Back to sunshine this morning so we decided to take a walk around Lauttaasaari Island which lies between Espoo and Helsinki. Lauttasaari means ‘ferry island’ but nowadays the island is connected to the mainland by a series of bridges and causeways.
Today is National Poet’s Day, and whenever it’s a National Day in Finland, Finnish flags are hoisted on flag poles everywhere not only on official buildings but also in private gardens and outside apartment buildings. I often wonder who is responsible for hoisting these flags and whether someone is in charge of an entire neighbourhood as all the flags seem to be flying in the breeze when we get up and mysteriously disappear late in the evening – whoever is responsible, it doesn’t really matter as the flags are a cheerful, patriotic sight but maybe some of my Finnish readers might have an answer!!
Leaving our apartment we took a T bus to Lauttasaari as buses with this added letter take a detour through the island. We started our walk by Cafe Mutteri, a delightful old wooden circular cabin perched on the side of the road. From here we turned right to begin our tour of the island and after a short walk along the road we were able to access the coastal path which leads onto one of the island’s several marinas and yacht clubs. We passed several yacht chandlers and looked in an outlet store to see what they had on offer. We were tempted to buy a few things but decided to do this on a separate visit as we didn’t really want to be walking all the way round the island with heavy shopping bags.
Continuing slightly further along the road, a leafy path near some newly built apartments leads down to the water’s edge. From here, the path follows the coast all the way round the island, slightly undulating in places and with a few rocky sections. Small summer cottages lie secluded between the trees where families can enjoy weekends or even holidays away in the peace and quiet of the forest yet only minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city.
In recent years numerous swish apartment blocks have been constructed most with spacious glass balconies looking out across the bay. Despite this increase in housing, Lauttasaari remains a very peaceful island with its protected forests and walking trails. There are several attractive beaches in sheltered coves, most of which have changing rooms and showers. We stopped for lunch at the largest beach where there is a pleasant cafe, children’s playground and exercise gym.
Since our visit last year the cafe has been refurbished and now offers more tasty lunch options. There’s a small indoor seating area with a large outdoor terrace overlooking the sea.
We lingered here awhile relaxing and enjoying the views before continuing on our way to complete the circuit of the island, the length of our walk being 5.6 miles.