Hei, this is Major Ursa. A couple of nights ago I was returning from the pub where I drank lots of glögi (a Finnish word for hot mulled wine drunk traditionally at Christmastime throughout the Nordic countries) and ended up near Messukeskus. I started thinking of happy times with my friends from the Worldcon 75 committee, most of whom I last saw at our staff meeting in Helsinki. Many had never been to Helsinki before and I thought it would be a good idea to ask what they thought of our fair city. The following is a summary of what they said.
Excellent public transport system, good service at the airport
Several people I talked with mentioned how amazing the public transport system is in Helsinki – even by European standards which is high praise indeed! I myself, being a bear, never use it though I have heard that dogs are allowed on it. One other person remarked that she would “much rather find a hotel by a train or tram stop than stay by Messukeskus”. They also added how easy our trains are to navigate.
Our airport also received high praise. One person missed his flight check-in for his return flight and still managed to make his flight with plenty of time to spare as the airport in his words is “small, friendly and easy to navigate”. A committee member with mobility issues commented on how “friendly and helpful the airport mobility staff were”. This made her experience very pleasant.
(I am a bit of a frequent flyer myself and since it’s so convenient to fly from helsinki I often visit my relatives in Norway, Sweden and Russia especially for our wintertime family reunions. The drink, the food, the festivities – I could go on forever with wild and crazy stories, but I don’t want to incriminate myself. I have my pride and those reunions already have a bit of a reputation in Finland as it is… Anyway, back to the topic at hand, Major Ursa!)
Friendly fandom at Urho’s Pub
Helsinki received compliments on being a beautiful city with active and welcoming sci-fi fandom. The S.F. Mafia which meets every other Thursday in St. Urho’s Pub was enjoyed by some non-Finnish committee members and they wholeheartedly recommend getting to know the people and the place. I’m told that one of the highlights of the pub is their reindeer meat pizza which received a 5 star recommendation from two people. Also, the pub is located in the city center which made it an easy place to get to, they said.
(Just out of curiosity, and because the question may come up on a pub trivia quiz someday, St. Urho is a fictional saint created by Finnish-Americans to celebrate their Finnish heritage. He was inspired by Irish-Americans and their celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day. I learned this on a trip I made to the USA last year to meet some distant cousins.)
Hmm.. All this talk of reindeer pizza is making me hungry or maybe it is the glögi giving me the munchies. Oh well, I can always go on a diet in the New Year as it is now the season to be jolly. Kiitos for reading. Until next time.