So, this July Professor M and I had a little staycation in Helsinki. This is very unusual, especially in summer as we usually spend our summers in the U.K.
OK, a long story short (if you're new to this blog), hubby lives and works in the U.K., whereas I (mainly) live and work in Finland.
Complicated? Not really. We both work long hours, so spending weekdays apart is no problem. And we spend weekends together, which means that one of us has to travel (which one depends on our respective work schedules). But in summer, or whenever I have a bit more time off, I usually spend more time in our home in England. In other words, in our household 'having time off' means less travelling and more time spent in one place. In theory, anyway.
In July I travelled back and forth between Finland and England a couple of times, with a few days or a week or two in one place. But, probably for the first time ever, both hubby and I actually had a few weeks off at the same time, i.e. we could actually have a longer (than a few days') holiday together...
And we decided to spend hubby's last week of holiday in Finland. And what's more, this was going to be a proper holiday, even though we were staying at home. So, none of the usual cleaning/sorting/doing-the-laundry etc that usually keeps us busy at home (let me remind you: we have two homes, so that's twice the usual cleaning/sorting/doing-the-laundry etc). We were going to do the touristy thing: a bit of sightseeing, going to restaurants and just relaxing.
The Touristy Thing...So, what do tourists do in Helsinki? Well, we thought the best way to kick off our relaxing staycation was to have a picnic in the historic sea fortress, Suomenlinna (a cluster of interconnected islands within Helsinki, about 15 minutes from the mainland by ferry)
The tower-like structure is a church/lighthouse. And the salmon pink building on the seafront houses a tourist information centre and one of our favourite restaurants, among other things. Yes, this location has been featured on the blog before. What can I say? It does make a great backdrop for photos, doesn't it?
So, Suomenlinna has residential areas, restaurants and coffee shops and several museums (including an old submarine). It also houses a cost guard station and the Finnish Naval Academy.
But what most tourists, and locals, do is go for walks on or along the old sea fortress walls, or have picnic by the sea. Even though Suomenlinna is a World Heritage site, and a historic landmark, you can walk around freely (well, almost freely: I would stay away from the coast guard station or the Naval Academy... Fortunately, these are clearly marked, in several languages).
However, it is not a park in the traditional sense: there are no well-maintained flowerbeds, and the footpaths are not lined with benches. There are cobble stone streets, well-trimmed lawns, and neat looking houses. But there are also dirt roads, wildflowers, rabbits and hills. And steep, wooden staircases going down to small, secluded beaches. And of course the old fortress walls, and several of these old cannons.
skirt: Ralph Lauren / t-shirt: Gap / cardigan: Soyaconcept / shoes: Clarks /
sunglasses: Michael Kors / necklace: Purificacion Garcia
location: Suomenlinna, Helsinki
location: Suomenlinna, Helsinki
How was your summer holiday?
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