Shooting Stars

A few weeks back I headed to spend the night on one of the islands of the Eastern Helsinki archipelago. It was the time of the Perseid meteor shower. If the sky is clear you can see hundreds of shooting stars. So I was hoping for clear skies.

Sunset at Hattusaari

I ended up staying at Hattusaari. It was the first time on the island this summer. In the early season it is full of birds, but now the birds were gone. I took some sunset photos, but was really waiting for it to get dark. The moon was about half, so I decided to sleep for a couple of hours as the moon was setting just after midnight.

A kayak and some shooting stars

As I got out of the tent the sky was almost completely clear and I saw the first shooting star in about 3 seconds.

Shooting stars and the milky way

You could see some light pollution from Helsinki, but it was still dark enough to see the shooting stars and the milky way. You could see shooting stars everywhere. It was just difficult to get them in the pictures every time.

Watching the Perseid meteor shower

It was an awesome night and I will certainly try to get to see this next year again! I lost track at some point, but I think I saw over a hundred shooting stars. At some point I stopped making a wish every time I saw one!

Hattusaari by night

Even without the shooting stars the sky is very impressive on a clear night. I recommend going out to watch the milky way now as the nights are getting darker!

To the top of Kebnekaise

You can read about the first part of our trip in my previous post. The day before our scheduled top attempt the weather changed. The whole day was cloudy and light rain.

Hiking in the Kebnekaise area

We didn’t want to do anything too hard the day before the summit attempt, so we just explored the river close to the Mountain station. It was a beautiful place. In the evening we decided to have a nice meal at the station. There was also a meeting with our guides to go through all the gear and the route for the next day.  We were in the group starting at 7.10 in the morning.

 

As the forecast said it was raining in the morning, so I didn’t take the camera out until we reached the glacier and it wasn’t raining anymore. Until then it was just a steep path up the mountain.

The eastern route up to Kebnekaise

My favorite part of the day was the Via Ferrata style climbing up to the Kebnekaise hut close to the top (1880 meters above sea level). It was pretty easy, but enjoyable. Too bad we couldn’t really see too far.

The top of Kebnekaise

From the Via Ferrata part it is an easy hike up to the top. The top of the mountain is covered with snow and pretty narrow. It’s nice to have the ropes for safety. Here we are at the top (2111 meters above sea level) with Henna. With good weather you should be able to see 9 % of the land area of Sweden. Well we didn’t quite see that much.🙂

Going down the Via Ferrata route at Kebnekaise

After a short lunch break we started our way back down. It was more difficult going down, but we managed just fine. Higher on the mountain it wasn’t actually raining, but as we descended further it started to rain again.

Altogether it took us a bit over 9 hours to go up and down. The start is at 670 meters above sea level, so although it is not a long hike, it is still pretty streneous. And our clothes were soaking wet. But it was a good day!

Hiking in the Kebnekaise area

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here. I knew I would be busy with work in the summer, but still every summer I am suprised just how busy. It has been a good year, but also very demanding. So I needed a short break. Luckily I was able to escape to Sweden for a week of hiking!

I flew from Helsinki to Kiiruna via Stockholm. I almost got stuck in Stockholm. because my connecting flight was cancelled at first. But the airline company decided to operate the flight, so it was only a couple hours late. While approaching Kiiruna it was raining so hard at the airport, that we had to fly in circles for about 40 minutes before we could land. I am so glad we managed to land eventually. Henna was waiting for me at the airport and as I  got my backpack the sun was already shining.

We drove to Nikkaluokta, where we started our hike. After the long day we hiked for around 6 – 7 kilometers and made camp.

On our way to Kebnekaise

From our first camp you can already see the high mountains with snow. It was a beautiful evening, just a few mosquitos to disturb us.

Waterfall and small pond

There are a lot of people on the trail between Nikkaluokta and Kebnekaise. But it is still a very beautiful route. It is good to stop once in a while and look around. A lot of great waterfalls coming down to the valley.

Camping close to Kebnekaise

Our camp for the second night! A great place. We actually stayed in this same place for the rest of our trip. It is just before the Kebnekaise Mountain station. So if you don’t like camping, you can stay at the station. It’s basically a hotel with showers, saunas and everything. It is a 19 kilometer hike from Nikkaluokta, but if you are feeling lazy you can also fly here with a helicopter.

Day hike close to Kebnekaise

The next day was beautiful and warm. We hiked a bit higher up from our camp to enjoy some of the great views.

On a break

And the warmth of the Swedish summer!

Kebnekaise

We reached the plateau and from here we could see Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden.

On the way down

On the way down the clouds started gathering and it was raining a bit. Of course I wanted to take the shortest route down, which turned out to be pretty steep and skecthy with the wet and moving rocks.

Before the rain

We made it back to camp before it really started to rain. We had booked the guided tour to the top through the Eastern Route, which is shorter but a bit more demanding. I will post about that next week!

Kalliosaari – Rock Island

Kalliosaari is one of the closest islands to our paddling center. I was heading out to spend the night further east on Friday. As I was kayaking past Kalliosaari, I thought why not stay there. I hadn’t been there for a while, so I got out of my kayak and decided to camp. I brought my tent this time, because there have been some mosquitos in the evening and I wanted to sleep well.

Forest path in Kalliosaari, Eastern Helsinki

Kalliosaari is a big island and I walked around just enjoying the beautiful evening!

Evening view from Kalliosaari, Eastern Helsinki

The highest place in Kalliosaari is something like 20 meters above sea level, so not too high. The views are still nice!

Kayakers in Eastern Helsinki

There were two other kayakers as I arrived. As the sun was setting they decided to head to Pihlajaluoto to camp. This picture is taken about 11 pm, so still a lot of light!

Morning coffee at Kalliosaari

The next morning was beautiful. I took my sleeping bag out and relaxed for several hours before I paddled back. It is great to spend a night on the islands! And it’s less than an hour from our paddling center.

Kayaking in Eastern Helsinki

The weather has been great in May. It is a great time to go out the islands this time of the year. Still quiet and not a lot of people. On some islands there are still a lot of birds nesting, but there are places where you can go without disturbing them too much.

Kayaking in Vuosaari, Helsinki

On Friday we headed out. It was sunny and calm. Felt like summer.🙂

Evening sun at Hattusaari

We stopped at Hattusaari, but there were so many birds nesting that we decided to go to Pihlajaluoto. A lot less birds there.

Sunset at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki

We put our tent up and enjoyed the beautiful evening.

Enjoying the fire at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki.

The two other kayakers camping on the island made a fire. It is always nice to stare into the flames.

Enjoying the full moon in the Helsinki archipelago

The moon was almost full and very bright!

Sleeping on the shore in the Helsinki archipelago

In the morning we took our sleeping bags out and had a nap on the sea shore. Such a great morning!

If you are here in Helsinki next Saturday, come and join us at our opening event at the new paddling center.

 

Out to the sea

It has been a while since writing something. We have opened our new paddling center and I have been very busy. Finally we are starting to get most of the things organised and hopefully I will have more time to be active with the blog.

Thursday afternoon I realised I didn’t have anything in my calendar for the evening and the next morning. So I decided to escape and spend the night somewhere on the sea. I packed my things and looked at the weather forecast. The forecast was light wind from southwest, which was supposed to pick up a bit the next day. So I decided to head to Eestiluoto and Kutuhället which are about 10 kilometres from our paddling center. They are the last islands before to open sea starts.

Kayaking at Tammaluoto, Helsinki.

The weather was just perfect. The islands are southwest from our paddling center, so I was paddling against the wind. The winds were very light and it was an easy trip. Here I am taking a short break at Tammaluoto, a small islands on the way.

Evening at Kutuhället, Helsinki

I was expecting it to be chilly so far out, but it was actually really warm. Especially on the calm side of the island.

Sunset in Helsinki

I had the whole island to myself and I was just wandering around and taking pictures. So relaxing!

Spider in the sunset

So nice to have places like this so close to Helsinki. There are a lot of recreational islands free for anyone to camp at.

Hammock at Kutuhället, Helsinki

I slept in a hammock and I must say it is very relaxing. I only had my summer sleeping bag, but it still wasn’t cold at all.

Flowers in Kutuhället

In the morning I took it slowly and walked around the island and took some pictures.

Kayaking at Eestiluoto, Helsinki

Here I am heading back to the paddling center. It was a great trip. I think I need to try to to get out again next week! But I will also try to post something about our new paddling center next!

Sunrise in Vuosaari

I have been busy getting everything ready for our paddling season at the new paddling center, so I haven’t had time to post anything in the blog. This morning I woke up early and decided to go out with the camera. I went to the Kallahti Peninsula (Kallahdenniemi in Finnish) to take some pictures of the sunrise. It was a beautiful morning.

Two birds at sunrise

 

Sunrise at Kallahti Peninsula

Sunrise in Vuosaari

Vuosaari is a beautiful place

Next week I will try to write something about our new paddling center.