The kids are out of school.
Tourists from cruise ships fill Market Square.
Hop On Hop Off buses are EVERYWHERE.
Boats to the island beaches are running every 30 minutes.
Ice cream stands (and seagulls flying above) dot the urban landscape.
The sun sets at about 11:00 p.m.
It's "summer" in Helsinki.
Since it's "summer" (I use that term loosely since it still hasn't hit 70 degrees for more than a day or two at a time), we decided to visit Hanko Beach--the "sunniest place in Finland!" But on the day we went to Hanko, it was most definitely NOT sunny and most decidedly NOT summer!
Some of our Finnish friends laughed and said, "it was chilly and overcast because you must go to Hanko on a sunny day in July." If I read between the lines, I think that means A. the really warm weather doesn't arrive until July around here and 2. Hanko is the sunniest place in Finland because people only visit it on the sunny days!
All sarcasm aside, we found Hanko to be a lovely little seaside village that, on a warm day (in July perhaps?) would be the PERFECT place to spend a day on the beach!
But what do you when you're at the beach, it's only 60 degrees and overcast and sometimes even a bit drizzly?
Well, if you're MY kids, you entertain yourselves with snails for what seems like hours. Honestly, I can't believe my kids got such a kick out of the snails that were everywhere we walked!
There was even a wedding for these two:
Lily loved collecting shells.
And we all enjoyed our trip to the top of the water tower.
Even in the dreariest weather, it's hard to beat the view of the sea.
Hanko is known for its Russian villas--beautiful wood buildings that were built around the turn of the 20th century for people visiting the Hanko Spa.
Truth be told, while we enjoyed our trip to Hanko, we cut it short by about 5 hours because we were cold! Instead, we opted to come back to Helsinki and enjoy Sam's favorite--steamed Chinese dumplings--at a restaurant a friend recommended.