The first island has some Iron Age exhibits. Apparently it’s all very interesting and worthy of a visit, but almost everyone just carries on to the second, larger island called Seurasaari. That’s precisely what we did too.
Seurasaari is known for three reasons.
- It has an “open-air museum” – lots of buildings from centuries past, moved here from their original locations.
- The local wildlife are extraordinarily friendly
- There’s a nudist beach
Being open air, you don’t need to pay to see the buildings - but you do need to pay to go into the grounds or, in some cases, the buildings themselves. It’s cheaper in September than the preceding months so we handed over our €7 each and put stickers on our tops.
But before seeing any actual buildings, we wanted to get away from the coachloads of other tourists, and find some wildlife to point at while saying “look at him!”.
Tell you what though, we were hungry. There are loads of paths all around Seurasaari, and everything is well sign-posted - including the cafes and restaurants. So we wandered up the hill to the big deserted place and had some buffet breakfast items, with a view out towards water. It really was very nice - everything, the food and the location.
Look at him!
Look at him!!
They are amazing, fantastic, hilarious, cheeky little fuckers. Once they’d eaten all the ones we put down next to us, they would reappear and tap whichever of us was sat down on the elbow. All very Oliver Twist “please, may I have some more?” and irresistibly so.
Mostly it’s just “check out this old wooden building”. There are signs by most of them explaining the year in which it was built and whereabouts in Finland it came from. Being from the 1600s-1800s it’s mostly just dwellings and farm buildings.
Store houses are built on foundations of boulders so that animals can’t get in. We learnt this by ear-wigging tour guide as we hurried past.
This is a sauna. I seem to recall it had the earliest date of any building in the farmstead complex in which it was housed.
The church was quite understated, in comparison with old churches in other places. Check out this Jesus.
And this holy boat. Huh?
Some of the larger dwellings had remarkably well kitted out kitchens or rooms in which other crafts were undertaken. Door sizes made it apparent that people were pretty short.
It’s GREAT when they come up and eat out of your hand!
I have some amazing videos, but this software won’t let me embed them without some serious fucking about with which I can’t be bothered. And as for stills, Helen has a load more which are incredibly impressive. So I implore you all to go check out her Instagram profile. If you like photos and videos of birds and squirrels you really won’t regret it.