The Old Town Bay

The nature is always close in Helsinki. November was great for taking photos. Not a lot of light, but really beautiful sunsets. It was very warm, so no snow in these pictures yet. But now we also have snow here in Helsinki.

These photos are from the Old Town bay area in Helsinki. This was the place, where the city of Helsinki was originally founded in 1550. There is a nature trail going to to a few birdwatch towers. This is a very popular place for birdwatching. It is also a good spot just to enjoy the nature close to the city.

Path to Lammassaari

This is the path leading to Lammassaari (Lamb Island). There is a birdwatch tower there and some small private cabins. Also a few houses you can rent our for private parties and celebrations.

Sunset in Lammassaari

The sunset was amazing. This picture is from a dock in Lammassaari. You can see the lights of the city, but you are still far away.

View from the birdtower

The view from the other birdwatch tower. You can see the lights of Herttoniemi in the horizon. The path leads to a small shed made for watching the birds.

Old town waterfall in Helsinki

This is the waterfall of the Old Town Rapids. Not a lot of water flowing, because it didn’t rain too much at this time. Now it’s starting to look like winter also here in Helsinki.

I just got back from Iceland and I have tons of great pictures from the trip. And I still need to write atleast one post about hiking in Gran Canaria. So a lot of things to write about, but I just need to find the time.

Hiking in Tenerife, Anaga and Arona

Here is the last part of my post about Tenerife for now!

On the last two days of our hiking trip we did hikes in Anaga and from Arona to Ifonche. Anaga is a very nice place and the best thing is, that you can end many of the hikes to the sea. There’s nothing better than a swim after a day of hiking.

Hiking in Anaga

Anaga is one of the oldest parts of the island of Tenerife. This is one of the three places where the volcanic island rose from the sea at first. This means that the it is steep with deep canyons. It is a challenging place to hike because of the big height differences, but it is also beautiful.

Anaga is a great place to hike

It is hard to capture the beauty of the landscape in pictures. For me it is really hard to imagine, that we are in Tenerife looking at the scenery in Anaga.

Old farm house on the from Arona to Ifonche

Our last day of hiking was from Arona to Ifonche. It is short hike in the south of the island. Looking down towards the sea you can see the big tourist destinations of Las Americas and Los Christianos. Still on the path you feel, that you are somewhere else.

The path down to Arona

It was a very warm day to hike on the southside of Tenerife. Luckily it was quite windy, which made hiking so much nicer. Here we are almost in the village Ifonche and you can see the coast.

Old wine press in Bodega Reverón

After our hike we visited a local wine farm, Bodega Reverón. It is a very nice place and it was great to get to taste some of the local wines.

For the whole week the weather was warm and it didn’t rain at all. So we were very lucky. No back in Finland you really miss the warm and the sun. Especially as I am in Lapland, where the sun doesn’t come up at all. Luckily I will go back to the Canary Islands in a week. This time to Gran Canaria.


Hiking in Tenerife, Masca Canyon

This is the second post about hiking in Tenerife. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

There are so many great options for hiking in Tenerife, that it is hard to choose just five hikes for our program. We have tried to choose hikes, which all are different. The Masca Canyon is something we have always had in the program. In my opinion it is just something you can’t miss.

The village of Masca and the way to the sea

We start our hike from the village of Masca and hike all the way down to the sea. The village of Masca is a nice place and you could easily just spend a half day there.

Deep in the Masca Canyon

The path starts from the village and goes down the gorge. The water has carved the deep canyon and the canyon walls are really high.

In the Masca Canyon

The walls of the canyon are just spectacular. Although there are a lot of the people on the route, you still get a feeling you are in a very special place.

Beautiful rock formations in the Masca Canyon

There are really beautiful rock formations in the canyon. You could easily spend the whole day just looking around and taking pictures.

Dolphins on the way from Masca to Los Gigantes

The best option for hiking Masca is to take a boat at the end of the canyon. It is possible also to hike back up, but it is a long hike back up. If you are lucky, you might even see some dolphins on the boat trip.

The boat takes you back to Los Gigantes. It is best to reserve your boat trip in advance, so you are sure to have a place in the boat. Depending on your pace, you should reserve 3 – 4 hours to walk from Masca village to the sea.

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.

Hiking in Tenerife, La Orotava and Teide National Park

I have been guiding hiking trips in Tenerife for Finnish groups since 2010. It is a great destination for hiking. Especially it is nice to escape the dark and cold weather of Finland in November.

We did 5 days of hiking during the week. Here are a few pictures from the first two days.

Pine forest above La Orotava

On our first day we hiked in the La Orotava valley. The canary pines are beautiful and it is a very nice area for hiking.

Rock formations around Los Roques de García

On our second day of hiking we visited Teide National Park. It is one of the Unesco World Heritage sites. It is one of the most visited national parks in the world. A place to visit is Los Roques de García with it’s spectacular rock formations.

Las Cañadas surrounding the Teide National Park

From the viewpoint in Los Roques de García you can see the Las Cañadas ridge around the flat area. You can also see a lot of old lava flows.

Teide from the paths of Samara

On the same day we also did an afternoon hike on the other side of the national park. The path starts close to the small volcano of Samara. For some reason this is not a very popular hike, but in my opinion it gives you the best view of Teide, the highest mountain in Spain.

Hiking the Samara path in Teide National Park

This is another picture from the Samara hike. The scenery towards the Teno Massif is also great!

I will make other posts about our trip next week. There were just too many great places, so I couldn’t fit everything into one post. My next hiking trip to Tenerife will be in the spring around Easter. More information about the trip in Finnish.

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.