One of the things you can do when you're in Helsinki, is take an overnight cruise to Stockholm, Sweden. You board the boat at 8pm from either downtown Helsinki, or Turku, a city about two hours West of Helsinki, and twelve hours later you wake up in Stockholm! It was quite an experience (since the boat passes through international waters, there's gambling on board and no drinking age, although that barely there to begin with!), but if you make sure you get a cabin with a window, it's pretty fun, AND you get to spend the day in Stockholm!
Like I mentioned in my post on Monday about Finnish food, Rye Bread is all the rage. So what did I get for dinner on the ship? A salami & cheese sandwich, with lettuce, slices of red bell pepper and butter on Rye Bread. Plus a little apple danish for dessert. It wasn't the best, but the views of the summer cottages from the boat made it a most memorable meal!
Since Stockholm is an hour earlier than Helsinki, you arrive at 7am and have to get off the boat immediately, as they set sail for Helsinki right away. My friend and I discovered that Stockholm is a late rising city - not much was open - so we were almost jumping for joy when we saw The Coffee Place (Drottninggatan 25, near Gamla Stan, the old town) open and ready for business. The guy making our lattes was super serious about his job and lovingly decorated the foam with a heart and a leaf. The coffee was delicious!
After hours of walking around and exploring, we were famished. Serendipitously were stumbled into Ahlins Plat, (Dalagatan 52, 08 - 30 85 67) a sandwich shop with a sideboard where you slice yourself some bread and pour glasses of water with cucumber slices floating in it. So good! I got a panini with chicken, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes that was so good, I was sad when I got too full to finish!
The side salad with Bibb lettuce and creamy dressing was lovely as well. My friend ordered a panini with prosciutto that was quite good as well. The meat was a bit thicker than usual, and provided a hearty meal. The bread was also perfect - crusty, tangy and delicious.
We continued on, walking everywhere to see as much as we could before we had to head back to the ship to take us back to Helsinki. We stopped in at a cafe and I got a Korvapuusti (Cinnamon Roll in Finnish - I can't find the piece of paper where I wrote down what this is called in Swedish - can anyone help me out??) with cardamom. It was a new way to enjoy that earthy, subtly-spicy flavor, but I really liked it. A regular cinnamon & sugar pastry is at the top of the photo.
Instead of eating more boat food, we decided to buy a bunch of scrumptious delights from an indoor market and have an indoor picnic later that evening in our cabin. You can see our various goods in the photo below. We bought another piece of salmon, some bread, two small quiches (the Kantarellpastejer had Chanterelle mushrooms in it and the Ostpastejer had cheese), a wedge of brie and a few desserts. The big Hershey's-kiss looking thing is a Chokladbiskvi. Inside was a creamy, nutty, chocolately mousse atop a cookie platform and coated with dark chocolate. It was incredible. A little disappointing was the Mazarin, which we thought was marzipan. It is made with almonds, but didn't have that dense, paste-like consistency, nor did it have the almost too-sweet flavor. However, all was made better by the small little chocolate disks next to the Chokladbiski. I'm not even sure what these are called, but we purchased them from the Tysta Mari stand at the Östermalms Saluhall (Östermalmstorg, 114 39, Stockholm). They were filled with a chocolate mousse that made our eyes roll back in our heads. One was enough since it packed such a punch, but oh would I love to have one again right now!
I loved Stockholm; not just because of the food, but that certainly helped. I can't wait to go back to spend more time exploring and finding other delicious, local treats!