Miko and I spent hours recently at the playground near Kaivopuisto. He was so tired when we left he fell fast asleep in the stroller. I took a new way home and was pleased to come across Ravintola Sea Horse and its little kiosk across the road. People were enjoying cool beverages in the late-afternoon sun and I decided to join them and read a few pages of my book while I had the chance.
After a pleasant half-hour I wandered up towards the city centre and came across Helsinki Second Hand, a huge warehouse with a ramp leading down to just below street-level.
The store was full of antiques and furniture, some familiar and some that seemed very nordic. It reminded me of Junk & Disorderly, a second-hand store we really like back in Auckland.
The markets and second-hand stores here are full of glassware and crockery with the two big names being Arabia and Iittala. Arabia has been making ceramics, porcelain and other forms of pottery in Finland since 1874. Iittala has been making glassware since a factory was opened in the town of the same name in 1881.
Large pieces of industrial furniture are as popular here as they are at home, with old farming items from traditional Finnish life featuring too.
Now that summer is here, huge cruise ships frequently come and go from the nearby ports of Tallinn, Stockholm and St Petersburg. There are some great vintage posters you can get and the booming horns of boats can be heard across the city as they slowly pull out of Helsinki’s various ports.
Thankfully they’re not enough to wake a sleeping child and Miko slept soundly until we got home, giving me a good amount of time to navigate the store without having to say once, ‘don’t touch!’