I had never visited Helsinki before and we were in port for the day only. Rather than try see as many sights in such as short amount of time, we decided to visit one or two interesting places and spend the day there. We went to the Suomenlinna island fortress because ruins were interesting, especially since they let you walk among the old structures and ramparts, and it looked like a great place to hang out on a beautiful summer day. Built during the 18th century and re-fortified during the 19th, it was part of the defense of three countries – Finland, Sweden, and Russia. It no longer functions as a fortress, though many of the original buildings and ramparts remain, and is a world heritage site. The fortress spreads across 6 islands and we explored most of them, so we can claim to have visited 5 islands during this visit. Here are some sights from the fortress.
After a 4 mile walk under perfect hiking weather, we stopped by the Viapori Café to pick up our picnic basket and blanket. We found a nice spot by the water to enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the café. Word of warning for those who may want to order the picnic lunch from the café – the minimum order for 2 people can easily fill up 4. The ducks and birds politely waited nearby for us to finish before scooping our crumbs. It was a wonderful way to spend the day and Rosie did not want to leave. I was so exhausted by the time I got back that I took a 3-hour nap and missed the sail away.