On Sunday we had our first overseas visitor in Helsinki – Jesse needed to visit a South African embassy, and decided to come visit us en route from Estonia.
We met Jesse at the Länsiterminaali (länsi = western; i.e. the western-most harbour terminal of the city) on Sunday afternoon, and gave him a lightning tour of the city centre.
[Update: the decapitated Ronald McDonald above is part of a installation by Jani Leinonen – you can read an interview with him here (turns out that he enjoys McMeals!)]
After a quick lunch at a local kebab shop, we headed out to Kivinokka (kivi = stone, nokka = point), a small island just to the east of the city centre. Kivinokka is made up partly of a nature reserve and partly of a whole lot of little allotments with cottages on them. These cottages look similar to what we would call a wendy house and they are really small – perhaps about 6 x 3 m. These allotments or “siirtolapuutarha” (puutarha = garden) are small bits of land that Finns use for gardening or just getting away from it all. Kivinokka also had the first swimming beach that I have seen (although none of us even tested the water).
Beautiful forest. The leaves are finally coming out now and its getting really beautiful.
Having a picnic on the viewing deck in the reserve. We have discovered baltic herring which is very yummy with Finnish rye bread – excellent summer food.
The view in the other direction (from our deck picnic) – we could watch ducks in the water and terns diving for food.
A humongous fungus.
One of the little cottages. There is not much evidence of typical gardening on this island despite these being allotments.
The view from the swimming beach looking towards the city centre. There were 2 hot air balloons out.
An interesting manor-like house on Kivinokka. We haven’t found out its story yet.
The sun getting lower over the water at about 8:30pm.
A 360° view of the lookout/view point where we had our picnic: