Knowing that Finland is the land of the midnight sun, I was already expecting it to be less night and more sun. But I woke up to this. Er…mah…gerd….LAWWWDDD What did I do in my past life to deserve this? *cries in joy*
That sky is so blue! I’ve never seen skies that blue! Sure, living in Borneo you would expect blue skies on most sunny days. Nope. It’s just cloudy, hot and humid. But this, I fell in love with the sky. THE SKY! And this was around 5am. I’m not a sun type of person but this sight took my breath away. It looked like the friggin sea and reminded of my student days in Sydney. Ahhh memories. Anyway, after breakfast, we were ready to take on Suomenlinna!! Yaaassss!!!
Walking to Market Square (Kauppatori)
Getting to Market Square was either by taking the tram with our Helsinki card or by walking. Seeing as it was ridiculously sunny outside, we decided to walk over and enjoy the summertime. When else would I get to do this?
Walking to Market Square from our place at Kamppi was one of the highlights of my day because we got to enjoy the sights and sounds of Helsinki that people tend to take for granted. I enjoy observing how people just walk pass by in a rush to get to work or enjoying the city like we do. As you can tell from most of my posts on both my Instagram and on this blog, I love taking photos of sceneries and random stuff. So feast your eyes on these babies!
Then there’s this… the Human and Sea Lion statue butt shots. You can never go wrong with butt shots. ehehehe
We finally made it to Market Square after around 15-20 minutes and were greeted by this. More blue skies! How can you not love Helsinki like this?Since we knew that there would be ferries every 15 minutes to Suomenlinna, we decided to make a slight detour and to explore quite a bit at the Market Square stalls. So many great stuff to look at from food, souvenirs and vegetables/fruits were on sale. Really, those stalls looked like they could go on forever.
While browsing quite a bit more and walking towards the ferry point, I stumbled upon this florist that was selling flowers out of their van.
By the heavens…LOOK AT THOSE FLOWERS! Aiiieeeeee~ And they’re all so puurrrddddeeeeyyyy! I wanted to cry at how pretty they were. This is ridiculous. If only they sell flowers like this back home every day with this much variety, I swear my money would fly out of my purse faster than a bat out of hell. My aunt had to drag me away from this stall because I was just standing there like a crazy person gushing at flowers. My inner hippie fairy goth was beyond happy. Delirious almost.
Suomenlinna Remember the Helsinki card I mentioned in my last post? Well, this was the day that we would be using that amazing card. Why? Because we used it to hop on the ferry to Suomenlinna Island, our main destination for the day. Just google Suomenlinna and you’d be bombarded by amazing pictures of the island. There was quite a crowd waiting to get on the ferry so we just waited some more since the ferry before us was already too full to get on. But I did, however, manage to take this shot while waiting. You know you’re in a Nordic country when there’s a ship that says ‘Viking Line’ on it.
Getting to Suomenlinna was a pretty amazing experience all on its own. I get sea sick pretty easily but being on the ferry, you don’t actually feel the sea sickness hitting you in the gut like you’d normally do. For those going to Suomenlinna in the summer time, I would suggest bringing loads of sunblock and a pair of good sunglasses. Because we forgot ours and well, my eyes hurt like crazy from too much sunshine.
We managed to get the map of the Island from the first Information Centre as soon as we arrived at the ferry point. So much to see in a day!
They even told us that we could get a tour of the island by heading to the Suomenlinna Tourist Centre which was smack in the middle of the two connecting Islands. It would take us roughly half an hour or more since they said that it would be great if we could also visit other places on the way. Like the tourists that we were, we took them up on their suggestions and looked around quite a bit.
We walked to Suomenlinna Church…
And found a huge ass bell! YAAAASSS!! Being true the ridiculous person that I am, here’s a stupid pic of myself. You’re welcome. HAHAHAHA
When we had enough exploring Suomenlinna Church, we made it upwards to join in the English guided tour at the Suomenlinna Tourist Centre. Finally, after a ridiculous amount of photo taking, we managed to secure a free tour of Suomenlinna at the Suomenlinna Tourist Centre (pictured above) since we had the Helsinki card which was another perk from using the card. Here are a few pictures I took while we walked on the trails on the Island. Also, shoutout to our Guide who was amazing and so detailed in her understanding of the history of the island and randomly telling stories about olden day reporters and authors and their take of the battles that went on at the Island along the way.
The remains of the walls are so cool! We’d have probably got lost inside if we had looked around on our own. So much history. Imagine if these walls could talk, the amount of stories and maybe weird jokes they could make about the Russian, Swedes and Finns that they could come up with.
I think this is my best shot (below). Looks like we’re going into some magic garden of some sorts like little ants. Or like little llamas on an adventure to the unknown.
We finally made it to the end of the tour!
The wind was insanely strong by the time we got to the last stop of the tour up on the small hill overlooking the sea and the city of Helsinki. But all in all, it was worth it! Look at that view! It’s days like these that makes me happy to have stayed alive. And like every tourist does on a hot day, we got ice cream while walking back! I got this….
Salmiakki ice cream! #ftw #deathbysalmiakki #ihavenoregrets
Ice cream of the Gods! All that salmiakki goodness on a stick of coldness. We enjoyed our ice cream all the way back to the Tourist Centre where we bought souvenirs for our family back home. Didn’t get any pictures inside ’cause i was too busy burning holes in my purse. Plus…they even sold gunpowder tea. No idea why but i still wonder how it tastes like…maybe next trip…whenever that may be. huhuhu
Another fangirling moment happened…
I must have done a great deal of good in past life because great things have been happening to me since I landed in Finland. Because another fa moment that happened was when I walked pass Natali Karpinnen and her family. If you don’t know who she is, then you’re definitely missing out, especially so if you love fashion, photography, and travel. Her blog is L’Art of Fashion and it well worth a read. She is an amazing writer and I read most of her work whenever I can. While being slightly star struck from her awesomeness, it then dawned on me that I totally forgot to contact her to have meet up while in Helsinki. *facepalms* She did comment on her post before to contact her for a meet up while I visit Helsinki a few months before. Oh why did I forget to contact her the week before? I blame all that stress from work and other personal drama before my trip. *strangles imaginary self* By the time I managed to get out of the haze, she was so far ahead that I couldn’t catch up anymore. Noooooo~~~~~
Evening meal at Market Square.
By the time we finished our trip to Suomenlinna and were back at Market Square, it was already slightly after 4.30pm and we were hungry. We didn’t have any lunch at Suomenlinna because we promised ourselves that we’d get something to eat Market Square. Naturally, as soon as we got back to the ferry point, we looked around the food stalls and found one that had the best looking plate of seafood I’ve seen. We ended up ordering two plates of salmon and a triple seafood platter to share between the three of us.Seriously the best plate of salmon in the world. I could have died right there and then I would have gone without any regrets. Even the potatoes tasted amazing! How did THAT even happen? What sorcery is this, Finland??? And I don’t even like potatoes…We finished every single bit of food on those plates.
We continued walking around the stalls at the Square and got a few souvenirs that my aunt saw earlier in the day. I even bought these babies after our meal to take back to our place to snack on for the next few days. Ermahgerd they were the best assortment of berries I’ve ever eaten in my life. PERIOD. So sweet my brain imploded on contact. Don’t even get me started on the cherries…Oh laaawwwddd…
It’s safe to say I slept smiling like an idiot from all that happy adventure-ing and all that food.
<To be continued>
Here’s the sneak peek of Part 4.1 in the Nordic Trip Series! (Because it’s a lengthy one)