Wherever you go in Helsinki, the sea is not far away.
As you can see from this piece of a map of Helsinki, the sea surrounds us, so most residents are just a short bus or tram ride away from the water.
Lucky for us, we are less than a 10 minute walk away from the water! (This is a photo of our neighborhood beach. We live right by the church with the green steeple on the right.)
Living close to the sea has many benefits.
You can sun yourself on the rocks on the shore while eating a sandwich for lunch.
You can take a ferry to one of several islands and explore the island with friends.
You can take a family walk on the seashore at almost any time of day!
Of course, there are a few drawbacks.
Crazy, dive-bombing seagulls will snatch an ice cream cone right out of your hands. (I managed to survive one of these attacks, but did not escape without a new-found, healthy respect for these creatures.)
Crazy gulls will also build their nests wherever they find it convenient (even if it is in the middle of the sidewalk in front of a door). I did not get a good picture of mama gull because, due to my recent attack, I was too afraid of the squawking mama to get close enough to take her portrait.
And sometimes, a beautiful day will be temporarily dampened by a little fog.
But all in all, the benefits FAR outweigh the drawbacks.
Living by the sea is one of the things we will miss most about Helsinki when it is time to go home!