Suomenlinna

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Where I stayed
Jere and Arja's house

Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yesterday was another very hot day. The temperature here has been averaging at about 30 degrees. The sun rises before I wake up and sets after I go to bed. I don't know for sure what time it rises but I do know that it sets around 11 or 12 pm. That's a long day! It must be giving our bodies a difficult time adjusting to our new sleeping routine. We woke up early enough but took a long time getting out of the house. Our plans for the day were to visit Suomenlinna; an old military base that dates back to the 1800's. We took the tram bus downtown and a Ferry to the island where the base is located. Before even going into the base Steve and I found a nice shaded area where we could sit down and eat lunch.

We had purchased rye bread, salami, two pepperette's and Edam cheese at the local S Market to make our sandwiches with. Total money spent 8 Euros. As we ate we looked around at the beautiful scenery. The trees and weeds look the same, but their "Canadian Geese" do not. They are much smaller and darker than our originals (lol). They all traveled in groups of 3; what seemed to be parents and a baby. We lured one group in so that we could feed them some bread. It was lots of fun watching as they stuck out their tongues in response to us tearing off pieces of bread. They ate cheese, bread, banana's and banana peal but wouldn't eat meat. The animals must be very territorial because as another group of "Canadian Geese" drew near they all took offensive stances and charged at the newcomers. They even scared away the seagulls! Thank god. I hope seagulls aren't everywhere. I have a feeling that they will be lol

After lunch we walked inside the little military town; which some people still live in, however its mostly a tourist attraction now. The area was mostly cobblestone roads with old pastel painted wooden houses and lots of grassy areas and trees to lounge under. The best part of Suomenlinna was the weird castle like war tunnels.Throughout the whole island, you could enter these tunnels and imagine what it must have been like during war. They were very dark, damp and made of stone. It was so damp that you could smell the rock in the air.

When I say tunnels, I don't mean the underground kind that you can enter at the Southern tip of the island and emerge at another entrance/exit in the North. They were more like large rooms that were very dark and followed a weird pattern that made you feel as if you were in a tunnel underground. In a way you could say that it actually was underground because they had grass growing on the roof. A very environmentally friendly type of camouflage I might add.  It actually made them look like little hobbit houses. But you didn't have to decent into the earth to enter them. That is all I mean to indicate on that matter. lol Some were as tall as the houses (with grass on the roof of course) and some seemed to be large mounds of earth until you walked around it and saw the entrance on the other side. I thought it was really fun that you could walk on top and over them,
then inside of them as well. It would be lots of fun to play hide and
seek in there...if you were a child of course....lol

Inside you could see small angled  windows where the soldiers would stand and shoot in a specific direction. I saw one set of 3 windows where the left one was facing south/west the middle south and the right one to the south/east. It's easy to imagine why. Other "tunnels" had large empty rooms that were pitch black and empty. I'm assuming these were used for storage. It was so dark that I had to use the flash of my camera simply to see what was in the darkness. The ground was very uneven and the hallways varied in size. I can tell you that I definitely would not want to be the person running back and forth in these corridors. I bet some of them had to be taken out of action simply from falling and breaking their legs!

At the highest point of the island there were several cannons keeping guard. Children were playing on them now, but I'm sure at one point in time they were fierce.

There were lots of tourists from all over the world wandering the Suomenlinna island. It was nice to see that this island also had a beach! People were lazying around on a rock by the beach or eating lunch under the beautiful trees in a grassy clearing. As soon as Steve and I decided to take a rest in one of the park areas, it started to rain. Really hard! Everyone ran into the tunnels to hide, but I love the rain so we continued to walk. Plus its been 30 degrees every day we've been here so it was nice to feel cool for a change.

When we were ready to go we made our way to the Ferry and went back to Helsinki. We were going to head back to the STOCKMANN mall to see more of it, but we didn't end up going. I ended up injuring myself on the way to the S Market instead. The S Market located across from the Bus and Tram station is underground and to get to it you have to walk down a set of stairs as if you were going to the subway. Well, since it was pouring rain that day, the steps were quite slippery. On the very bottom step (of course) I slipped and fell face first towards the ground. I sort of saved my fall by breaking it with my kneecap :S The worst part was my kneecap landed in a whole on a large grate. The metal lining of the grate went under my kneecap and ended up bruising and cutting the surface a little. It fall itself didn't hurt too much, but what hurt more was trying to walk after wards lol Steve bandaged my knee up with our handy first aid kit and I limped home. It worsened throughout the night so we put some of Arja's holistic goop around the wound, kept pressure on the joint with a bandage and applied ice. It got quite painful as the night went on. So much that I was barely able to put weight on it. We were worried that I wouldn't be able to walk around the nature reserve we had planned on seeing the next day, so I went to bed and hoped for the best.

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Comments

eli on

ouch, that sounds like it hurt i like theese enteries they are very intresting :)
sounds like u guys are having fun :)

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