Suomenlinna is a fortress on a group of six tiny islands near the shore. It was built to protect Helsinki on the Sea. In Sweden, they call it Sveaborg (Swedish fortress) and in Finland they say Suomenlinne (Finnish fortress). So what’s the truth?
If I remember correctly, it was Sweden, who decided to build it at the time. However now, it belongs to Finland and its territory. But you can always find out more on the official website.
Trip from Turku to Helsinki
As I mentioned in Turku – the homeland of Moomins, we planned this trip in January. However I failed to mention we went to Finland during Easter. And it was still THIS cold.
I finished last article with the picture of the pink, ugly duck. So this is how I decided to start this one. It was the last thing we saw in Turku and the first thing we saw on the way to Helsinki.
Well, it was cold, and yet we agreed to hitchhike. Starting quite late – around 11 am, we were struggling to find the right spot. It took us about 3 hours in the cold, before someone took us. And only a few kilometers further to the better place, as the lady used to hitchhike herself.
We weren’t in a hurry, so we visited Lidl and a petrol station to get a warm drink and some food. It was a sunny day, yet freezing. It took us some time, before someone took us another 50 kilometers. But after this everything went smoothly. We made it to Helsinki, quite close to where our next host, Kari, would live.
Helsinki – simply amazing!
I think I liked the capital the most. All three cities we visited were wonderful, but I just loved Helsinki. There’s always that one place that speaks to me more than the others and that was it.
Below, you can see central train station and the sculpture of Aleksis Kivi (which translates to Aleksis Stone), who was a Finnish poet and a writer. Next is a lovely National Theater.
There’s a reason, why I loved Helsinki so much and it’s very simple. It’s just such a lovely city. Yes. It’s lovely. Just lovely. My camera wasn’t able to capture the beauty of it. And the Helsinki Cathedral was splendid. Best of all and visible from far away.
Our trip to Helsinki consisted of many wonderful views. For example Uspenskin Cathedral. However it was closed and we couldn’t see it on the inside.
Suomenlinna or Sveaborg?
So we already know, who the fortress belongs to now. But did you know it’s also on the Worldwide Heritage UNESCO List? Me neither. I have only learned that after our trip, despite the research I did before we went there.
We were only on one of the six island. You can get there on a ferry for 5 euro. It’s totally worth it.
On the island, there’s also a church. Suomenlinna church. Very beautiful and very simple, well-maintained and still in service of God. Especially that there are actual people living on the island. Not many. They don’t have cars, just bikes. Sounds awfully similar to something I know (Mackinac Island).
Further there are ruins of the fortress. In those ruins you can find a lot of corridors and underground passages. A walk in those tunnels is unforgettable.
However, I liked the shore the most. That raw view of rocks and ice cold water. This is something I really love in Nordic countries. That raw nature is simply amazing. I feel so free there. And so weirdly at peace and yet so wild. Like I’m finally home.
Mämmi – Easter treat that should NEVER be cooked
Mämmi is some kind of pudding. Very popular during Easter. It’s typical Finnish food. Around Easter, you can buy it anywhere. If you happen to be in Finland around this time and decide on treating yourself with Mämmi, look for it in the fridge or freezer.
Most of all, don’t repeat our mistake. Never ever try to cook it. We had no idea, and as none of us speak Finnish, we didn’t realize. It was frozen, so we were sure, that we have to heat it up. Well, no. Definitely no! It’s supposed to be eaten cold with a bit of cream and maybe sugar powder.
It was awful, when heated. The part we left cold was better, but still not exactly up to my liking. It tasted a bit like dried plum. But looks creepy. Cooked or not, the color is brown and not very tempting.
As for the end of this story, here is Marlena’s Kermit. He traveled with us. He was also the inspiration for making Chłopinka into a real 3-dimenssional mascot, so say hi to Kermit.