Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, and a Fire Station Visit

Trip Start Mar 09, 2013
Trip End Apr 07, 2013

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I began day 3 in Finland by watching the snow falling outside the kitchen window. Whilst I can understand how the locals get frustrated and want the snow to melt away, it still looks magical to me!

After breakfast we headed out and caught the bus into Helsinki, where we got off at the central railway station. By the time we got off the bus it was snowing quite heavily, so much in fact that I had to put my camera away so it wouldn't get wet. It was also bloody cold! So bloody cold in fact that I couldn't handle it, so went into Stockmanns and got myself a pair of long thermal underwear! It was the most expensive underwear I've ever bought (€60.00) but bloody worth it!

We then made our way down the the ferry terminal and boarded a ferry to head over to the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. The Suomenlinna Sea Fortress was originally built to help defend Finland from a Russian invasion, however in the Finnish War, the fortress surrendered to Russia on May 3, 1808, paving the way for the occupation of Finland by Russian forces in 1809. It was great to have a good look around such an amazing old fortress!

After visiting the Sea Fortress we headed back to Helsinki on the ferry. Once back, Heta took the boys home and I continued to have a good look around. I stopped in at a souvenir store and grabbed a few bits and pieces before finally making my way to one of the two volunteer fire stations in Helsinki.

When I arrived at the fire station I was given a tour by the First Vice Chief, Perttu. Perttu was a really nice guy and it was evident that he was very proud of his brigade. I found it interesting to learn that although this brigade is located right in the heart of Helsinki, they receive very little in the way of government funding, and rely heavily on fundraising to enable them to purchase new equipment. What was really cool however, was that this was an underground fire station! The station has two Pumpers and a Van, and the vehicles are housed in an engine bay behind a roller door which is located in the basement of what appeared to be an office building. It was really interested to learn about what they do, and how they work in with the two manned fire stations located nearby. They had some pretty cool gear that we would never use back home, but in a lot of ways, they were quite similar to us.

After finishing up at the fire station I headed back to the bus terminal and caught the bus home. I've spent the evening chatting with Heta and Martin, but after being on my feet all day, I'm now hitting the sack!
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