lauantai 7. toukokuuta 2016

Tips for my home town Helsinki - Lammassaari island and nature trail

It's been long since I wrote my one and so far only post in English about my home town Helsinki. I guess I just haven't been so active at home lately. But guess what? Summer is coming to Helsinki too and as great people we Finns are, we just run out from our caves when even a modest ray of sun light reaches the yet bold trees around the country. So one of these sunny spring days me and my friends decided to make a small excursion to Viikki nature reserve and more specifically to Lammassaari nature trail which took us into two islands, Lammassaari and Kuusiluoto. It was amazing. Beautiful and calm. And it's so near city center! I can't believe I didn't check this place out earlier.

Lammassaari is located near Arabianranta neighborhood roughly 8 kilometres from centre of Helsinki. These islands lie in Vanhankaupunginlahti bay, meaning old town bay. Yes, Helsinki was actually found over 450 years ago here where river Vantaa falls into the sea. Later on 17th century Helsinki was moved to were it is now. Not much to see is left from the foundation, though this area is very beautiful and worth a visit. You would pass by the coastline of the bay when walking from tram station towards nature trail's entry. Red brick buildings Museum of technology and a small hydro-electric power station surround the white water river reaching the bay.

To get to Lammassaari you'll follow the sweet duckboards surrounded by marshland and tall grass on both sides. Take a closer look to duckboards - you'll notice no metal nails are used to hold the timber together. All this area is protected, which also means that visitors are expected to make effort and keep clean the reserve. If it doesn't decompose, it doesn't belong here. Lammassaari has some very tiny summer cottages with no electricity or sewer system and also cottage owners take their garbage back to the city when leaving the cottage. There are some carts parked just next to trail's entry for that.

Lammassaari is actually known for bird watching. We didn't spot any particular birds besides two gorgeous swans, but I guess binoculars would be needed for more precise bird watching anyway. There is even a bird watching tower in the island and many people were up looking for migrating birds also the day we went there. But hey, if you're not so into bird watching, this place is still cool! You might just stroll around or have a picnic (pick up your trash please ♥) in Kuusiluoto, the smaller island next to Lammassaari. When Lammassaari is more wooded, has Kuusiluoto large bold rocks to sit down and enjoy the view out to the sea. In the summer months you could even stroll around the island with sheeps that are taken there to take care of the natural landscape of the place, haha.

Yeah, what a nice afternoon I spent here, very recommendable indeed. I'll be back soon, if not for bird watching or picnic then just to hang around with the lambs! Nature is so close everywhere in Helsinki.

You can get to Lammassaari taking tram 6 or 8 to Arabianranta station and then walking one kilometer until you reach the entry of the trail. By the way, Helsinki launched new city bikes (finally) this year - why not to be eco-friendly and ride on a bike instead of tram?

I'm a Finnish girl passionate about exploring the world. I write my travel blog in Finnish, but have decided also to write about my home town Helsinki in English every now and then. I've got so many priceless tips from locals during my travels and this is simply my way of giving something back. Hope you enjoy!

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