The Commandant’s House, Vasikkasaari, Helsinki

The Commandant’s House is a well air-conditioned building on the island of Vasikkasaari. It faces panoramic views of the Helsinki skyline and Suomenlinna fortress. Built in 1870, it used to be the home and guardhouse of Russian soldiers. It is also called the “White House” but obviously most of the plastering is gone. The ruins of an ice cellar is also worth a look. There is a boat connection during the summer season from the market square. In addition to the “White House”, check out old oil containers, a light house and charming summer cottages.

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More photos here! (in Finnish, though)

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Kruunuvuori ghost mansions. Helsinki. 2009.

Sisä-Hattu, Helsinki.

A little detour off the southern-most tip of Lauttasaari island is totally worth it – and worth getting your feet wet. The small island of Sisä-Hattu (i.e. “Inner Hat”, big sister to nearby “Outer Hat”) is best accessible at low tide and a fun picnic / swimming spot. Take your flip-flops or swimming shoes, you’ll need wade through a rocky route. Look for some engraved rocks dating back to as early as the 1700’s.

Kovela tractor museum. Nummi-Pusula, Finland. 2011.