Photo Story – A Walk Around The Sea Fortress of Suomenlinna

This is a continuation from: ‘History at a glance – The cool forts of Suomenlinna

Kings Gate ferry suomenlinna
Here comes the ferry, at King’s Gate

As mentioned in previous posts, a trip to Helsinki should definitely include Suomenlinna, an island fortress a 15 min ferry ride away from the jetty, Kauppatori. When we were there in summer, flowers were blooming amid the long green grass, while fortresses constructed in the size and shape of a hobbit’s home caught my eye. I thought to myself – how nice it would have been  to stay in these houses!

suomenlinna fortress viewpoint
Welcome to The Sea Fortress of Suomenlinna

Highlight – Explore the tunnels

It doesn’t end there. Pluck up some courage to enter one of the tunnels dug many centuries ago. Do be careful though, when we were there, some inconsiderate fellas had left bits of a broken glass bottle behind. That’s why it’s important go with covered shoes. It can get pitch dark, so bring a torch if possible, or use the flashlight on your smartphone.

* * *

A Walk Around The Sea Fortress of Suomenlinna

Be there early

We were lucky to arrive at Suomenlinna at 8am that summer. When we left for mainland at noon, the island was filled with tourists and local Finns. The tourists came from all parts of the world, including many Europeans and there were a couple of Japanese and Chinese tourists. At 8am, it’s just the early birds. The ferry is not packed, and we travelled across the Gulf of Finland towards Suomenlinna at a leisurely place, taking photos as we go. Click on the link to check out the photos.

Suomenlinna Visitor Centre
That’s the back of the Suomenlinna Visitor Centre

The Grocery Store

Upon arrival, we first headed to the grocery store on the right of the Visitor Centre. Our stomachs are growling, having been on a 12 hour flight. There isn’t hot coffee available, but very affordable Magnum icecream (about €1 per stick). That was followed by take a rest on the benches behind the Visitor Centre. You could grab a bottle of water and some food too.

suomenlinna park benches
It’s nice to be chilling at a random bench.

* * *

suomenlinna wooden houses
Pretty wooden houses with flowers as decorations

Quaint looking wooden or brick houses with beautiful flowers

We passed by several houses which were stylishly done up, with simplicity. I also love it when they decorate it with flowers – the colour fits so perfectly together. In Singapore, the only plants that are able to survive the heat all year round do not do well at bearing flowers. Hence our balconies are mainly filled with green money plants with the occasional bougainvillea.

suomenlinna houses brick
This might be an entrance to this brick house
suomenlinna wooden houses
Another nice wooden house – some of them are cafes
Suomenlinna red brick house flowers
It makes for a pretty picture
suomenlinna wooden houses
Cool wooden houses – looks like it was a bunker last time

* * *

Lutheran Cathedral Suomenlinna
Lutheran Cathedral from Suomenlinna

Lutheran Cathedral from Suomenlinna

There’s a little cathedral on the island. It’s not very big, but is surrounded by heavy,wrought iron chains. When we were there, they were doing some construction work inside. It’s an active church with regular services going on.

Lutheran Cathedral Suomenlinna
Is it really that heavy! Or that person needs more gym sessions.
lutheran cathedral suomenlinna
I’m not sure what’s this! It holds up the chains
Lutheran Cathedral suomenlinna
Entrance to the Lutheran Cathedral
lutheran cathedral suomenlinna
Some construction was going on when we were there.

* * *

Suomenlinna sea spot viewpoint
Here’s a spot to yourself, at the Sea Fortress of Suomenlinna

A spot to yourself

Along the fortress overlooking the sea, you can catch sight of the Gulf of Finland. If you’re lucky, (and early), you have a small part of the island to yourself. It’s just you, the seagulls resting on the rocks, and the mighty Gulf.

Suomenlinna sea viewpoint
It’s a short climb up.

* * *

red building suomenlinna
That’s it! It looks very quaint from far.

Dilapidated red building at a tiny corner of the island

We came across a rather dilapidated building in Suomenlinna. Half smoked cigarettes carelessly left at a corner, as well as a row of bicycles seem to suggest that there were people living there. But how very unFinnish this is! It seem to be more Russian instead. I am very interested to know the origins and function of this building. If anyone knows, please leave a comment!

red building suomenlinna
The curtains are mostly drawn and some of the windows were cracked. I felt that I was in Russia.
suomenlinna red building
The row of bicycles as well as smoking cigarettes says people live there.

* * *

suomenlinna bridge
Nice little bridge connecting the ‘islands’ together

Another highlight – The Bridge

In the middle of the walk, you will pass by a bridge, with nice wooden floating platforms on the sea, which makes for a great photo opportunity. The photos will tell you why.

Wooden floating platform suomenlinna
Up close – the wooden floating platform
suomenlinna bridge island
Bridge over calm waters
Suomenlinna floating platforms photos
Just love the floating platforms!

* * *

Suomenlinna sea gulf of finland
We didn’t take photos of those ladies swimming, but you get the idea. The water is so inviting!

Swimming

The Gulf is mighty but not fearsome. We spotted several European ladies planning to go for a swim, on a hot summer’s day. Well, just make sure the seagulls do not take off with your day clothes, and the Gulf does not consume your towel.

suomenlinna finland swimming
Nice little cove for some swimming? : )

* * *

suomenlinna grass clean island
Birds ‘grazing’ in the fields

A place to lie on the grass and snooze

Forts and the historical importance aside, Suomenlinna is just a nice little island, where you can lie back on the grass and have a siesta. Under the cover of the large canopy of trees, it’s a refreshing way of immersing yourself in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

suomenlinna flowers
I leave you with this parting photo, of Suomenlinna

Hope you enjoyed this series on Suomenlinna! The next few posts will be on Helsinki, the food and sights around town.

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