Day trip from Helsinki – Porkkala peninsula

I have been stuck home for weeks now. I went to play basketball for the first time in years and after 20 minutes of playing I tore my calf muscle. So I’ve been on crutches ever since. I thought I would have to go through my old pictures and write something here. But for some reason I haven’t found the time.
Today we decided to get out of the house. I did some research trying to find a place close to Helsinki where you could get in the nature without walking much. We found Porkkala peninsula west from Helsinki.

Porkkala and the open sea

It was raining in the morning, but the forecast promised that the weather would clear up by 2 pm. The picture is taken towards south so you can see the sun is shining somewhere in the distance. This place was pretty close to the road, but there were still a few places where I had to crawl to get there. It was really windy and it didn’t feel like winter as the sea was completely open.

View from birdwatch tower Porkkala

After taking some pictures we went back to the car and decided to try to find a birdwatch tower I had read about. It was on the way back at Lähteelä, a recreational area owned by the city of Helsinki. It wasn’t again too easy to get there and climb all the way to the top. But it was certainly worth the effort.

Sunshine in Porkkala, Finland.

As you can see, the sun was finally there! Just a few hours late. Eventhough we were high, it wasn’t windy. It even felt as the sun was warming us. Looking at this picture it was really worth the effort to get to this place!

Rönnskär lighthouse south of Porkkala peninsula

From the birdwatch tower you could see the Rönnskär lighthouse. Maybe that is a place to visit on a kayak trip next summer. I am starting to look forward to the summer. Especially since I can’t do much at the moment.

Ilkka with crutches in Porkkala

Here’s a picture of me with my crutches. Looking at the picture you couldn’t guess it is February in Finland. Well the forecast is much colder by the end of next week. So maybe winter isn’t completely over.

It felt really good to be outside again. I think we need to find a few other places in the nature, which are easy to reach.

Whitewater kayaking on the Soča river

After our trip to Lapland I was home just for a few days. I had just enough time to pack everything in the van and head towards the south. I took the ferry to Stockholm and my first stop was in Nürnberg, Germany. There I attended the Paddle Expo, a paddlesport trade show. All the major paddlesport brands where present there, but there wasn’t really many new or innovative products.

After the expo I picked up Henna from the Munich airport. Our first stop was Slovenia and the town of Bovec. We had plans of doing some whitewater kayaking on the Soča river and doing a Via Ferrata close to a mountain called Mangart.

When we got closer to Bovec, we noticed that there was already a lot of snow on the mountains. Talking to the locals it turned out that there was snow and ice everywhere above 1800 metres. So our plans changed and we went kayaking on the river for two days instead.

On a break on the Soča river

The water level was very low and we only paddled on the easy sections. But the the river is really beautiful and it was just great to be there.

On the beautiful Soča river

It is so nice to kayak on the Soča again after a few years. The water is so clear and it is great to see the trout swimming in the river. The water was a bit cool, but we were very lucky with the weather.

Scenery on the Soča river

It was peaceful on the river. Not a lot of kayakers, rafts or fishermen on the river. I have never been there in the summer, but I can imagine it is very busy. Now in October we just saw a few fishermen fly-fishing.

Emptying the kayak on the Soča river

Our second day of kayaking started with a swim for Henna. It was mostly my fault since I made her take a more difficult line with the water pushing against a big boulder. Luckily it was only a short swim and the sun was shining! 🙂

We brought our own kayaks from Finland and I did the shuttles with my bike. It is okay since the road is close to the river, but does take a lot of time. And you need to bike uphill! If you want to go kayaking on the river, but don’t want to bring you own gear, you can rent everything from the Prijon Sport Center. If you don’t have a lot of experience or you don’t know the river, I would also recommend taking a course with them or hiring a private guide.

The beautiful Soča valley

It was nice to be back in the Soča valley. There is a lot of other activities available and a lot of good options for accomodation. I would be happy to give my recommendations, if you plan to go there!

Northern Lights in Sodankylä

During my stay in Sodankylä in January I only managed to take pictures of the Northern Lights a couple of times. These pictures are just north from the village of Sattanen. It is along the main road, so you can see the car driving past in the last picture.

Now I am back in Helsinki and won’t be able to get to Lapland this spring anymore. So it’s nice to look at these pictures and dream about a real winter. Here in Helsinki the weather has been pretty miserable the last week.

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 1

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 2

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 3

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 4

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 5

Santa Claus is a kayaker

I just got back from my trip from Gran Canaria. It was a great place and I really think at has a lot of great places to enjoy the nature. I have a lot of photos and I will be posting some of them soon!

But Christmas is getting closer and we still don’t have snow here in Helsinki. Even Santa Claus is getting desperate. He wanted to rent a kayak from us to deliver all the presents here in Helsinki. Check otu how he managed!

And if you did not know, Santa Claus is from Finland!

A Merry Christmas to everyone!

Reflections

I still have one more post left from hiking in Tenerife, but I thought i would get back to our canoe trip in Norway first.

During the trip it was dead calm every day. All the rocks and branches in the water made beautiful reflections on the water. After taking pictures of the first ones, I got a bit addicted in trying to get te best angles and spots. Here are my favorite shots.

Rock and reflection

The lake was just so calm that it was amazing.

Big rock, middle rock and small rock

Three rocks.

Two rocks

Two rocks.

A dead pine tree in the water

A dead pine tree in the water.

A branch from under water

A branch from an underwater tree.

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.