Vallisaari – the paradise island

I had a chance to visit Vallisaari before the real season kicks in there. The island opened to public last spring and already during the first summer there were about 90 000 visitors. It used to be a military island and big parts of the island remained untouched. This means the flora and fauna of the island is something special. There are about 1000 different species of butterflies on the island and a lot of plants you don’t find anywhere else in Southern Finland.

At sea in Helsinki

It is just a short boat trip from the market square and regular traffic to the island has already started for the season. It was a calm and sunny day and the boat trip was very enjoyable. It has been really cool for the last month, but now it actually felt warm.

View from Aleksanterin patteri to the sea

We didn’t have a lot of time on the island, so we almost straight headed to Aleksanterinpatteri. This used to be a fortification for the military because it rises high above the archipelago. This is the view south to the open sea.

View towards Helsinki from Vallisaari

The view towards Helsinki is also nice. There are no leaves on the trees yet, so it is going to look different in just a couple of weeks. Hopefully I can find time to visit the island again.

Small pond in Vallisaari

It’s hard to believe there is a place like this so close to the city centre of Helsinki. Just a few minutes by boat. There are three ponds on the island.

If you don’t have a lot of time in Helsinki and still want to experience the Finnish nature, going to Vallisaari is an easy option. It really feels like paradise on the island! Next time, though, I think I will kayak to the island. This makes the trip even more special.

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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.