While waiting for the winter to arrive – not that we would like the colder weather but the days might be a bit brighter and lighter with some snow – we have been trying to keep ourselves active in our attempt to postpone the inevitable hibernation phase as much as possible. The other day we took a trip to Tallinn.
I made sure to book tickets on the Viking Line ferry using the Katajanokka port in downtown Helsinki. It was raining of course but I could just about stand the cold wind on the side deck and take a few photos of the small islands off Helsinki and of the nearby Suomenlinna fortress islands.
The Fortress of Suomenlinna is a unique monument of military architecture and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The bastion fortress was built in the late 18th century and served as a garrison until the early 1970s. Since then six kilometres of walls and some 200 buildings have been restored.
Suomenlinna is one of Finland’s most popular sights with more than 700,000 annual visits. It is also a district of Helsinki and home to some 850 people. However, there are only 13 private buildings on the islands. Instead, there are 330 state-owned apartments, about 100 of which are reserved for the defense administration. The remaining 200 are leased through a special application procedure based on neither social grounds nor a waiting list.
Needless to say, there will be an apartment available only extremely rarely. And even when there is one you must be fabulously lucky to possess the kind of a profile the community is looking for at that particular moment. I can’t imagine anyone having been chosen as a tenant would want to leave this picturesque village only a 15-minute ferry ride away from downtown Helsinki. I certainly wouldn’t.
PS Last autumn we travelled to Tallinn two months earlier returning at sunset. See my post on that here.
|A few of the private ones, I assume. More than a dream come true, a jackpot I'd say.|