EuroChristmas: From Poland to Finland

24 December 2015
Krakow, Poland; Warsaw, Poland; Helsinki, Finland
14,411 steps (6.17 miles)

Thursday morning we were up early to start our journey to Helsinki. We popped over to a local bakery for a pastry-type loaf, with poppy seeds rolled inside, and saw this very fitting quote along the way:


"Coffee keeps me going...until it's time for wine"  
Our first stop was the Krakow airport (named for Pope John Paul II) and we stopped in the Priority Pass lounge for breakfast. 

very clean design
the hour hand on these clocks gives the location that has that time 
breakfast of champions
Our first flight was quick--only about 30-45 minutes, on a small propeller plane. 



the head rest covers were very festive :) 
Once in Warsaw, we had some time to waste before our next flight. We shopped at bit at Duty Free, and also hung out in the Priority Pass lounge in this airport as well. 

Bison Grass vodka is a thing in Poland--flavored with actual grass, it's herbal and delicious. The brand name, Zubrovka, is the name of the country in The Grand Budapest Hotel :) We had to buy some! 
Rick with the Bison Grass bison at Duty Free
Loved the design in this lounge! Very minimal and clean lines. 




There were living walls made of moss
After some snacks and a few drinks, it was time for our flight to Helsinki. There were tons of open seats on the plane, and each of us had a row to ourselves. I slept the whole way (only an hour and a half), but managed to try some of Finnair's blueberry juice while en route. 





The sun was setting as we arrived--at 3pm!
After checking in to our hotel, snacking a bit in the Hilton's Executive Lounge, and meeting up with mom and dad, we decided to wander a bit in the city center to see what might be open. Most things in Helsinki are closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, because of the holiday. We passed by Stockmann, what appears to be a Finnish Macy's--a large department store, with holiday windows and decorations. Lots of families and tourists were out as well, and the streets were very quiet. Luckily, we managed to find a few restaurants open, including "Iguana," which had plenty of veggie options on the menu. 

I don't think this is supposed to be an owlie guy, but I think it looks like one!
walking near the city center




the windows at Stockmann's













On our way back to the hotel, we wandered near the Helsinki Cathedral (mom is planning to go to the 11pm service there tonight) and saw the square where the Christmas market takes place--we missed it! 






According to Norad, Santa has already been to Finland. Did you know Santa's official home is here and you can visit his town? Merry Christmas or hyvää joulua to all and to all a good night!
--E&R

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