Ruissalo is an island in the Archipelago Sea and a district of the city of Turku, Finland. The island is located to the south-west of the city, between Hirvensalo and Pansio in the mainland. One of the largest old oak forests in Finland is situated in the island and many parts of it are included in nature conservation programs. In the most western part of the island there is a spa and a camping area. Turku golf course is situated also here. The Botanical garden of University of Turku is situated in the middle of the island. Near the southern tip of the western part of the island is a small, unofficial nude beach. The island is probably most famous as the venue of the annual rock festival Ruisrock.
I went to Ruissalo on a beautiful day with some friends from Retrodorm. There was snow everywhere, a clear-blue sky and very sunny weather. We went by bus to the city center, where we took the next bus to Ruissalo. See the map below what Ruissalo looks like, and what road we had to take, to get there (Start is at point A, destination is point B). Of course we had already a lot of fun in the bus and chatted a lot. Although the bus drivers are driving crazy, we made it there…..eventually. The bus was going so fast (especially when you think of the amount of snow on the road) that we actually flew for a second because we were hitting some speed bumps. Furthermore the bus hit some pavement edges on the way there. It was like a roller coaster trip.
When we arrived in Ruissalo it was really beautiful with lots of forest. The sun was shining through the trees, what made it even more amazing then it already was. From the bus stop we had to walk about 4 minutes to the beach. The beach was all frozen and so was the Archipelago Sea. It was gorgeous to see, because the sun reflected on the snow and ice. I was stunning to see how people actually were jumping in the ice-water (after they’ve been in the sauna), while there was a really thick layer of ice. There was a hole in the ice by the end of the landing-stage, where you could even see the current! There were a lot of people on the ice too, who made pictures, so we could easily ask someone to take a photo of us, which we did of course. We had so much fun that day, made a lot of silly and laughing pictures, and made jumps and handstands. After we walked on the ice for a while, we decided to go back. Thank you for reading!
Text and photos: Eileen van Heemskerk