Now & Then – Töölönlahti

It’s easy to miss home at this time of year. Christmas for us signals the start of summer holidays – long hours of sunshine, songbirds, swimming and sand.

One thing about living in Finland however is the intensity of each season. It’s good for me to remember that winter here can be beautiful …. and it’s not forever.

One place this is evident is Töölönlahti – it’s a great bay to walk around and witness the incredible changes as they take place.

9th October 2014

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2 December 2014 – starting to freeze


Ducks on ice


4th January 2015 – frozen

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7th January 2015



23rd January 2015



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And something to look forward to! Same place, different day (taken 3rd August 2014)

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Twice Around the Lake

All this lying on the beach lately is good for my Vitamin D but I’m starting to feel like I’ve had too much Vitamin F, A and T. So last Sunday morning I got up  and went for a walk around Töölonlahti (Töölö Bay).


Set amongst the trees is an easy walking path that winds around the lake for 2.2km. Soon after heading out I came across Kahvila Tyyni, right on the water’s edge.


This rustic cafe had problems last year after complaints were made about its electrical cords stretching across the path. After a series of negotiations a small victory was won and with the backing of the local community the cafe is open again this summer.


 Filter coffee seems quite popular here and at Kahvila Tyyni there are free refills – as if you need any incentive to stay, sit and just enjoy the view.


As I walked on I saw many people out jogging or walking. I still love to see Finns just sitting, smiling with their faces lifted to the sun. A group of paddle-boarders launched themselves out onto the water as I rounded the northern end of the bay.

IMG_1663Amongst the trees on the far side from Kahvila Tyyni is Linnunlaulu, home to a series of villas built 120 years ago. One of the villas now functions as a writer’s centre and some have saunas in the garden and their own private jetty.

IMG_1665Nestled amongst them is Café Sininen Huvila (Blue Villa). As well as coffee they sell Finnish juices made from blackcurrant, raspberry and lingonberry.

This week there’s a Cultural Walk on that takes in Töölönlahti and beyond, covering many of Helsinki’s best sights. I highly recommend checking out the map here just to get a feel for how close this bay is to many of Helsinki’s best attractions.

IMG_1634I had such a good time on my walk I went around again before meeting up with the boys for a few Sunday chores. Luckily I hadn’t indulged in any sweet treats on my stop or this post would have to be retitled Four Times Around the Lake at a Brisk Pace.