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.

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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.

 

First kayak trip this spring

We made plans with Joni a couple of weeks agoto go kayaking,if the weather is good. We wanted to open the kayaking season and stay overnight on one of the many islands of Eastern Helsinki. On Saturday the weather was perfect. Sunshine, calm winds and a good forecast. So there was no excuse.

The temperature had been below freezing the night before, so some of the inner bays were frozen again. Luckily we found a spot in Uutela, where there wasn’t too much ice. We had to carry and drag the kayaks for a few hundred meters to get to our starting place. The water is still very cold, so you have to be really careful if you plan to head out. A drysuit is essential and even that isn’t enough if you do something stupid. So be well prepared or wait for a few months before the water is warmer. 🙂

Pulling our kayaks to the starting place

The path was still icy and it was easy to pull our kayaks to the shore.

Breaking ice with our kayaks

There was about 200 meters of ice to break before we got to the open water. Luckily it wasn’t too thick.

Ice on the sea

It was great to kayak through the ice and get really close to the ice.

Sunset at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki

We decided to spend the night at Pihlajaluoto, one of my favorite islands in Eastern Helsinki. The sunset was beautiful.

Sun setting behind the trees in Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki.

Pihlajaluoto isn’t too far from where we started, so we had a lot of time to enjoy the island and take pictures. The islands are so quiet in the winter time. It is a special feeling being out there.

Fire and the moon at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki.

We brought some firewood and made a fire. The sky was clear and we were waiting to see the stars as it was getting darker. The forecast was cloudy, but it was completely clear.

Sky full of stars in Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki.

It was great to see the sky full of stars!

Frozen kayak gear

The night was pretty cold and I accidentally took a wrong sleeping bag, so I didn’t sleep to well. And all the kayaking gear was also frozen in the morning. But it didn’t take too long to warm up. It was a great trip and I hope can get out soon again.

 

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.

Sunsets in Gran Canaria

I had a great week in Gran Canaria just before Christmas. I was planning hiking routes for our new hiking program there. So a lot of walking, but I also had some time to take some shots. It would have been great to be out on the mountains every evening to take photos, but driving back to the hotel in the dark was very unpleasent. The roads are narrow and there are hundreds of turns.
Pico de las Nieves as the sun is going down

One evening I drove to Pico de las Nieves after my day of hiking. It is the highest place in Gran Canaria. And a great place for sunset photos.

Pico de las Nieves at sunset

Here is another shot from the same evening. You can see the top of Teide, the highest mountain in Tenerife, in the background.

Dog at Pico de las Nieves

It wasn’t easy to take the shots, because this dog was in the way all the time! 🙂 It was pretty friendly, but got a bit frustrated because I didn’t want to play as I was trying to take photos.

Maspalomas dunes

My hotel was at Maspalomas in the south. I have heard of the Maspalomas dunes and thought it would be a good place to take some pictures in the evening. It was just getting dark as I got there. There were a lot of sketchy looking guys walking around the area, so I didn’t feel I wanted to stay too long. I just quickly took this shot and then walked back to the main street.

Lookout point on the road to Fataga

One evening I was driving back to Maspalomas a bit later after my hike. I stopped at a lookout spot on the road coming down from Fataga. It is alway nice to watch the sun going in to the sea.

So even if you don’t enjoy hiking, Gran Canaria is a great place take pictures. Just rent a car and drive around in the mountains. There were a lot of other places for sunset photos, but I just didn’t have enough time to go to all of them!