The Baltic Herring Festival has taken over Helsinki’s Harbor for the past week. There are numerous vendors in bright orange tents lining the cobblestone basin, selling herring in every imaginable form: deep-fried, in a jar, in a can, in soup, on a pizza, in a sandwich… The choices are endless. On the first day of this festival, there is a competition for the Pickled Fish of the Year and the Baltic Herring Surprise of the Year.
On the far left, you can see the Uspenski Cathedral next to Aalto’s white marble Enso-Gutzeit Building.
Tervetuloa means welcome!
On Dancer, On Prancer, On Donner & Blitzen
I went on Thursday of this week to meet my friend and fellow Fulbrighter, Lauren, for lunch. While I did try the herring, I opted for a delectable salmon dish with lingonberries and vegetables. Lauren, on the other hand, ate Santa’s little helper—reindeer meatballs. She let me try a piece of the reindeer and I have to admit that it does not taste as crazy as one might think. It sort of tastes like ham, but has the consistency of beef.
Salmon with lingonberries, grilled vegetables, potatoes and a garlic sauce.
“Oh, What Feeling, When We’re Dancing on the Ceiling”
There are always tons of seagulls in the harbor. More people (and food) equal more gulls. While we were eating lunch, we could see them walking around on the top of the tent, casting their shadows above us.
The Baltic Herring Festival has taken place in Helsinki since the end of the 18th century, at least since 1743.
Also, the area in the water where the ships temporarily park is called Cholera Basin, Kolera-allas in Finnish. In 1893, the entire basin was quarantined because a seaman from Nauvo died from this disease aboard his ship. The name stuck.
Pippi loves Herring and Rye Bread.
Want to see the Harbor? Here is a link to a webcam in the Harbor: