You guys. I admit, I had my doubts when Chooch suggested going to this place called SEURASAARI in Helsinki but then he sold it by pointing out that it’s also affectionally called “squirrel island” by the locals, since it’s inhabited by adorable squirrels and other allegedly friendly wildlife. Anytime we plan a trip, I’m always begging Henry and Chooch to throw some of their ideas into the hat because while I do enjoy being in control, sometimes I want other people to step up and say, “This is what we’re doing today, and that’s just how it’s going to be.”
Henry suggested nothing, as I’m sure you could have guessed, but Chooch did provide some suggestions. I can’t ask for this and then reject it all, you know? So Squirrel Island it is!
It was just kind of a hassle to get to because we had to transfer one or two times, I think and then walk a bit because we couldn’t figure out if there was a bus that would take us straight to the island, so we basically were just dropped off at the entrance of the long road leading up to the island, but that ended up being a nice walk, actually.
I wanted to talk briefly about the bus ride though because we were facing a trio of girls, maybe 19-21? I have a hard time detecting ages nowadays. But it was clear that one of the girls was the leader, as she was sitting in the middle showing the other two things on her phone. It sounded like they were looking at apartment listings maybe? They were speaking in Finnish but every once in a while, parts would be in English, like when the leader said, “Oooh, super cozy!” And then at one point she was like “*Finnish Finnish Finnish* That FUCKING BITCH!” in unaccented English, and I was trying so hard not to crack up because she said it in such a cheerful tone. I was obsessed with her and wanted to go wherever she was going, but our stop came up first.
On the walk to the island’s entrance, we passed several old houses that had been converted into restaurants and cafes. They all looked, well, super cozy that FUCKING BITCH. It was pretty much like walking through a wooded park – not too much traffic and very tranquil. I’m kind of glad that the bus dropped us off on the main drag because it was a very pleasant walk!
Immediately upon arriving at squirrel island, there was a refreshment stand so we had to get some ice cream.
SALMIAK for me, of course! God I miss that salty licorice goodness. That FUCKING BITCH.
OK, I know – it’s getting old. I’ll stop.
The actual “island” is accessible by a pedestrian bridge, no need for a ferry. The cool thing about this island as well is that it’s an open-air museum, where you can see old buildings from rural Finland in the 18th-20th century. It’s free to walk around, since it’s a public park, but paid admission is required to access the insides of the buildings. We were there STRICTLY for squirrels, so we opted out of that.
I’m gonna go ahead and give props to Chooch, because this place was an absolute delight. We really needed to get out into nature after days upon days of amusement parks and big cities.
JUST LOOK AT THIS.
(One of my favorite YouTubers says that and now I have this impulse to say it constantly like a nervous tick even when shit’s ugly.)
So over me, lol.
Ugh, these trees. Gorgina.
Ugh, this windmill! Gorgina.
My fucked up eyes couldn’t even tell at the time that I was taking unfocused pictures in portrait mode, lol I hate myself.
Dude, a telephone booth from 1913!!
Apparently, this place has a NUDE BEACH but it was CLOSED on the day we were there lolol.
Here’s a video that Chooch took of me trying to give a squirrel a leaf (SORRY, I DIDN’T KNOW WE WERE ALLOWED TO BRING ACTUAL FOOD TO FEED THE SQUIRRELS! I’m so used to people here yelling at me for feeding the squirrels so I assumed it would be verboten!):
For some reason, this was viewed over 10,000 times in Instagram/Facebook?! Why?
Then we lost Chooch at some point and at first I was like, “Whatever, he’s 17. He’ll be fine” but we were also near water and I started panic that he fell in and drowned?? I don’t know why my mind immediately went there, oh wait because underneath it all I’m still a mom, but I got REAL SWEATY about this. Henry was like, “Can you calm down, I’m trying to identify this bird over here” but then Chooch eventually rejoined us – stupid ass was looking for a goddamn geocache. He is so annoying!!
Here are Chooch’s photos from that day as well! He actually created a shared folder, I can’t believe it. Also, his camera lens appeared to be super smudgy so that’s cool.
This was the bridge leading to the island, btw.
Ugh, his idiot geocache.
Other notable things:
- there are tiny birds there that will land on your hand if you’re patient enough. Chooch spent many minutes trying to make this happen. It never panned out for him, though;
- we saw some people playing some game in a field with sticks and a ball – maybe it was this molkky thing? (see video!)
- there were several groups of college-aged foreigners that we encountered and it looked like they were for some team-building camping thing? I’m no camper but if I had to camp somewhere, I wouldn’t mind doing it there I guess.
- clean bathrooms
Then we walked all the way back to the main road again and caught the bus back to our place and got vegan pizza for dinner. We tried to make it an early night because we had to get up fucking early as shit the next day to catch our ferry to our fifth and final country – Estonia!