Seagulls screaming in the distance. Sunshine reflecting from the waves in peaceful rhythm. Small boats slowly moving to their destination. Warm sun touching your cheek like a loved one. Silent hum of the trees.
Helsinki in the summer is definitely my favourite. This summer has been challenging with its tumultuous weather and gray skies but sometimes you get lucky and the sky spilts into warm rays of sunshine. Yesterday we decided to check out Lonna Island which is just outside Helsinki. The weather was hot and sunny which made for a perfect trip on a small cruise boat. We only hoped that the gray clouds in the distance wouldn’t catch us soon. Gladly, they never did.
Cruise ship from the Helsinki Market Square
The tiiny tiny Lonna is 15 minute boat ride away from the mainland Helsinki. You can hop into JT Lines cruise boat that leaves from the shore quite often. Check JT lines schedule here. The cruise boat looks tiny but it really isn’t that small and fits quite a lot of people. We were standing at the end of a very curvy queue by the docks and were conviced we would never make the boat but to our surprise we did.
At this queue you can also observe the Oscar worthy queue skippers. Finnish people are generally very specific about their queueing culture and do not skip lines but sometimes, few brave soldiers, will try it. Here in the queue to Lonna cruise boat there were women who akwardly looked away whilst slowly approaching the front of the queue pretending to belong to the friendgroup at the front. Similarly the loud group of friends who had gotten some tasty looking food earlier just slid amongst us like a well oiled machine. In the end all of us made it so it didn’t matter but I did mentally salute to these people for doing something so uncharacteristically Finnish like skipping queue.
Lonna is small but pretty
We made it to Lonna in no time. First reaction was that it must be a heaven for Helsinki’s hipsters. At the centre there were old red brick buildings where some Jazz was playing, people were drinking and the mood was chill like the floral summer dresses, cruchy top buns and cool sunglasses.
We walked around the island, which took less than 10 minutes, to observe our grounds. You can sauna at Lonna, eat and drink or just picnic with friends at the rocks by the shore. The weather was warm as we sat on the wooden porch of an old yellow wooden building. The sun burnt my eyelid, the jazz in the background was not worth mentioning but the mood was relaxing and wonderful. We made plans to return for the sauna next time.
We hopped back to our cruise boat and headed to mainland as the sun set behind the three churches of Helsinki. Next to us a friend group laughed at their stories and their dog was sniffing the winds of the sea. The ride ended to the symphony of seagulls at the shore and we got off the boat. I was starving. So we went to eat at Hard Rock cafe. A worthily un-hipster end to our very hipster evening.