Helsinki to Herräng

Although Helsinki has a lot to offer, we focused our stay in the Kallio district, which is bohemian, a little rough around the edges and has a high concentration of cafes, bars and vintage shops. Our Airbnb stay was just around the corner from Karhupuisto, or “Bear Park”.

Long-overdue haircuts were expertly executed at Pinkki Paplari, a well recommended rocabilly-styled hairdressers.

paplari_etukuva

Already mentioned vintage shops and flea markets are full of treasures…

…and there is plenty of choice for unique bars and cafes.

We did venture out of Kallio to Ihana Kahvila, a cafe consisting of a couple of upcycled shipping crates on land earmarked for development near Kalasatama (“Fish Harbour”)…

…and to the Tom of Finland exhibition at Taidehalli in the city centre.

This was followed by a ferry ride to Stockholm, where (amongst other things) we procured masks for the the masquerade ball we knew was upcoming at our next destination… Herräng!

For 5 weeks every July, the small coastal village of Herräng plays host to one of the largest swing dance festivals in the world. By day the camp offers lessons in Lindy Hop, Boogie Woogie, Tap and more…

…By night there are dance acts, DJs, bands and even orchestras performing at social dances, providing the opportunity to practise what you’ve learned.

As you can see, the lessons were somewhat needed…

Between lessons and social dancing, you can visit the nearby beach or Marina. Particularly good if you have the incredible weather we had in our week there.

We also met some inspirational people at the camp. Particularly worthy of a mention are Patrick and Rebecca, a couple from London who are aiming to cycle to Japan. Check out their blog here.

We thoroughly enjoyed our week in Herräng (check out the summary video here), however the time came to bid farewell and prepare for the next leg of our journey, which will take us to Central America.

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