One of my favourite places of Helsinki is located close to Kaivopuisto and next to Café Ursula. It’s a pier and small boats to Särkänlinna and Harakka, two of the close by island, are leaving from there. I love going there by walk, usually starting at the Market Square and simply following the way along the shore, feeling the fresh breeze of the sea in my face and hair.
I have no idea what makes that place so special to me but I have always liked it or that area in general. It gives me a kind of touristy feeling and I can just walk and walk and walk and forget about everything else. I also just love to sit there and watch the sea and hear the screams of the sea gulls, letting my thoughts drift away and dream.
If the weather is really beautiful, no matter if summer or winter, the place is either crowded as many people go running along the shore, or walk with their dogs and more and more often tourists find their way there. But that is okay – I guess – and I really can understand that people come to take a walk at such a nice place.
One thing I love about winter times in Helsinki is that you actually can walk over the ice to the close by located islands Harakka, Uunisaari, Luiskasaari and Sirpalesaari – during winter they are all connected by the ice and once it has been cold enough for a while and the ice on the sea is thick enough, you can reach the islands easily by walk! In summer time, boats are taking the visitors to Uunisaari, Harakka and Särkäninna.
Uunisaari is another favourite place of mine. Uunisaari consists of 2 islands – North and South Uunisaari. The island are separated by a small channel.
In the past the island were used for agriculture but was then rented for industry. The building where the Restaurant is now located was built in the late 1800’s. For several decades it was a boat painting factory.
Later on, during World War I, the edifice was used as a weapons storage and building caskets. After that the building was empty for many decades and it was renovated in 1999 in order to use it as a restaurant. Since then it has been in the same ownership.
Additional to the restaurant building, there is also a ticket sale kiosk as well as dressing room which were built for the Summer Olympics 1940. They were cancelled due to the World War II but were finally held in Helsinki in summer 1952.
So it is still a little touristy, especially on warm and nice summer days, but much more tranquil than the peer, but if you walk around for a bit, you can easily find a place where nobody else walks by and where you are really be on your own.