First snow in Helsinki

I like snow a lot! Within the last couple of days we have had the first snow in most of Finland. But where I live here in Eastern Helsinki, we haven’t seen snow. Until last night. There isn’t a lot of snow and it is going to melt really soon, but I still had to get out to take some pictures of the sea and snow during sunrise.

The first snow and a star

I walked to the tip of the Kallahti peninsula (Kallahdenniemi). It was still dark as I got there, so I even saw a few stars in the sky.

A frozen pond

The sun started to rise slowly. I like the light in the end of November. The colors are very blue.

Sunrise in Vuosaari

The sea is still completely open. And it propably won’t freeze for a while.

The sauna of Villa Kuhlefelt

Not a lot of snow yet. Especially here at the tip of the peninsula. And it is supposed to get warmer again.

Snow and the sea

The morning was beautiful and it was really worth it to get out. It usually is!

I am actually just packing my things and heading to Lapland today. So in a few hours I get to see a lot more snow. I am looking forward to starting my skiing season.
I still have a lot of photos from Tenerife, so I’ll get back to the warmer pictures in a few days.

The last kayaking course of the year

We had a very nice day out at sea on the 1st of November. This was a private course I was teaching. The main focus of the day was paddling in waves and wind. The conditions were really good. Some wind, but not too much and also some waves further out.

Before the course I hadn’t been kayaking for a month.¬† We did our canoe trip in Norway right after that, but no kayaking. After a longer break you always feel a bit stiff, but the muscles get used to it again pretty quickly.

A few rays of light on a cloudy day

The forecast was cloudy for the whole day, but the sun was shining through the clouds as we started the day.

Cloudy skies while kayaking in November

The sunshine lasted just two minutes, but we were happy with even that. And the temperature was about +10 degrees Celsius all day, so the weather was actually really good for November.

Lunch break at Hattusaari

We had our lunch break at Hattusaari. It is really one of my favorite places in Eastern Helsinki.

Enjoying the waves on the southside of Villinki

On the southside of Villinki there were some nice waves and it’s a great place to practice rock hopping.

Just about to hit a rock

What do you think is going to happen next?

It was a great day out on the water. Our group was really good and we tried a lot of new things. I am hoping for a cold and snowy winter here in Southern Finland, but I wouldn’t mind to still get out a few times with my kayak before that.

Our new paddling center

We have been renting kayaks in Vuosaari here in Eastern Helsinki since the summer of 2008. This winter we are finally able to build a paddling center with enough space for all our kayaks and all the gear. Everything is going forward as planned and the walls and the roof are just getting ready.

We still have the winter months to finnish everything before the beginning of May. I am really excited about the project and it is going to be a great place.

Our new terrace

This is where our terrace is going to be. We will have a cafe at the paddling center and it is going to be so nice to relax here before or after a kayak tour.

Putting the wall in place

The walls have been built at the factory and you just have to put the pieces together on the spot.

Sunset at the new paddling center

This is from the other side of the bay. One of the most spectacular sunset of the fall season.

November sunsets are great

This is from the same evening. Our new paddling center is on the right side of the picture.

The beach close to our new paddling center

This is the beach just by the paddling center. It is really nice to spend some time here in the summer.

Hopefully the rest of the project goes well and we have everything ready next spring. Still a lot of things to get done before that.

October hiking in Nuortti, part 2

If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

We had a good nights sleep at the open hut. Our day started slowly and it was already way after 10 am before we got going. The first day’s hike was only 19 kilometres and the second day was going to be about 23 kilometres. With our pace this meant hiking the last kilometres in the dark again. And also crossing River Nuortti in the dark.

Forest on the Nuortti Hiking Trail

The start of the second day was through a beautiful forest. We didn’t see any other hikers during the weekend, but we did see both Willow Grouses and Capercaillies along the trail.

River Nuortti flowing slowly

Later in the afternoon we also came closer to the river again. There were a lot of beautiful places.

Walking the trail as the sun is getting lower

It was supposed to be cloudy on Sunday, but most of the day the sun was shining. It was pure joy walking on a trail like this.

A break at river Nuortti

There are a lot of fireplaces, open shelters and open huts along the route. This was a beautiful place to enjoy a break. As you can see the sun is getting pretty low again.

Hiking in the dark

Soon we had to take out our head torches again, but the trail was clear and easy to follow. By this time we were really feeling it on our legs. And looking forward to the refreshing crossing of the cold river.

wet hiking boots and pants

When we came to the wading place, we decided to just keep our hiking boots on. It looked a bit sketchy and deep, so we thought it was the best option. The crossing was about 25 metres and it felt really cold. It wasn’t much deeper than the knees, so in the end it wasn’t so bad after all.¬† After the crossing it was just 500 meters back to our car, where we changed our shoes and clothes.

I really recommend the hiking route. The scenery was beautiful and very versatile. We hiked a total of 42 kilometres in two days. This was a bit too much especially as the days in Finland are relatively short in October. You could easily spend three or four days on the trail and there would still be enough to see and do. Maybe next time we will have more than just a weekend.

October hiking in Nuortti, part 1

Back from the canoe trip in Norway, we had a free weekend in Finland. Staying in Sodankylä, we decided to head to the southern parts of Urho Kekkonen National Park. There is a 40 kilometer circular route called Nuortti Hiking Trail. It follows the River Nuortti almost all the way to the Russian border, where you cross the bridge to the other side of the river. You walk back on the other side and at the end you need to cross the river without a bridge. This was something we were really looking forward to, since the water is starting to get close to freezing here in the north. But it was only at the very end of the trip.

A small frozen pond

The river was still flowing free of ice, but the small lakes and ponds start to be frozen.

We started a bit late on Saturday. By the time we had our lunch break, we were pretty sure we would have to walk the last kilometres in the dark. Already at this point the sun was going behind the hills.

River Nuortti

The trail was very nice. Sometimes it went down to the river and st times it continued higher up on the banks. A bit of snow on the ground, but it didn’t really bother us.

River Nuortti as the sun is goimg down

There are two lookout spots on the trail. We managed to get to the second one during the last rays of daylight. After the stop we need to take out our head torches and hike the last 3,5 kilometres in the dark.

Northern Lights at Saiho open hut

It was cloudy most of the day and the weather forecast promised clouds and rain during the night. As we reached the open hut, the sky started to clear and we could see the stars. The hut is called Saiho and it is just 800 metres from the Russian border. As you can see we also enjoyed some northern lights in the evening.

You can read about the second in the next post.