daughter keeps me young at heart I think! Even if the drugs are ageing me, my skins looks like a eighty year old man on the back of my hands. Deep joy, but fewer aches and pains, so something is working. My intention is to try and lose some weight in the future. I’ve always been heavy and enjoyed my food. And the Disney cruises are always great. The snack foods are just regular foods, but the daily dining experiences are a important element of our holidays. The menu varies from restaurant to restaurant but extensive, your server/waitress travels with you each night to the different restaurants. Sounds crazy, I know. However, they look after all of your needs including awkward children’s requests are never too much. You pay the extra with Disney, but you get a great holiday experience.
Anyway, we get back to the ship and we are off on the next leg of our northern adventure. Stockholm in the morning.
Shopping mission: Orange Dala Horse