Birthday celebration in Turku

Birthday celebration in Turku

This year I decided to celebrate my birthday in my old hometown Turku. This is the city where both me and hubby went to Uni and where we met and eventually fell in love and married. I also lived here for a few years as a child.

Wine and room service

We arrived at Solo Sokos Hotel Turun Seurahuone late on Friday afternoon. The Seurahuone property was built in 1928. The hotel has undergone a massive renovation since we last visited it and was reopened in 2019. I had booked a Solo King room for two nights. When we arrived, I went to check in while hubby had to deal with a work call. After I got checked in, I decided to enjoy a drink in the lobby bar while waiting for hubby. I had a house G&T. When hubby was done, we headed out to buy some provisions. As there are still restaurant restrictions due to COVID we decided to order dinner up to our room. I had some chicken tenders and hubby had a burger which we washed down with a nice white wine we had bought at Alko. The food was pretty good but a bit boring.

A G&T to kick-off the celebrations, that is a birch shaving on top
I loved the lamps in the bathroom
Chicken tenders and burger from the hotel restaurant

Old prison grounds and restaurant boats

Saturday morning started out with a nice hotel breakfast after which we headed out to explore the city. Our first stop was Kakolanmäki that used to house Turku prison from 1858 to 2007. In 2015 construction of apartments in the old prison buildings started. You can reach the area with a funicular, which is the first outdoor inclined elevator in a Finnish city. After taking the funicular up the hill we walked around the entire area and stopped by to check out Hotel Kakola housed in the old county jail. Then we headed back down the hill and continued walking along the Aura River. After the clock hit noon, we decided to visit one of the numerous restaurant boats for a refreshing drink. The next stop was for afternoon coffee and some cake at Fazer café by the market square. This beautiful café is housed in an old renaissance revival house from 1856 that used to be a pharmacy. Then it was time to head back to the hotel to prepare for an early dinner.

Strolling along the river
Time to head up with the funicular
Traveling to the top
The old western cell-bock 2A
The oldest cell-block building still standing
A bridge connecting two of the old prison buildings
A believe this is the old warden’s house. It is being renovated into a cafe
Entrance to Kakola Hotel located in the old county jail
Lobby at Kakola Hotel
Art by Aura River
The city plants flowers every spring by the river to spell out the city name in Finnish and Swedish
Alleyway by the Old Great Square

Delicious tapas

Due to restaurant restrictions, we had to have an early dinner at 3:30 pm. Before dinner, we stopped at my old alma mater where I started school as a child for a pre-dinner drink. The school has since been turned into a brewery bar and restaurant. I had reserved a table at di Trevi for dinner. After exploring the menu for a while we decided to order four tapas each and share one more tapas. We also ordered a bottle of cava to accompany our tapas. The tapas we ordered were: Jamón Serrano, Manchego cheese, Patatas Bravas (to share), deep-fried corn arancini and jalapeno mayonnaise, deep-fried halloumi and rhubarb jam, beef tartar, mini hamburger, grilled scampi marinated with chili and garlic, and ceviche. The food was excellent, and the service was super friendly. The atmosphere in the restaurant was nice, and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting to have some tapas in Turku. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to read and watch Netflix. After a good night’s sleep, it was time for another breakfast and then we headed back home.

A refreshing blood-orange G&T at restaurant Koulu
Halloumi fries and slider
Jamón Serrano, Patatas Bravas and corn arancini
Manchego cheese and ceviche
Beef tartar and grilled scampi
View from our hotel room
The birthday girl on the morning after getting a year older

I had a great birthday especially considering the restrictions. Now it is time to see what this year will bring with it. This upcoming weekend we will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary so a post on that will be coming up next.

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