16 June 2018
Having had an awful half-asleep dozy dream about Cornelia falling out of her top bunk last night, I moved her down to the bottom bunk while she was still asleep and then managed to drop off successfully with a more peaceful mindset.
We docked in Helsinki at 08:00 and were off the Princess Anastasia in just a few minutes without any of the long waits and jostling of yesterday.
Hungry, we caught a tram into the centre of the city to find some breakfast. It was deserted and we walked for ages, without managing to find anywhere open and serving breakfast! Nothing seems to open until about 10:00, and I’ve never known a capital city to be so empty. It was really odd. We googled “best breakfast in Helsinki” and followed directions to Cafe Karl Fazer, generally reviewed as the best in town. On arrival, we were greeted pleasantly at the till and duly charged €47. I didn’t really register what was going on, until I clicked that it was a buffet style service, where we could just help ourselves. Ian was horrified by the amount I had just paid, and grumpily took Cornelia off to see what she fancied. She wanted something with chocolate spread (which I had already said no to) and Ian came back to the table saying she was having a meltdown on the floor. This was all obviously going quite wrong, so I went up to the till again, and double-checked that it was supposed to have cost nearly €50 for the two of us (she had already told me that Cornelia was free of charge), when the reviews online said that breakfast was great value at €13.90. She informed me that price was on weekdays and now it was Saturday, so this was brunch with a larger selection of food available. So, I apologised but said this wasn’t what we were after, and it was too much for the amount of food we wanted to consume. She refunded our money with no problem , still smiling. So while I can’t recommend the place, the service was very good.
Back on the streets, we went back to a cafe we had seen when we got off the tram originally. Cornelia was cheered by a croissant with homemade strawberry jam, I had oatmeal with apple sauce and cinnamon, and Ian had scrambled eggs with bacon and toast, served also with melon and watermelon!
Tummies full, it was time to get back to Bluebell, so another short tram ride and Ian brought Bluebell closer to me and Cornelia, as we diverted to the “Bad Bad Boy” which is a large “water feature” of a naked boy doing a big wee! It was hilarious!
It was then time to leave Helsinki and continue our Finnish adventure, with a 3hour drive north to a small village, Korpilahti, near Jyvaskyla, our overnight stop. Ian drove and it was an easy, pretty drive, along the roads in between lakes and woods, with green fields edged with purple, white, yellow and pink wild flowers. The host, Hannu, and his wife had had to attend a funeral in Helsinki today, so called me earlier in the day to let me know that he had left the keys out for us, which is very trusting of them!
Cornelia fell asleep for most of the journey, so when we arrived, we wanted to give her a bit of a run around, so she’d settle easily tonight. Once we’d unpacked our essentials from the van, we drove into the village and had a wander around. Again, we were in for a real treat – I do love these one-night-in-the-middle-of-somewhere stops! There is a small harbour in the village, full of little weekend boats, with an assortment of people coming and going. There was also some sort of car sound system meet in the main car park, so plenty of souped-up vehicles, occasionally booming out bass which echoed around the lake. It was quite unexpected!
Cornelia had spied the local playpark, so once we’d had a bit of an explore of the path along the lake, Ian took her to play while I nipped to the supermarket for a few supplies. Job done, it was time to go back to the apartment (which is the top floor of a house, in which generations of the family have lived since 1908), and I cooked tea and helped Cornelia have a WhatsApp video call with Grannie Annie, and Ian washed Bluebell – the first since we began the trip and long overdue! Supper was, I have to say, pretty tasty. A chicken and potato casserole, with broccoli and carrots. Cornelia ate the lot without the need for any prompting, and then she video-called Grandma and Grandpa who were having a lovely time in Jersey!
We were spot on with our timings today, as Bugsy was eager for bed once she’d had a shower. She managed to wind Ian up a few times during the course of her shower, but at this time of day, it’s usually a sign of tiredness. Hannu and Muti had put up a travel cot for her with an Elsa duvet, which she was very excited about, although she decided she’d like the single bed in the kitchen/diner, rather than the travel cot in our room (which was quite a relief really, as I’m sure she’s too heavy for a travel cot now!), so I made up the bed with the Frozen duvet on, and she was pleased as punch.
Ian told her a bedtime story (she’d lost the second during shower time) and she was out like a light.
Tomorrow, we continue our trip up through Finland, although I’m hoping that a good night’s sleep tonight will be sufficient to get me out for a long run around the lake in the morning first!