Friday, August 7, 2015

Island Adventure - Pihlajasaari

We've been a little lax in trying new things this summer. We've mostly revisited favourite haunts, but last weekend I decided to follow through on a friend's recommendation to try the island of Pihlajasaari (try saying that 3x fast) Rowan Island just off the coast of Helsinki. It's a quick 10 minute ferry from the Merisatama launch near Cafe Carousel to the island, you can also go via Ruoholahti. 

The island has all the typical summer attractions of beaches, play parks, forest trails, grilling areas and a restaurant and kahvila (kiosk cafe which was closed on the Saturday we went). It also has some pretty scenery and buildings like the colourful beach huts, We got lucky with the weather that day as it was sunny and warm. On the restaurant half of the island the wind was quite strong and a bit cold, so it's worth walking around a bit to find the less windy side. The island is not as crowded as Suomenlinna and has nice sand beaches rather than the big boulders that Finns like to lie on. The water was too cold for most of the kids to go in, but Foo braved it. We made sand castles and just messed about, then went for lunch at Ravintola Pihlajasaari. The food was typical Finnish and not fancy: meatballs, sausages, salads, but it was filling, the staff were quick and friendly and there was plenty of space. Always bonus points to speed when you have a Foo to feed.

After lunch I then took the kids to one of the play parks while the Chief sat in the sun while Pudd napped. And then we walked across the island on one of the paths which was just about the right length for the big kids. I only had to carry Bump the last bit. 

Overall the day was lovely. We didn't make it over to North Pihlajasaari which is connected to the main island by a bridge, but it's an excuse to go back before the last of summer vanishes. 

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