Here in Helsinki after 4 nice days in Stockholm and a cruise. Weather has been fabulous--mid 60s and sunny. Where's the depressing stuff? Where are all the dour faces? It has been great. I have not done too much touristy stuff yet, just trying to walk the city and get a lay of the land. It feels considerably smaller than Stockholm. I visited the design district and am beginning to figure out where the major sites to see are, but I am still trying to gauge what trips out of town--farther than the Suolimenna fortress--should be on my short list. I don't know yet how many I will get to, so I am trying to figure out what the one or two best would be to see.
My computer screen went black after just a day in Stockholm so I have not been able to Skype with the family yet. Apparently it is a Nividia graphics card issue for MBP that everyone knows about. Great time to experience it. A store here in Helsinki is supposedly fixing it and maybe it will be ready this Friday.
The Finnish language is univerally admitted to be impossible and there are only about 6 million people in the world who speak it. Accordingly, there's not much pressure for foreigners to speak any, and no attitude of a condescending nature is ever directed at visitors. (Hear that, France?)