Archive for November, 2005

November 23rd, 2005

New photo gallery

The cold weather has finally find its way to Finland, and the Sunday morning was already biting cold. The ground on the park nearby our new flat was all frosty, and it was impossible to resist its calling.

I spent half an hour with Sanna and Aapo on the cliffs, I photographing the details on the ground and in trees, and Sanna carrying Aapo in a chestbag.

We all had really good time, and now I’ve handpicked the best shots to a new gallery, aptly titled Crispy Finnish autumn pictures. Hopefully you enjoy viewing the images as much as I enjoyed making them.

The most crowded Mexican restaurant in Helsinki

The most conveniently located Tex-Mex joint in Helsinki is buried inside Aikatalo, and you have to be careful enough to spot their small advertisement on Aleksanterinkatu. Most of the younger people in Helsinki know this place, so don’t be afraid to ask.

As the location is nice, the place can be really crowded at times. The decoration and the noise level makes you sometime think why people flock there… Anyhow, the food is decent and doesn’t cost that much, so it is a good choice for filling your stomach and enjoy a beer or two.

The menu has a wide variety of different dishes, and there are also a few good desserts available. The service is sometimes a bit too swift on the tables, and catching the waiter is a trick of its own.

www.ravintolaopas.net/santafe/, Aleksanterinkatu 15, Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 4242 6010

Belgian experience

Belge is a largish Belgian styled restaurant and bar in the very centre of Helsinki, just one block from the Esplanadi Park. The atmosphere, especially in the bar, is very relaxed and the settings make you feel like being in a private club of a sort. One nice perk is the terrace facing to busy Aleksanterinkatu, so you can watch people walking on the most fashionable blocks in Helsinki.

Windows of Belge

As you can guess, Belge has a selection of Belgian beers. They serve also food, but I haven’t eaten there, so I can say much about it. At least they have mussels on the menu.

Belge is not the best place for dancing or partying, but it can be used as the first stop on your journey — to collect everybody together and have a beer or two to set people on a good mood.

www.hok-elannonravintolat.fi/ravintolat/ruokaravintolat/belge/, Kluuvikatu 5, Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 622 9620, belge@sok.fi

November 20th, 2005

Christmas season opened

Yesterday was the official day for opening the Christmas season in several shopping malls and other public market areas in Helsinki. The snow has not yet fallen, but the weather is already crisp — today it was -7C in the morning — so the settings start to be ready for the Christmas time.

I spent yesterday in Helsinki center with Aapo and Sanna to find gifts for my parents and relatives. They, the parents and my little sister, are coming to visit us next week, and we’ve planned to exchange the presents then. Fortunately, I have got some hunch on what to buy for whom.

Apart from buying the presents, Helsinki is a really nice city to wait for the festivities. There are no flamboyant Christmas markets as in German and Austrian cities, but still the darkness combined with a commonsensical amount of lights creates a magical atmosphere. If you have some extra time and money, come to visit Helsinki now!

The white church

Helsinki Cathedral, the white monumental church with its apostle statues on Senaatintori is one of the most well-known symbol of Helsinki. Built on the Russian era, the church dominates the whole square and the other buildings around it, including the University of Helsinki and the governmental buildings.

One of the statues on the Helsinki Cathedral roof

Inside, the church is quite bare, as most of the Lutheran churches tend to be. The church is in active use, so you may encounter weddings and other ceremonies, especially during the summertime.

The stairs that ascend from the square to the church are an excellent place to sit for a while and look at the people passing by.

Helsinki Cathedral, Unioninkatu 29, Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 709 2455

November 11th, 2005

‘Tis the season

Christmas season is approaching with an alerting speed and at least I’ve been dumbstruck figuring out what to buy to whom. Gradually. I’ve started to see some light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully can soon start purchasing the stuff.

If you have similar problems, don’t you worry and let Nomadig.com help you. For your benefit, I’ve updated the Nomadig Xmas store to include new gadgets and a set of excellent books to keep you entertained while travelling or trying to recover from overeating.

The recommendations for the last year are also still available on Xmas 2004 store. Most of the stuff there is still technologically valid and some of them have really good bargains.

Excellent food in an old harbour warehouse

Restaurant Sipuli (”Onion” in English) is located on a prime spot in Helsinki, next to the Orthodox cathedral and very near the presidential palace. The restaurant is carefully renovated into an old harbour warehouse, and the bare red brick walls create really cozy atmosphere when lit with candles.

The restaurant is run by Royal Restaurants, one of the biggest fine-dining operators in Finland. Their level of excellence is once again visible on the portions, on the service and on the bill.

There are usually a couple of set menus available accompanied with five or so à la carte choices for appetizers and main courses. Everything tastes so good that one wishes to have a stomach that never fills up, and just keep ordering more.

www.royalravintolat.com, Kanavaranta 7, Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 622 9280

November 8th, 2005

Google AdSense referrals

Google has opened a referral program for their AdSense website monetising program. The deal is simple: if you get someone start with AdSense, you’ll get $100 when the new applicant has reached his or her first $100. After that you don’t get anything.

I’ve added an AdSense referral banner at the very bottom of the journal pages. It should be non-distracting on its current location, but please inform me if it hurts your eye there.

Now keep on clicking and signing, so I could get my hosting costs covered…