Munkkiniemi is a beautiful peninsula neighborhood with cafes and outdoor activities. It’s next to the suburb I work in (Meilahti), but until recently I hadn’t been there. After seeing how beautiful and accessible the area is, I now plan to visit regularly. Tram line 4 ends in a small loop about 50m from the shores of Munkkiniemi. The island of Seurasaari is just off the Munkkiniemi peninsula, and is mostly known for it’s open air museum. Conveniently, bus 24 also stops right at the bridge to Seurasaari.
The Helsinki winter (2017/2018) this year has been late and unusually cold- which has meant the sea has frozen over in many places, allowing for some fun winter sports. After mentioning to a work friend that I was desperate to try ice-skating on the sea, she took me out to Munkkiniemi and lent me her mum’s long skates and poles.
These handy skates strap right onto your shoes, so they’re super convenient to transport but require quite a different technique to skates I’ve used before.
There’s a huge circular track to skate around (nearly 2km), with paths heading off towards nearby islands.
It takes quite a lot of coordination (and practice) to get the poles moving in sync with nice gliding skating movements. I definitely did not master the technique in this session! Nonetheless it was ridiculously fun and novel to be skating on the sea!
While I looked like a flailing child, Sara had the art of elegant ice skating down pat…
If it all feels a bit too much like hard work though, there’s also the option of wind assisted skating and skiing…
Just off the cleared ice track in the snow covered ice, people set up camp for kite skiing – similar to the water version kiteboarding but on snow.
And then after all the outdoor exercise, there’s a cafe right next to the bay to recover with hot chocolate and snacks.
Later in the week I went for a run with some work colleagues, along the nearby foreshore and across the snow covered sea to Seurasaari. It was a beautiful, peaceful afternoon, snowing lightly but without wind. I didn’t have my camera then but visited again on the weekend to skate and take some pictures along the shore.
I’m excited to visit the bay in summertime, when the sea is swim-able and the trees are leafy green. I love that the seasons are so distinct in Finland- the landscape completely transforms throughout the year, providing completely different outdoor experiences.