After walking around the city for a bit I decided to go see it all from the water. I took a boat out to the island fortress of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg in Swedish).
Not only would I like to see the fortress, I was also hoping to get some nice glimpses (and pictures) of Helsinki's water front, and I was amply rewarded. Helsinki is a quite beautiful city surrounded by water and islands all sides, and the good weather was adding to the splendour. Here you see a red house on it's own small island in front of the the Cathedral dominating Helsinki's skyline.
Another island, this one with a few bigger buildings on it.
I made it over to the fortress and started exploring. Suomenlinna is not huge fortress in the medieval sense with large walls and towers. Rather - built for the strategic conditions determined by the coming of powerful cannons which would blow big walls to smithereens - the fortress is a large sprawling complex of battery platforms, underground bunkers, barracks, shops, storage facilities, churches etc. Today it also houses several cafes and museums.
The big church of Suomenlinna providing an easily recognisable landmark. It was built by the Russians in typical Orthodox style, but converted into this much simpler Finnish design after independence.
One of many beautiful wooden houses on within the fortress. Suomenlinna is a living fortress with a population of several hundred civilians.
A very nice local window.
Some sort of memorial or something similar.
Suomenlinna has a lot of fairly untouched nature. Here some colourful wild plants.
A bird in a tree.
And finally a last look from Suomenlinna towards Helsinki. A large cruise liner is approaching the docks and has thus positioned itself between the outlying islands and Helsinki, here with the Russian church dominating the view.