So anyway, Helsinki:
Gorgeous; clean; design and function; craft and creativity; the cleanest port I have ever seen; salmon. I managed to find a great yarn store called Oy Menita Ab (I think!), on Korkeavuorenkatu 20, in the city. They didn't speak much English, but who cares- they had lovely yarn displayed in such a beautiful way. There must have been every colourway of the Drops Alpaca and some other Drops yarns, Rowan yarns and some beautiful Finnish yarns. I bought two balls of Pirkanmaan yarn in beautiful blues. At the time, I had baby in mind, but now its home I think it might have to be some colourwork for me - maybe Selbu Modern?
Down at the waterfront there was a daily market with good food (mostly), and crafts (some junk, but mostly good stuff) - woodwork, leatherwork (mostly reindeer) and knitting. Tables covered in bright, handknit socks (for about 12 euros a pair). Lots of people knitting (even if they were selling other things). A lady with gorgeous handwoven things (out of my budget but so beautiful). The stalls changed each day - just after I ran over to the yarn shop in my lunch break, I saw a stall with spectacular hand-dyed yarn in it. Unfortunately, I decided I had used up my yarn allowance, but took a card. The lovely stall holder told me that his wife dyed the yarn with natural dyes, and she had an online shop and would ship to the UK. Her website is http://www.riihivilla.com/, and it really is worth checking out. She has the most gorgeous mitten kits - if I was a mitten wearer (or knew one!) I would have bought one there and then!