Tram line 4: Munkkiniemi & Seurasaari

Kruununhaka map1

 

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.

us

 

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.

29244776_10160266006880145_7910977580503662592_o
Skates that clip to your shoes- nb. in this photo I had them on the wrong feet!
29214407_10160266006840145_5650712588141461504_o
Swedish Ice Claws (Lundhags). These go around your neck and help you escape from the water if you fall through thin ice

 

 

There’s a huge circular track to skate around (nearly 2km), with paths heading off towards nearby islands.

track2

track1

 

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!

me1

me2

 

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…

umbrella

umbrella2

umbrella3

 

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.

kyte1kyte2

 

 

And then after all the outdoor exercise, there’s a cafe right next to the bay to recover with hot chocolate and snacks.

cafe

 

 

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.

forest path
Hard to imagine this running track is a 5min jog from my work
cabin
The perfect spot for a cabin!

 

 

 

footprints
Trails on the snow-covered sea leading out to Seurasaari

 

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.

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s