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Since I got to Helsinki at the start of September I have spent most days riding into the city and back, this includes a pretty decent amount of  tree cover but today I finally took some time to explore the largest block of woodland near my apartment in Vuosaari.

This area is about one minute away by bike and although not a big place there is a heck of a lot to explore just because of the sheer amount of little paths shooting off from the main thoroughfares. I was going to walk it but seeing as it was my first time I decided to go by bike so that I could take in more of the area in a shorter amount of time.

Vuosaari Helsinki Finland Adder kyykäärme kyy

Growing up in Wales in the 80’s/90’s I spent a hell of a lot of time in the woods, up a mountain, by a river etc and I’ve spent a lot time doing the same things in recent years but had never seen an adder. Until today! Literally within 5 minutes of propping the bike against a tree and going for a quick stroll up some rocks this little bugger popped up right in front of me, it was super exciting.

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A bit further on I spotted a fairly small bird of prey which I’ve been unable to identify from my books, I didn’t get a good enough look of it. All I can say is that it’s underneath was light and the wings were kinda rounded. Hopefully I’ll see one again soon.

Vuosaari Helsinki Finland jay

Birds in the urban areas in Finland are much braver than in the UK, I’m finding that it’s not uncommon to pass within feet of them and they don’t fly away. This Jay was up to something sneaky but even though I didn’t get really close it was more than happy to go about its business with me only a few meters away.

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There are huge boulders everywhere in Finland, I assume they have been transported by glacier and dropped, or am I wrong? Whatever the reason I like them.

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One thing I noticed whilst wondering around today was that when a tree falls across a path rather than move it the norm is to just cut a gap and leave it where it fell. I find this to be pretty cool, it feels as though just enough is being done to enable people to enjoy the area without manipulating it too much and destroying the wild aspects of the place.

vuosaari helsinki finland stink bug

This stink bug (?) thought it would be funny to hitch a lift on my head.

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I found a big hole…

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Which turned out to be a cave…

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Which was actually a tunnel…

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I like scary tunnels so I walked through all by myself like a big boy…

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I don’t have any idea what this tunnel is/was for. Does anyone know?

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Riding around was quite challenging, the ground is very rocky and covered in branches and roots. I can see why all those mountain bikes like energy drinks so much, it was hard work!

My aimless rambling can be seen on Strava and Ride with GPS.