City in fast-forward, Kivinokka at leisure

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.

On the steps of the Senaatintori, in front of the city's cathedral

A rather unusual "art" display in the city, hosted by ShowroomHelsinki.com/

[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).

 

 

A 360° view of the lookout/view point where we had our picnic: