An important lesson in Finnish

With such a mild winter, the sea near Kaivopuisto is not quite frozen and resembles a big bay of slushy pea soup.

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Across the soup lies Uunisaari, a small island that is a 3-minute boat ride away in summer and connected by a bridge in winter.

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The island was once home to varnish producers and coffin makers. Today there is a restaurant and, of course, various sauna.

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There’s also a swimming beach which can be used in winter for ice swimming when a hole is cut in the ice.

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The island is popular with dog-walkers and there’s even a spot to sit and watch big chunks of ice as they float out to sea.

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On the day I visited I was surprised by how many boats there were, left from summer and now filled with ice and snow.

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I heard recently of a visitor to Finland who marvelled at the prolific Finnish artist Älä Koske, whose name they had seen everywhere in art galleries and museums. (Älä koske is Finnish for Don’t Touch).

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So luckily I can speak Spinach and let you know that Uunisaari is definitely worth a return visit in summer – although you’ll probably find the fabulous Cafe Suljettu* has gone.

*Suljettu means closed

Uunisaari

Remember when?

Dear Miko,

Remember when we went to the beach everyday in summer because we knew it wouldn’t last but we almost got sick of it?

And remember how the sand would burn our feet and you always wanted an ice cream but the queue was so long?

And remember how the beach was full everyday and we started to recognise the same people who would, like us, lie in the same place?

Well I went back today and it looked like this! So beautiful!

I can’t believe that one day we’ll be there again with towels instead of scarves and grapes instead of gloves and we’ll dive into the water instead of being scared the ice will crack and throw us into it. I can’t wait!

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