It was a quick “Hei” (hi) to Helsinki, as we were really only there for a full day. We knew we’d only be able to see a little of the city, so we decided to spend the day on Suomenlinna Island instead. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and quite different from anything we’d experienced so far.
It was used as a fortress for Sweden, Finland, and Russia. There are about 800 people who live on the island and services include a library, a elementary school, and a grocery store. There is a ferry service that runs throughout the year and only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get there.
While there are many things closed during the winter, including 5 of the 6 museums, we still had a great day roaming around the paths, seeing the canons, enjoying the view, and climbing in and out of all the tunnels. And, despite my aversion to enclosed spaces, I even had fun wandering in and out, as long as I could still see a bit of light at the other end! 🙂
Below: Helsinki Cathedral right by Market Square, where we caught a ferry to the island. Cruise ship in the harbor.
Below: Riding on the ferry and enjoying the view.
Below: Beautiful entrance buildings on the island. Look at that color!
Below: Toy Museum (closed during the winter), but there were still photo opportunities. Antique-looking iron scissors in the gift shop.
Below: Various tunnels, walls, openings, and paths.
Below: Beautiful views of the sea.
Below: King’s Gate, which was built in 1753–54 as the main entrance to the fortress.
Below: The ferry after we returned to Helsinki. G and L on a giant hill of snow!
While originally we weren’t planning on seeing Hannu, Eemelie, Oskari, Nea, or Anna after leaving Turku, it turned out that Hannu was going to be in Helsinki for a meeting and Anna was visiting Oskari, who actually lives in Helsinki, so we got to see a few of them for dinner before leaving Finland the next morning! 🙂
Oskari chose Grotesk Bar and Restaurant, which was anything but grotesque! It was great, and it was nice to spend a little more time together! (Though we missed Eemelie and Nea! 😉 )
The next morning, we packed up and caught a bus to the airport and headed for the U.K.!