Day Trip Part II: Suomenlinna|Sveaborg - Fortress & Island(s) on Helsinki’s Coast

After having gotten a good impression of 'Helsingi’ in the morning, we eventually waited at the dock for the small ferry to arrive, which should take us to a world heritage site. 

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A friend of T. recommended a short escape to this island, which is actually a fortress, as we found out a little later (I know, not very prepared, shame on us). Since we’re always up for something new - you know, the unknown is making my feet itch -, we bought tickets (2.50 Euros one way) without thinking. 

This means we had some time to take a few more pictures, for, you know, there can never be enough. ‘Preserving memories’ I like to call it. 

Anyway, SunLines arrived and we boarded. 

The quick 10 minute ferry ride over is enjoyable as you pass by many little islands that belong to Helsinki and can feel the refreshing (let’s call it cold this time) breeze on your face. 

I was dreaming of owning exactly this island, with the tiny red wooden cottage on it. 

Within the blink of an eye, we both stepped foot on the renowned Suomenlinna. Or should I say Sveaborg? To be precise, nowadays the official name is Suomenlinna, which is Finnish and, loosely translated, means something like ‘Finnish castle’. 

Sveaborg, however, is Swedish and the first name for this fortress built on several isles. It was built gradually from 1748 onward, on Finnish ground but under Swedish supervision to protect the mainland against the Russians. The fortress stretches over 6 different islands. After Finland had become independent only in 1917, the ‘Fortress of Finland’ was renamed Suomenlinna.

Nowadays, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki. Beyond that, it is one of the cities districts. About 850 people live there. 

We started our excursion and I was immediately delighted by the colorful houses that looked particularly pretty with the changing leaves on the trees surrounding them. 

It was already afternoon and we were lacking our second dose of caffeine. Luckily, we stumbled upon this cute café which happened to be an art shop, as well. 

Parts of my Finnish visions came true…look at the building! Coziness all the way. 

We bought our two wicked expensive cups of cappuccino and black coffee (it’s okay, I am not spending a lot of money but traveling is an exception - basically, I spend all my money for it which includes cups of tasty caffeinated beverages). 

We found ourselves a nice table outside on the veranda. 

I couldn’t believe how calm it was and we seemed to have left behind all the people who came over to Suomenlinna. 

As I said in the last post: ‘an island all to ourselves’. Almost. 

We happily chatted about our impressions so far and enjoyed the peaceful setting. 

Sharing memories with someone you’re very close with is indescribably great. 

You know, laughing keeps up your level of endorphins. And a good amount of happy hormones was running through my body, I am not gonna lie. 

After having had our intake of caffeine, we felt re-energized and continued exploring the island and walked along parts of the fortress. 

I couldn’t help but ‘awww’ at how idyllic it was. 

Finland - getting very close to my imagination. You find nature at its purest. 

We continued our autumnal exploration walk around the island. 

Our stroll took us past cute houses and another café. 

‘Where did all the people go’, I was wondering from time to time. 

After a few hours, it was time to leave.

And then we embarked on a windy ride back to the mainland where we finished off this great day with…a stop at a cozy coffee shop for the best hot choc I think I’ve ever had. But more about that shortly. 

Have you been to Helsinki or Finland in general? What do you like most about the nordic atmosphere?