Ceremonial Blooms

When I visited the Alppiruusupuisto last summer, I vowed to visit the park earlier this year so I could see all the flowers in full bloom. So when the images from the park started showing up in my insta feed I got on a bus towards Haaga. Is it kinda lame? Maybe. But you guys should know by now that if there's a concentration of colourful flowers in one place, I must go there. I remember this day quite clearly. I had just handed in a school assignment that had been the cause for several sleepless nights (great course but I hate writing essays!), it was the first of June and weather was perfect so seeing all these flowers almost felt like a ceremonial start of the summer season.

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The internet brought me here

I've lived in Helsinki for almost 7 years now  and as much as I try to explore different parts of the city, there's still a lot of gardens, islands and museums I haven't visited. Every once in a while, I'll see a place in social media and I'll be like, why didn't I know about this? That's how images in my insta feed led me to Alppiruusupuisto in Haaga one sunny Sunday afternoon. I felt a bit silly for being such a social media slave but I can't turn down an opportunity to see a concentration of blooms in one place. Once there I learned that the flowers in question were rhododendrons and azaleas. Rhododendrons are having a bit of a moment if I may say so (or it's because I've just learned of their existence). I think I saw them in the botanical garden in Lund and they were discussed a bit during the midsummer celebrations. It didn't take long after I arrived in the park to realise that I was too late. Most of the flowers had faded and fallen off. I walked through the park anyway and found a couple of spots where some were still blooming and…

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Tourist at home

I had a friend visiting from London during Easter so we did some sightseeing around Helsinki. The good thing with playing a tourist where you live is that you get to see parts of the city you rarely visit otherwise. Like when we entered the Helsinki Cathedral and I realised that I had never been inside it before. I need to make this local touristing a regular thing. Helsinki might be a small capital city but it has a lot to offer.

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One dream of mine is to one day be in Japan during the cherry blossom season. There's just something magical about flower covered trees as far as the eye can see. While parks with cherry trees can be found in other countries, even in northern places like Stockholm, I was surprised to hear we had our own here in Helsinki. The Roihuvuori Kirsikkapuisto is quit small but pretty non the less. We went there on a Wednesday after work out of pure curiosity. There were plenty of people relaxing under the trees, walking their dogs or taking photos. I didn't stay long but I snapped a few pictures and was again reminded how much I love flowers (even though I can't grow them). Part of my dream is coming true this week as I'm heading to Tokyo for some much needed vacation. I might have missed the Sakura season this time but I'm super excited to step out of my comfort zone and travel to a new continent and discover the fascinating city that is Tokyo. You can follow journey on Instagram, I'll be posting as often as I can. Adventure here I come!

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I've never been much of a music festival goer. I'm uncomfortable in big crowds and the idea of sleeping in a tent freaks me out. One festival that has however become a regular on my calender is Flow Festival in Helsinki. What so awesome about it? Besides the diverse line-up and the great food, the festival takes place in the middle of the city so getting home is not an issue. Transport and lodging are some of the reasons I still haven't made it to Pori Jazz and the Savonlinna Opera festival. Not to mention all the festivals abroad like Roskilde, Coachella and Glastonbury to name a few. But hey, there's always next year! What's the verdict on this year's Flow? With the risk of sounding lame, awesome! There was the sweaty bounce fest with Skrillex, Outkast's greatest hits, groovy tunes of legendary Salif Keita and a whole lot more. The highlight was however the set by one electric lady, Janelle Monáe. Of all the artists I saw no one had as much energy and presence from start to finish. With the help of her band she sang, danced and even dived into the crowd. The last time Miss Monáe…

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