Katajanokka Island

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Katajanokka Island is home to Helsinki Marina, where Dirona berthed for two weeks, and to several large commercial docks, including the Icebreaker Base and the terminal for Viking Line ferries. The island also has some beautiful Art Nouveau buildings and a wonderful modern construct, the Allas Sea Pool, with terraced decks overlooking the harbour.

On our second day in Helsinki, we did a shorter and more liesurely tour than the previous day’s extensive City Walk, spending the afternoon touring Katajanokka Island and enjoying the sea views.

Below are trip highlights from May 15th in Helsinki, Finland. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Early morning view to the street Pohjoisranta behind our moorage at Helsinki Marina.
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Uspenski Cathedral
Looking up at the west side of Uspenski Cathedral, built in 1868.
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The view across Helsinki Harbour from the multi-level terrace above Allas Sea Pool. Tuomiokirkko is prominent in the distance at right.
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Looking from the terrace above the Allas Sea Pool to Helsinki’s Skywheel, completed in 2014. A Viking Line ferry is visible beyond.
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Seagull Egg
A surprising location for a seagull nest, on the corner of a gate leading into the port area.
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Port of Helsinki
Jennifer pointing where our ferry to Tallinn will leave from tomorrow morning. Katajanokka Island is at the upper right, where the three white parallel lines cross the water.
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A gigantic wringer next to what appears to be several drying racks. Near as we could tell, people use this area to dry wet throw rugs—a couple were hanging nearby.
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Katajanokka Icebreaker Base
A view from shore to the icebreakers that we saw on the way into Helsinki, docked hear for the summer season. Finland is leading export in icebreaker design and construction—Finnish companies have designed about 80% and built about 60% of the icebreakers currently in use worldwide.

The leftmost ship is Polaris, Finland’s most powerful icebreaker and the first in the world to be LNG-powered. With total power of about 30,000 HP (22.3 MW), Polaris can do 6 knots through ice 4 feet (1.2m) thick and can navigate through ice 6 feet (1.8m) thick without stopping.

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Baltic Ice Extent
Diagrams at Katajanokka Icebreaker Base showing the ice extent at three recent points, from left to right, March 24 2008, February 25th 2011 and February 7th 2014. The ice was particularly bad in 2011—nearly the entire Baltic Sea was covered. You can see why the iron ore mine we visited in Kiruna, Sweden established a port in Narvik, Norway: their other port, Lulea (top of map), is icebound much of the winter.
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Deminers Memorial
Memorial to those who demined the Finnish Sea of some 60,000 mines after World War II. Of the 2,000 men that took part, 200 were killed and 35 disabled.
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Dramatic timber-built lookout tower, Kupla, on a clifftop in the Helsinki Zoo on the opposite shore from where we are moored.
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Helsinki is full of National Romantic style buildings such as this one, “Norma”, an apartment complex built in 1904. The National Romantic style is a Finnish/Nordic interpretation of Art Nouveau, often using medieval or prehistoric themes, popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Allas Sea Pool
After a walking tour of the island of Katajanokka, we couldn’t resist stopping for a drink on the terrace overlooking Allas Sea Pool and the harbour.
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Tuomiokirkko viewed from Senaatintori. A lot less people are around later in the day.
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We had a tasty meal at opulent Salutorget, built into a former bank building.
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The streetside cafes along Kanavarnta were full of patrons enjoying the warm Helsinki evening as we walked back to Dirona.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.


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