Friday, October 11, 2013

The journey back to Don

The next morning we took considerable time during breakfast, basking in the sunshine and enjoying all this tiny island had to give us. We couldn't be more satisfied with the accommodation we'd found and the plans we'd failed to make ourselves. Sometimes the best plans are no plans. We'd learned this the hard way, and after so much work. We travel too much to make plans anymore. Silly as that sounds.

Our drive back took considerably shorter time than we expected, the ferries lining up for us so there was always one there when we drove up to the ports. There was almost no waiting and we never lost our way. I guess the journey back always seems shorter...especially when you're reluctant to go back. All of us had loved our time in the country and didn't really want to go back to our respective cities. Me most of all.

We stopped shortly along the highway on the way back to Helsinki to check out a Design Hill outlet that existed. All the major brands were there - Marimekko, ittala, aarika, etc. We looked at all the goods and ended up buying things (either for ourselves or as gifts). I've been trying to do better about buying myself less and buying people more. Always keeping my eye out for potential gifts for people, now that the Christmas season is right around the corner.

It was a pleasant drive back to Helsinki. We did some errands before settling in for a last dinner together: Sushibar and Wine. Delicious.

Gorgeously Finnish. I do love Finnish design. The Brits have their style but they're completely different aesthetics. My friends described how though we'd only been away for a day it felt like it'd been longer. I guess that's the test of a real holiday - its effect on you. Did it really get in you and do its magic? Yes, for sure, in this case.

But now, the food.

Wakame salad. Something I always need to order now that it's difficult to get near my office. This one was a bit weird though; the more feathery seaweed rather than the harder chewier kind that's more commonplace. Also a lot more horseradish in the sauce so it was a nose-clearer. Still enjoyable though, especially with its large dose of sesame seeds.

Oddly I ended up ordering no meat in my selections. That was not my intention; everything just appealed to me and I knew I would be eating again on the plane (Finnair does pretty nice food, even for its short flights).

This is their vege rice wrap with avocado, cucumber, spring onions, marinated shitake mushrooms, all wrapped in a rice paper wrapper. Doused in a savory ponzu sauce that was more mushroom stew than tart and citrusy. Surprisingly meaty and hearty, rather than light and vegetarian. I loved it. All that ripe avocado.

And inari. Glorious fried tofu pouches. I could eat these pouches by themselves; even without the rice inside. I don't know what they soak them in but it's like crack sauce. Sweet, liquidy, teriyaki in nature but better. I love these. Classic.

And after some short discussion, it was time to drop off Hong Kong P before heading off to the airport. We made promises about planning our next trip (hopefully a getaway to the Canary Islands in November) and parted ways. The most relaxed trip we've taken so far.

German K and I drove to the airport, where she dropped me off before returning the rental car and busing back to the city herself. We said farewell knowing that it wouldn't be long before we saw each other again.

Sunshine weekends with great friends are the best; I wouldn't have had it any other way.

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