Finland wrap-up

I’m home now, and still smiling over the great time I had in Finland.  On the day I arrived in Helsinki, I had a few hours to play tourist, and the first thing I did was head down to the waterfront, to admire the views.


And of course I visited the food stalls, where the scent of frying fish had me reaching straight for my wallet.  I’m not sure what the English name is for these savory little fish.  All I know is, I ate a whole plateful of them!


Still a little dazed by jet lag, I wandered around for hours, encountering some lovely views:

helsinki square

And a pair of lively street musicians.  (The guy on the right looks just like Daniel Craig, doesn’t he?  A shorter version of James Bond!)


The next day, it was time to go to work.  although it hardly seemed like work because I was so pampered and well looked after by Tarja Kopra, who is a press and communications officer for Otava Publishing Company. After interviews with four newspapers, I spoke at a literary evening at the Great Finnish Book Club, where I was interviewed by Ms. Emmi Jakko. 

Below: Emmi, me, and Tarja.


That evening, it was off to dinner at the exquisite Savoy Restaurant, hosted by Otava.  At dinner, I met Finnish author (and sister foodie) Outi Pakkanen, who writes a mystery series that includes recipes.  I want so much to read her books, but they’re not yet published in English.  Someday!

The next day, Tarja and I boarded a sleek train to the town of Turku, where I appeared at three different bookstores and found quite a few readers waiting for me.  In this multilingual country, a majority of Finns speak English, so they seemed to understand me, without any translation needed.  But I must confess that signing books wasn’t easy for me, because I had no idea how to spell some of those long Finnish names.


Then it was back by train to Helsinki, where I packed for my flight home the next day.  Ironically, after such smooth travels within Finland, the trouble started as soon as I set foot on American soil, where I found multiple cancelled flights and crowded and chaotic airports.

I miss Finland already. 



17 replies
    BOOKLOVER says:

    He does look like Daniel Craig! A long time ago, I met a nice woman from Finland who was temporarily in the states because of her husband’s business. We always saw each other on the stairmasters at the gym. I’m so sorry I never took her up on her offer to show me Finland now. It’s beautiful!

    I love the countdown to your book release too.

  2. tuttle
    tuttle says:

    I bet he gets ribbed about it.
    Or maybe he enjoys the attention from local girls!
    He seems to enjoy his job either way.
    Great pictures!

  3. Kyle K.
    Kyle K. says:

    LOL… Am I the only one that doesn’t see 007?

    Don’t you go to signings with post-it notes like other authors, so that you don’t have to guess how to spell names? Haha. Kind of glad that you don’t, because I always feel like the authors wants to just speed the train along when they use them…

    What has been your favorite tour abroad?

  4. Abe
    Abe says:

    Hi Tess,

    Sorry for the travel mishaps into JFK, but it was nice of you to share your adventures through Finland. The scenery is beautiful. Am I the only one that thinks your pictures look like postcards? Did you ever get the English name for the fish that you ate. They look like sardines. It’s great to have you back on American soil.

  5. Julia Talvitie
    Julia Talvitie says:

    It always feels good to here when someone says nice things about your home country. And it´s good to hear that you had nice time in here.
    I read your interview in Helsingin sanomat. It was very interesting interview!

    AND I read your book The Bone Garden (I got it from the Great Finnish Book Club 😉 I really enjoed it. One of my favourite thrillers. So thank you!

    – Julia

    Ps. To Abe: I think that the fish Tess ate was Baltic herring.

  6. Joona Vainio
    Joona Vainio says:

    Hello, Tess.

    The fish are called muikku in Finnish. Vendace in English. Latin name coregonus albula. Glad you liked them apparently as much as I liked Gravity.


  7. Julia Talvitie
    Julia Talvitie says:

    To Joona: Is it really “muikku” ? Don´t they look a little too big to be “muikku”? But maybe I´m wrong. Maybe it is “Muikku” (Vendace). 🙂

  8. Joona Vainio
    Joona Vainio says:

    Yes they are, Julia. You should know better than that, being a Finn 🙂 Judging from your name. Vendaces come in several sizes from the so called “neulamuikku” to about 15 cm long fishies. And Baltic herrings are not prepared like that. Besides, Baltic herrings are unfortunately not much fished anymore, as the Baltic is so polluted 🙁

    My pleasure, Tess.


  9. Joona Vainio
    Joona Vainio says:

    Maybe Tess will get an inspiration for a new book about Baltic mutant herrings from this.
    “Yaargh! The eyeless fish are coming!”


  10. Nina
    Nina says:

    It was such a great pleasure to see you in Helsinki, shake your hand and get my book signed (with the name spelled correctly, so don’t worry about that :-))

    I absolutely love your books, and now it beels so much better to read them once I know that the writer is such a nice and honest person. I had thousands of questions I wanted to ask, but I let my cousin Emmi take the lead.

    Now I just don’t know how my nerves will cope with waiting for the new book release / (hopefully many releases).

    I´m glad you had a good time in Finland and I hope to see you see you here again one day!

  11. april
    april says:

    Wow. I actually flew to Maine and back last week and the flights went swimmingly. We JUST made our flight there (our fault). Our flight back was delayed, but the airline got us on another flight leaving a few minutes later so it was about the same difference. Oh, our baggage got lost, but that happens every time we fly. Plus, it was only toiletries so the airline gave us free toiletry kits and we got our bag an hour later on the next flight.

    I can’t wait for the new book!!!

    Finland looked great. I’ve never been, but my grandparents have. My grandparents are Norwegian so they used to go to that part of the world all the time.

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