|With Maya at Maya Latin American Bar & Grill|
The geographical proximity makes Finland the number one tourist and transit destination for St. Petersburgians. Finnish visas are fairly easy to get, and many Russians come here to shop, to ski and vacation on various nature resorts, to take budget flights to destinations elsewhere in Europe and around the world. Once Dave and I announced our travel plans to friends and family members in Russia, several found they could join us here for anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. Another considerable attraction of Helsinki as a meeting point was that our friends Olga and Ron live here, and having passed an unforgettable New Year's Eve together, we looked forward to spending more time with them this summer. They helped us a great deal with making complex hotel arrangements and restaurant reservations for groups of fifteen to eighteen people.
|Olga, Ron, Vadik, Lena, Tanya, and Vanya at Elite Restaurant|
|Family selfie :)|
|Aunt Anya with tablet and lily pads|
Dave blogs here about our experiences in Finland through its food culture.
|With Lena, toasting Olga's birthday|