Lammassaari island just a short bus or tram ride from Helsinki city centre, in the protected area of Viikki and Vanhankaupunginlahti, is a perfect green getaway in the city.A canal full of fish divides Lammassaari (Sheep Island) from the mainland. Just by crossing the canal you can already feel that you are in another world. Surrounded by the sea and wet swamplands, Lammassaaari island can only be reached by 1,2 km long duckboards built over the swamps (or alternatively by private boat). New wider and sturdier duckboards are being built next to wobbly old ones, making Lammassaari island also accessible with prams.Knowing that the residential area of Arabianranta is just a stone’s throw away it feels totally unreal to walk in a sea of yellow reeds a lot taller than myself, not seeing anything else than golden reeds, green shrubs, blue skies and swampland around me.The area is very rich in bird life and there is a birdwatching tower and hides, where you can sit and spot your favourite bird. And enjoy the spectacular sea views of course. I am not that much into birds but I am pretty sure I spotted some cows in the distance instead.On the southern part of Lammasaari island there is a small community of summer cottages, where locals spend their summer evenings and weekends. Some of these cute little houses seemed to be brand new and some had been abandoned or left to decay.A nature trail circles the summer cottage village providing leafy green nature escapes and stunning views over the shimmering sea.From the ring trail, another small path with duckboards deviates to Kuusiluoto, a cape which is home to a few sheep that have spent their summer months here for over ten years already. When I visited, the sheep had not yet arrived but surely will be here later in the summer. Isn’t it exotic to have such animals so close to the city centre!From the southern end of Kuusiluoto you can see all the way to Helsinki city centre. And the residential area of Arabianranta across the bay is just a stone’s throw away.Atop of the hill in Kuusiluoto stands a lonely mail box with a notebook and a pen in it. People had left such cute greetings in the notebook. You really must go and read!
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