Suomenlinna Fortress

25 Nov

If I could choose an island to live on, this would rank high in my list of destinations. On a cold November morning we stepped off the boat and onto dry, crunchy leaves; proof that somewhere in Finland autumn still lingered on. The cold, wild wind sapped the moisture from our skin, despite the bright autumnal sun. The quite was permeated only by a tour group of Russians and the occasional tractor driving by.The island felts a million miles away from anything, but with the comfort of being only a twenty minute boat journey away from the capital.

Our arrival on the island

The boat costs only 5€ for a two way journey, and it’s free to enter the island. There’s a museum in the tourist information that costs 6€, but our little group was happy enough to take the opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise. Not much was open in winter anyway – for this reason I would suggest that if you plan to have lunch there you should take your own food, because the only restaurant was quite expensive. There is a cafe and convenience store, but we didn’t visit either so I couldn’t comment on the prices – my guess is that they’d be quite high though.

View from the ferry

A pleasantly autumnal day greeted us

Construction of the island began in 1748 and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991. The ferry to reach it is located just by the kauppatori (market square), not far from the city centre, and a big sign makes it easy to find. Once you land you’ll pass through a small tunnel and find a few little shops and a church on the other side. Further on there’s the tourist information and the museum, followed by more little shops and restaurants – all shut because of the season though.

So much blue, no wonder there is blue on the Finnish flag

Church bell

A grand memorial in the square

It’s a pleasant walk through the small village, passing a memorial stone, some old farm machinery and many, many cannons. I read that up to a thousand cannons can fit on the island at once – not bad for a small island.

Two of the many cannons

At the water’s edge it was beautiful – but freezing!

If you go in November make sure to wrap up warm, gloves, hat and all, because it’s bitterly cold right next to the ocean. If the weather’s good make sure to take advantage of it, because I wouldn’t have enjoyed the trip on a rainy day; everything is outside and there’s little change to get away from the weather. It’s a very beautiful island, but we spent maybe only two hours there – you could spend more if it was the summer though. A lonely beer bottle sat on one wall, a relic from the summer parties no doubt.

There were many little doors that led into buildings built into the ground – I’m not sure what most were but the restaurants on the far side were built like this too

There’s very little sun here in Oulu this week and looking at these pictures is making me miss it even more. But hey ho, there’s always next week =) I’ll be in Lapland so I may not be updating regularly,but I’ll try. Hope you’ve had a good weekend!

 

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3 Responses to “Suomenlinna Fortress”

  1. Debra Kolkka January 22, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    I was on Suomenlinna on Sunday. It is a beautiful island in any season.

    • saramay91 January 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

      Ah that’s great to hear! I’d love to try a visit in winter =)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What’s Wrong With Finland? « Finland and Back - January 15, 2013

    […] an air of calm exudes the place. A twenty minute ferry from the market square will take you to the Suomenlinna Fortress, filled with grass and trees and sea views, the perfect way to relax on the weekend. There are art […]

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