My friend Mary has decided definitely to come to Helsinki for the four days I'll be there.  We discussed our sleeping habits and our morning rituals and our travel styles, and I think it will work out fine.  She's an early-to-bed type, and she's completely fine with me staying out later and coming in, even if I wake her up.  I'm not a real late-night person anyway, although it will never get too dark, so it'll be easy to extend the days if I have the energy for it.  Then the plan is to do our separate things each day and meet for dinner to share our adventures.  And there's always the possibility that we will pick the same adventure some days and do things together.

With someone to share a room (and the cost thereof), we were able to splurge a bit on accommodations.  We picked a place that I think will be fun and interesting:  the Best Western Katajanokka.

The hotel is a converted prison.  It  was built in the 1880s (there's an older part -- the white building in the aerial photo above -- that dates from the 1830s) and served as Helsinki County Prison until 2002.  It opened as a hotel in 2007.

The location is about a 15 minute walk to the center of the city, and it seems to be in a nice neighborhood.  Even though the rooms are small, I think it will be a unique hotel experience.