Ice Walk

As ice forms on the waters of our fair land, the Finns always have a strong urge to go and walk/skate/fish/ski on the ice. It is also a custom that people go too early when the ice is not yet strong enough and there are news of people falling into the water and needing to be saved. Sort of sad, but seems to be one of those news that you could pretty much copy-paste for the coming winters.

This winter started late, but with a bang and now it has been proper winter for a month or so. The ice formed quickly even on the sea, and now it is also safe to walk on if the place does not have a strong current.

Walking on ice

Walking on ice

In the spring this will fill up with nice boats.

Walking on ice

From the pier onto the ice.

Walking on ice

Walking on ice

Ice-skating is great fun when there is not too much snow on the ice.

Walking on ice

Walking on ice

Walking on ice

Walking on ice

All frozen in.

Walking on ice

Just a fun stroll on the ice. And a hot chocolate to warm the body after the cold wind.

More tk

Shores of Helsinki

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As a city, Helsinki hugs the shorelines of the sea. There are lot of places to spend time on the shores and enjoy a picnic in the summer. Or go for a run alongside the sea.

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There are quite a few islands around the area.

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The fortress of Suomenlinna is one of the more popular places to visit, whether for tourists or locals. Naturally this time of the year, the passage is a little different on the ferry than in the summer.

winter  by Jere Ketola (JKetola)) on 500px.com

Come summer these places look a little different..

Untitled by Jere Ketola (JKetola)) on 500px.com

I really need to post more pictures of Helsinki.. So more to come. Definately!

First signs of spring

Icicles

After a long and yet very cold winter it is lovely to see how the sun seems to be up in the sky for a bit longer and longer everyday. Another sure sign of coming spring is the melting ice which drips and forms long icicles. Soon the dark time of the day lasts less than the bright time and before long the sun dominates the sky for almost 24 hours. The stark contrast between mid-winter and mid-summer is unbelievable in these latitudes.

Frozen world

As the weather has stayed pretty constantly below zero the land is all frozen up and the sea around Helsinki is nicely frozen as well.

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The only open spots of water like this are full of birds and life.

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The sun does not visit the sky for long and reaches its low zenith (this pic taken around noon) only to sink back down. It stays quite bright for a bit longer as the sea and the snow now reflect the light.

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Old villas serve as either living quarters for the wealthy or as museums or restaurants.

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This Café was closed for the day and I continued towards the sea. A small cup of tea or hot chocolate would have been nice to warm me up but alas it was not meant to be.

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Summer cottage beside a national museum area.

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To the south Lauttasaari and the frozen sea in between and beyond it. Skiers, walkers, dogs, all were merrily moving around and enjoying the outdoors life.

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The large hospital is renovated and stands as a huge boxy landmark in Meilahti.

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A chance encounter with a rather nice little dog and its owners left me with a couple of fun dog pictures. The coat is necessary with the temperature hovering near -25 centigrade.

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Olympic rowing was done pretty much under my feet in the summer games of 1952.

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This boat however won’t be going anywhere for a while, being frozen into the sea.

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One of the nicest small cafes you can visit in Helsinki is located nearby. Exceptionally good buns and a lovely atmosphere await the visitor.

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Cafe Regatta is very small inside but refreshments can be enjoyed outside as well. There is also a possibility to grill sausages Finnish style in the fire outside.

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Traditional sleigh for kids and adults alike.

The coldest day of winter

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Today the temperatures dropped to under -20 celsius practically everywhere in Finland. As is the nature of colder days the skies were clear and so the sun shone in its very low zenith for a couple hours.

Excellent weather to be outside properly dressed. The sea is also frozen up so there was a lot of traffic on the ice as well.

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More pictures coming, need to go amd sleep now..