Although it rained throughout our entire stay, our time in Tampere was one of the highlights of our trip to Finland. I loved the Market Hall, the Pyynikki Observation Tower, Sauna Restaurant Kuuma, and most of all, staying at Lillan Hotel.
When it comes to international cuisines, Finnish food is a bit under-the-radar—and I say this as a proud Finnish-American who grew up in northern Minnesota, which has one of the greatest concentrations of people of Finnish descent in the United States. Other than leipäjuusto (bread cheese) and my great-grandma's cardamom bread recipe, I hadn't tried any Finnish foods before my trip to Finland.
I go to the Minnesota State Fair for many reasons: nostalgia, the live entertainment, the livestock, the educational exhibits, the display cases full of prizewinning knitwear. But mostly, it's about the food.
As a freelance journalist who covers food and travel, I often receive press releases and offers to check out restaurants, sample products, or visit destinations. That's how I found out about the Oru Lake kayak: the company reached out to me, pitching me the foldable kayak as a perfect fit for Minneapolis residents who are short on storage space but live close to lakes.
You might not recognize the name, but you've probably seen the photos: Porvoo is one of the most photographed spots in Finland. Porvoo is a small town about 30 miles northeast of Helsinki, and the riverside Old Town is beloved for its colorful wooden buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and romantic, low-key vibe.