Aged 16, I had dreamed of visiting Helsinki. It was home to one of my favourite bands at the time, HIM.
I think the reality was that I probably didn’t know where it was exactly and may even have placed it somewhere near Budapest. But that’s another story. The fact that these musicians came from that mysterious sounding city was alluring enough.
Over the years, tastes changed and I had forgotten all about it. Until recently.
The allure that the city of Helsinki now held out for me was design.
As the World Design Capital of 2012, Helsinki was the place to be. Design was everywhere and at the centre of it all were restaurants.
Restaurants popped up everywhere and sometimes they even popped underground. The food? I knew nothing about it.
Save for the reindeer.
Alongside the design elements, I also discovered the charm of its wilderness. Not only through foraging in the woods but also looking out forlornly towards the archipelago that I wouldn’t have time to visit.
Helsinki didn’t have the stunning architecture of Madrid or the perfect blend of sun and cloud in Scotland but it did have something unique.
A sense that there was more to discover. An endless exploration.