A leisurely start to the day after arriving here late last night. Waking to warm sunshine after so many cold days at home was just what was needed. Our holiday home overlooks a sheltered bay where the air is fresh and all around it’s so peaceful and green. I call it my ‘summer paradise’ as I can be a nature lover one minute yet be a city girl whenever I feel like it too, as we are less than a 15 minutes drive away from the centre of Helsinki. Setting out, we strolled along the waterfront into Tapiola, this stretch being part of the 40 km Espoo Waterfront Walkway (Espoo Rantaraitti). The sign below marks the pathway which is part of the National Cycling Route which extends to the full length of the country and our gentle morning exercise took only 15 minutes to reach Tapiola’s shopping centre along an attractive coastal path. Barnacle geese were resting on the grass and some of them were caring for their goslings which were lovely and fluffy.
Tapiola, meaning garden city, is surrounded by parkland with many forest paths to walk and cycle along. It’s the cultural centre of Espoo and is situated to the west of Helsinki by a series of bridges.In Tapiola you will find a good selection of shops including the modern Aiona shopping mall which currently has around 30 shops but more are planned. The focal point of Tapiola is the small lake and fountain beside the swimming pool and cultural centre. There’s an outdoor diving pool which in previous years has been full of children but at the moment seems to be closed for maintenance work which must be a real shame when Finnish summers are so short. In the photo below you can see the lake with the cranes behind. The metro is being extended to the west and should be opening next month but has been delayed until the end of the year. Alongside Tapiola’s metro station will be new housing and commercial developments allowing commuters seamless travel into the city centre so there is a building frenzy taking place along the Lansimetro Line.
After looking round awhile and loading season tickets onto our travel cards we strolled back to our apartment for some lunch. Our afternoon was spent in the city centre which looked at its best bathed in sunshine. On the Esplanade locals and visitors alike were relaxing in the gardens and listening to the live music at the bandstand.
We strolled around taking note of any changes since our last visit and felt very content to be enjoying life once again in this Nordic capital city.