Archive for January, 2006

January 27th, 2006

Lego bonanza!

I, Sanna and Aapo spend a late Wednesday afternoon shopping in Helsinki center, and accidentally stumbled upon Lego exhibition on Argos hall in Stockmann.

I used to have a lot of legos back in Polvijärvi — and they are still there, waiting for Aapo to understand that everything should not be put into the mouth.

Scary legos

The hall had a dozen or so large lego statues, several tables with a collection of bricks and plates to built on, a world map that was gradually filled by the creations of younger folk, and of course a lot of box on sale.

Friendly legos

The show was a hit with the children, and even Aapo got really excited about the whole thing. Fortunately we found a sandbox filled with quatros, huge and soft blocks that are designed for small children. Aapo is now nine months old and he really likes to grab, chew and throw away. The quatro box was probably a heaven for him.

Aapo driving a Lego tractor

Some of the statues were somewhat functional. One of those was a nice green tractor (John Deere maybe?) shown above. Aapo liked the driving very much, but sometimes got so excited that he forgot how to sit or stand properly…

Fresh Finnish clothes

Back on the old days, Nanso was known to produce cheapish garments that were used by the elder folks. A few years ago they radically changed their course, hired Paola Suhonen to design bleeding edge clothes and now they are one of the most fashionable houses in Finland.

Their design shop is located on the busy shopping street Mikonkatu, next to Kämp Galleria and Sand store. The selection is dedicated to ladies, and it at least currently has a strong nostalgic feeling from the free and lazy childhood days during the seventies.

The clothes are quite affordable, not cheap but not too expensive either., Mikonkatu 2, Helsinki, Finland, +358 20 125 8590

January 21st, 2006

Visited travel fair

We had decided that we won’t go to the annual Finnish travel Fair (Matkamessut in Finnish), as we usually just get frustrated there due to the sheer amount of people and absense of good deals. Last two years, I’ve ordered tickets with my SAS EuroBonus points.

Fortunately I didn’t spent the points, as Sanna’s aunt got two tickets that she didn’t need, and gave them to us. So, this Saturday we packed ourselves to car, fetched the tickets and drove to Messukeskus.

We got stuck in a traffic jam and had to take a long detour to arrive to Pasila, so the house was fully packed already by the time we were there.

A lot of people in the annual travel fair in Helsinki

There were two major sections: abroad and Finland. The Finnish halls were no interest to us and we carefully avoided stepping our toes there.

The abroad hall had booths from the airlines, ferrylines, tour organisers, hotels and resorts from the Baltic countries and Russian Carelia, and country tourism agencies. There were a lot of goodies and free candy available. But no decent deals.

We tried our luck in Blue1 (subsidiary of SAS) twice, but got nothing. I’ve once won on Blue1 competition, unfortunately only two tickets two world championship ice hockey game in Helsinki.

We got a few brochures to leaf through this evening and a longing to go somewhere — I’ll now start browsing through the web to find a good deal to get us away and back.

A pizza apart

Classic Pizza Restaurant is not a classic Finnish pizzeria with all clichés included: red and white tablecloth, a bit repulsive feelings, kebabs on the menu and so on… Instead. they serve only pizza and they know their business. None of the menu items are “traditional” choices, but more like contemporary versions of the famous pizzas.

Classic Pizza Restaurant in Iso Omena in Espoo

The restaurant is located in Iso Omena mall, which is a shame as you can’t get there easily from Helsinki downtown. If you happen to be there for some odd reason, check the restaurant out. There was a queue — unheard for any other mall eatery — as the place is quite small. Once inside, the service was swift and courteous, and the pizzas delicious. My pizza goes to the personal top-three, other two being T8 in Shanghai and California Pizza Kitchen in Emeryville, California. Not bad., Piispansilta 11 (in Iso Omena shopping mall), Espoo, Finland, +358 9 412 2466

All the stuff for your sauna

If you own a sauna — who wouldn’t? — then consider visiting one of the Sauna Kaira shops to accessorise it. The shop sells a lot of small items that may not be crucial for the sauna experience, but they really add some small perks here and there.

Sauna Kaira store in Iso Omena in Espoo

The selection includes the basic items, such as water buckets, dippers, flax clothes to protect the benches, and also some advanced stuff, such as dried vasta — a handful of birch branches with leaves that you can use to whip yourself while sitting on the heat. They sell also not so sauna related items — candles, lanterns, etc., to get you to the mood of being in an old fashioned Finnish sauna on the countryside., Piispansilta 11 (in Iso Omena shopping mall), Espoo, Finland, +358 9 8817 0474

January 20th, 2006

One year ago…

… we were still catching our breath after the trip to South-East Asia. Today, we haven’t been travelling for a while and thus I have time to add minor improvements to

I’ve added a new plug-in that provides links to articles written one year ago. The links can be found at the sidebar in the journal section, between the calendar and the search form. If there is nothing, then chances are that I haven’t written anything last year on the very same day.

Scandinavian couture

Updated May 9, 2007: The shop is closed.

If you are fond of Scandinavian style and would like to enjoy it also on you, go to Sand Store in Mikonkatu, just opposite Kämp Galleria. Sand label, established by Danish Lene and Søren Sand, has really nice collection of formal and informal garments for every occasion of life.

The store is quite roomy and well-stocked, at least when compared to other fashion boutiques in Helsinki. One third of the floor space is reserved for men and the rest for the ladies — as usual. Besided clothes, the store sells shoes and various accessories.

Sand is not a top-notch label, but still quite expensive — especially in Finland that cannot boast being an inexpensive country… The quality is high and the design has timeless appeal., Mikonkatu 4, Helsinki, Filand, +358 9 622 2171

Shoes, shoes & boots

If you are looking for stylish pair of shoes or boots, go directly to Rizzo on the corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Mikonkatu. Inside, you will find a plethora of different models, classic and contemporary.

Rizzo storefront in Helsinki

The store has shoes for both him and her. The women’s section is, not surprisingly, bigger than the men’s section that is limited mostly to classic shoes to be worn with a suit. The ladies’ selection contains a wider variety of shoes and boots, some with striking high heels and others looking too comfortable.

Rizzo is quite expensive store, but the goods are also of excellent quality. The service is nice, you can just sit down and wait the shoes to be delivered to you.

Rizzo, Aleksanterinkatu 46, Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 622 9240