Day Trip in Helsinki

Last Friday seemed like a nice enough day (it wasn’t raining!) so we decided to do a day trip to Suomenlinna, a sea fortress built across six islands just outside Helsinki city centre. The construction started during the Swedish era in 1748 and it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We got married there six years ago and we try to visit every time we come to Finland. So Friday morning we packed our picnic blanket along with some coffee and snacks and made our way to the ferry on the Market Square (Kauppatori).

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Us in 2016

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Us in 2010

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My Little Messers

After visiting the church and some strolling around, we found a nice place for our picnic.

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Fart gun!!

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That’s me, enjoying myself. Hello!

We did a lot of walking and exploring on the islands and even visited an old submarine! There are plenty of tunnels to get lost in as well, the Little Messers were very excited.

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submarine

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On our way back, heading towards the Market Square, Kauppatori

After hours and hours of exploring and generally just running around, it was time to head back. We had seen the SkyWheel Helsinki over on the other side of the Market Square and the kids were asking if we can go on it as the ferry was docking. We promised to go and see if we can get on it and how much it costs. Well, once you’re there you can’t really turn back and we thought the €38 for the family ticket might just be worth it. And it was, if not only for the views but again, the kiddies excitement was contagious. The only thing I was wondering was why on earth had they used blue tinted glass?!

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Up over Helsinki – Katajanokka behind Mr Messer

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The Excitement!

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Kauppatori, Rooftops of Helsinki, and Helsinki Cathedral to the right

After all of that we were all starving and didn’t really fancy cooking. It was Friday night after all so we decided to find a place to eat and have a sneaky glass of wine (for me!).

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Did not know they are family friendly in these places!

We found a perfect spot at a courtyard between Aleksanterinkatu and Mikonkatu. The whole courtyard is reserved for the three restaurants located around it and you can order from any of the restaurants, you can even mix your orders between the restaurants, but if you do that the food might arrive at different times. They also had colouring for the kids! The last time I was there, probably around 10 years ago, the experience was vastly different…

I must say this day is one of the best memories from this summer!

 

The Start of My Little Getaway

I switch off the laptop, kiss the kiddies goodbye and happily make my way to the bus stop to catch the bus to the airport. The sun is shining, for once I’m not in a rush and it’s lovely and warm. I’m heading off to Helsinki for three nights and I can’t wait.

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I get the first hint of trouble as I arrive to the bus stop and see the police directing traffic. Hmm, ok, well the cars seem to be moving so it should be fine. A Lithuanian lady comes to me asking if I’m taking the bus to the airport. She then tells me that she’s been there for over an hour and no buses. Oh dear.. A quick phone call to the bus company reveals that the two bus stops near us have been closed and the buses are diverted to another bus stop, about 15min walk up along the dual carriageway. So when is this bus that I’m waiting for supposed to arrive at the other bus stop? In 5, max 10 minutes, really?!

Luckily, the Lithuanian lady had her partner with her and he was driving! Off to the car and a quick race to the bus stop. We get there just in time. Two minutes later our bus arrives and I’m relieved. We’re fine now, right?

Well no. Dublin City Centre is a nightmare and I should have trusted myself rather than the bus company’s optimistic arrival times on their website… Stuck in traffic with a flight to catch is not the most relaxing way to start your little getaway! The clock keeps ticking and the endless queue of cars in front 9f us doesn’t seem to move at all… It’s only an hour to boarding time and we’re still on the south side of River Liffey! But once we get across the river the traffic eases a bit and the bus driver puts the boot down. We may still make it…

We arrived at the airport 30mins before boarding. Just as well I had already checked in and only had a carry on bag! In the end, I even had 15mins to spare… Now I’m safely on the plane on my way to Helsinki. I’m starving and in need of a big glass of wine. What’s taking so long?!

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It doesn't look very appetising, but it was the best Rye bread sambo ever!!