Helsinki, Finland

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Last month, Alex and I headed to Helsinki for a super long weekend. Before my trip to Finland, I knew only a few Finnish things, primarily the Moomins and Ivana Helsinki. I still don’t know that much more, but I’ve come away wanting to explore more of Finland (and everywhere else in the world, for that matter).

If you’re ever find yourself in Helsinki, here are a few things I recommend: enjoying a cinnamon bun & the emperors bride tea at Cafe Regatta, exploring the basement of the Arkadia International Bookshop (see the snake, the huge variety of books and plenty of places to sit and rest), see the Sibelius Monument, visit the City Museum for free and simply just wander round the city – Helsinki is a very walkable city. And remember the essential Finnish – “Hei” and “Kiitos”.

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Anna 22 cafe

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Arkadia International Bookshop

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Design Museum

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Beautiful furniture at the Design Museum

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Alex posing by a load of colourful chairs

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Helsinki Cathedral

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Sibelius Monument

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Cafe Regatta

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Beautiful houses by the river (reminds me of the Moomin house)

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Uspenski Cathedral

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Helsinki City Gallery

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Fazer cafe – I love the decor. Also I recommend the mandarin cake.

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Alex on the way back to the hostel.

London: Greenwich & Bermondsey

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So London, visiting my friend there came at a strange time. The beginning of January has been tumultuous. Things have begun and ended, sometimes leading me to get a little lost along the way. However, at the same time, its put everything into perspective for me. When you’re put outside your comfort zone it makes you realise the things you really want and need. So, here’s to the hope of better times! :)

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The Painted Hall

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Ropewalk, Bermondsey

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Lassco, a wonderful antiques shop in Bermondsey

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Birmingham

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One of the things I wanted to do this year was explore new places, lucky for me I’ve been able to go to both Brecon Beacons and Birmingham before the first week of 2015 was out. Birmingham is a lovely city with a good mix of traditional and modern buildings, from The Bullring shopping centre and library to the central Museum. My highlights included visiting the independent shops found in The Custard Factory, dining at Topokki (mmm, takoyaki curry), watching Birdman at The Electric Cinema (this Portlandia sketch anyone?) and admiring all the artwork in Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery.

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The Custard Factory

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Things I collected from The Custard Factory

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Much needed cappuccino at Urban Coffee Company

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At Selfridges in The Bullring

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Birmingham’s Brewdog

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A lovely mural in Topokki

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Korean dumplings and brown rice tea at Topokki

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Outside of Birmingham’s library

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Inside Birmingham’s library

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Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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Beautiful cafe in Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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Monte Civetta by Elijah Walton, Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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Llyn Idwal, North Wales by Samuel Lines, Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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Closeup of Portrait of Lady by Nicholas Eliasz, Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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Art Store Capriccio by Stephen Boyd, Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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Work by Stephen Boyd, Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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View from the Cube by Angela K. Dooley, Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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Snowflake by Hasret Brown, Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery

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Paradise Is My Native Land by Michele Carruthers (made from pollen), Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery