Scandinavia, Travel
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Helsinki on the water

Flying into Helsinki from Stockholm, it was fun to see the vast birch groves, brilliant blue skies, and abundant shoreline. I’ve mentioned a few times since we’ve been in France that we really miss the ocean. It is definitely a part of me, and we can’t imagine not living permanently by the sea. So although the landscape in Helsinki is quite different from our west coast, it really felt good to be able to look out to the water and see nothing beyond but the great wide open.


View from the plane.

View from Kaivopuisto park

View from the rocky hilltop in Kaivopuisto park.

There are loads of tiny islands dotted around Helsinki’s coast. We enjoyed wandering around Uunasaari and Liuskasaari in particular, both easily accessible from a footbridge right off the seawall on the mainland. The kids had a ball climbing on the rocks and checking out tide pools.

Uunisaari reflections

Uunasaari island.

Liuskasaari rocks

The rocks on Liuskasaari island.

Liuskasaari rock walk

There’s a long seawall that runs along the coast, and I love how there are gorgeous cafés dotted around so you can have a drink or lunch with an incredible view. We lucked out again with fantastic weather while we were in Helsinki, so we definitely took advantage and had a beer and ice cream for the kids at Café Ursula, which was such a cool spot.

cafe ursula

Café Ursula.

rocks with Uunisaari in background

bridge to uunisaaari

Footbridge to Uunasaari and Liuskasaari.

On our last full day we took a boat out to Suomenlinna Fortress. A Unesco Heritage site situated on a few islands just off the coast, Suomenlinna was built in the Swedish era in the mid-1700s. There were tunnel-like passageways under the ramparts that you could walk through, sod-covered huts dotting the hillside, and star shaped fortified walls that were common in these fortresses. It was a very brisk and windy day, but with the amazing vivid blue skies typical of Helsinki.

looking out to the water from suomenlinna ramparts

edge of the star ramparts of suomenlinna

sitting on the edge of suomenlinna

view off suomenlinna

me and kids on rocks at suomenlinna

sod and rock hut on suomenlinna

fortress corner

blue skies and birch tree on suomenlinna

gate to fortress

suomenlinna island building

on our way to suomenlinna fortress


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