Back at Suomenlinna! It just is a place that I cannot resist, and I’m happy to see that also my three year old has learned to love it. This time we went for an adventure – to explore the tunnels in the fortification walls and to admire the submarine Vesikko.
Suomenlinna has several kilometers of defensive walls made of huge granite blocks. The construction conditions back in 1700s were so hard – long working hours, harsh climate, diseases and nonnutritive food (mainly just bread and beer) – that almost quarter of the soldiers died during the 40 years of construction. The result of this huge effort was a massive maritime fortress know at the time as The Nordic Gibraltar.
Well these are stories that I didn’t tell to my little fellow. We just concentrated on admiring the stick walls, counting the gun and rifle holes and peeking into the galleries inside the walls. Some of the tunnels are so dark that a torch is needed!
When you get hungry at Suomenlinna the best place to go (during the summer) is café-restaurant Valimo at the guest harbour. It is a bit off from the main route, which means that not so many tourists find the place. The restaurant is made inside a defensive wall and the interior is nice and cosy. There is also a nice terrace with good views and evening sunlight. My absolutely favorite dish is their salmon pasta!
One of our must sees this time was submarine Vesikko from 1930’s that was in use during the World War II. What amazes me is that there were 20 men working at the time, even though it is rather small. There were only 8 beds so the men slept in turns. “The balancing of the vessel restricted moving around the boat freely thus using the toilet when submerged was not easy. If a member of the crew in the fore wished to use the toilet, he had to ask for permission and change positions with a crew-member in the stern.” My three year old loved the place thanks to all the nuts,cranks, meters, wheels, etc.
The perfect ending to our adventure was a cup of coffee/tee and an ice cream at the Suomenlinna Toy Museum! (find out more here)