Erasmus Oulu – Finland

Bernd Verhofstadt and Tom Mampaey

Discovering Southern Finland

Last week I traveled to Helsinki to visit my girlfriend. I traveled by night train (see pictures bellow). It took about 10h to travel from Oulu to Helsinki.

I made for a few days a culinair tour trough Southern Finland with my girlfriend. I want to discover if there is a difference between the Belgian and Finnish kitchen.

The restaurant and cafe culture in Helsinki has absolutely flourished in the last few years. The central suburbs are developing a gastronomical scene to rival the trendiest of international cities. Helsinki is gaining its fair share of Michelin star restaurants but its the wonderful, community-minded and ethically oriented cafes, lunch places and internationally themed (and run) restaurants that are popping up like mushrooms in the rain. The Finns’ love for simplicity, quality and organic ingredients leads to excellent cuisine, without the pomp and self-congratulation of the more renowned southern European kitchen. Meanwhile, American, Latin, African and Asian kitchens are becoming established here, bringing fabulous new influences and ideas. Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi infamously slammed Finnish food a few years back and since then Finland has made it its mission to prove him wrong.

We visited some places in Helsinki like Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Kirkko), Lutheran Cathedral, The Railway Station (Rautatieasema), Esplanade and the embassy of Belgium.

After a beautiful day in Helsinki we went to Lohja, a small city 60km from the capital city.
Lohja has the largest lake system of Southern Finland. In the winter you can go on the frozen lake and go ice fishing or do some sports like ice skating,… In the summer it’s a nice meeting place for the locals, where they go fishing, enjoy the sun and relish life on the lake by rowing boats.


Bernd • 10 februari 2015

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