Tag Archives: sausage

Sausages, beer, pretzels and castles – you’ll find all this in…


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The typical Bayerian dish - white sausage, beer and pretzel. Served only in the mornings.

This time it’s not about my dear Helsinki but of Munich and Riga!

What’s the (only?) negative thing about spring? It doesn’t offer us workers any considerable holiday breaks. So I try to take advantage of any long weekend and travel around with my boyfriend. For Easter, we went to Munich and spent a night in Riga on the way.

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Riga panorama from a bar in a clock tower. The bar is a bit styless but the view compensates it.

My first ever visit to Riga was nice but brief. We wandered around, visited typical markets and slept in a hostel owned by Australians. Must go back in the summer, as Air Baltic offers very cheap direct flights from Helsinki.

Then Munich. Well, it never was a dream destination for me, but why not (the only cheap flights we could get for those dates with a coupon we had to spend).

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The best of Bayer: Neuschwanstein Castle. We were "lucky" enough to visit it in a middle of a snow storm - in April!

The Bayerian traditions sure are interesting. Like the rypical “breakfast”, white sausages and 1 litre of beer (with prezel, of course). Or the traditional costume dirndl sold everywhere – and people who so happily wear them on the street or in the traditional beer gardens.

Ah, the beer! Normally I’m not a fan of (Finnish) beer, but the Munich versions were excellent! Especially beer with lemon. I could easily drink a litre or two of that.

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The famous Hofbräuhaus Beer Garden in Munich. Here Hitler organized the first publicity and propaganda events in 1920.

Munich is the richest and the most expensive city in Germany, which you really notice. People look wealthy as do their cars. Munich is the home of BMW, and I really got a lesson on car history as we spent some hours in the BMW headquarters and museum – a deal we made with my boyfriend so we would later see some modern art  – well, in the end we skipped it for the lack of time. But instead I got some nice beer with lemon in the park.

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Our hotel remembered us with a bottle of wine. Nice. As my boyfriend doesn't like wine, well, a woman has to do what a woman has to do...

Still, after four days of Munich – and of snowstorms and rain – it was great to come back to the sunny Helsinki. The routine is not that bad when you get away once in a while. Yesterday we took out the bicycles from the winter shelter and tonight we had a great hot sauna. Now it’s just perfect to lay down on the home sofa with a glass of red wine, jamón serrano and picos. Not very Finnish but hey – mixing cultures is the thing of today. 😉

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Jamón ibérico de bellota (the best kind) and picos (Spanish bread snacks) for dinner. Home sweet home - Helsinki.

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Simple things – Helsinki, sauna and makkara

Today I found joy in so called small things.

It felt wonderful to go out after a couple of days in bed with a flu and to notice that I can breathe again, the sun is shining and there is a smell of spring in the air already. Today I worked from the home office, as I still felt a bit ill in the morning – which means I was still wearing pyjamas at 5 pm. So I really felt the urge of going out, called up my boyfriend who works nearby and who joined me for a little walk around the centre of Helsinki.

Children with their toboggans in Koff Park "Koffari" in Helsinki. Credit: Helsingin Uutiset

Of course everything was still in its place in the city, after a couple of days of my absence, and I loved to see all the familiar corners once more. We passed Koffin Puisto (Koff Park or “Koffari”) on Bulevardi, where children were riding their toboggans down a snowy slope and continued to the West Harbour, where the big cruises were starting their trips to Stockholm or Tallinn – as they do every evening.

West Harbour near my home in Helsinki. I love the old cranes - which are luckily objects of protection today.

In the end we visited our familiar supermarket to buy soya milk – and sausages, as it was sauna time tonight. I taught my (Spanish) boyfriend how to cook sausage on the stones of the sauna. It’s easy, as every Finn knows! Just wrap a sausage in a folio, add perhaps a bit of strong cheese and throw some beer on top of it – maybe vegetables too, and voilà! In half an hour you’ll have a tasty sausage waiting for you- while you are enjoying the hot sauna. This is a very typical Finnish thing, and some people make real gourmet experiments inside the sauna…

Getting professional! I found out that one company has even created a "sausage tube" for preparing your sausage, "makkara" in Finnish, in the sauna. Credit: Sauna-aitta

While the boyfriend went to have sauna with his friends, I enjoyed quality time with myself in the sauna of our apartment – in Finland almost all the apartment building have a common sauna, and you can get 0,5 – 1 hour a week of sauna for yourself by buying a small amount for maintenance.

A happy Finnish family having a sauna in the Oulu region, Northern Finland. The feeling of euphoria is always the same... Credit: Everyculture.com

I didn’t have sausages – as I’ve decided to spend the month of February without eating meat (more about that later). But naturally I had some nice red wine from Chile waiting for me.  Ah, it feels so good to be healthy again!

Not for vegetarians. This is how makkara-lovers like it - with mustard and ketchup, of course. Credit: HK Sininen - the most typical makkara trademark in Finland!

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