Category: Finland

A visit to Hakunila, Vantaa

Håkansböle Gård (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

Early summer is here, and what better time to explore areas near you instead of travelling to here, there, and everywhere. Sometimes it is actually very rewarding to just pick up a place near you and head out to get to know your home town much better.

I spent many years in the Håkansböle Manor House area when I was smaller, but ever since then it has always been “too far away” to go there. Since the Vantaa Town Council bought the manor house and the surroundings in 2005 from the Sanmark family, they have started to renovate the whole area, and also the manor itself.

Håkansböle Manor House (C) Two Queens Travel Blog

This manor house was built in 1908, but prior to that there has been a manor ever since the 16th Century. One of the oldest, still standing, houses is the “Mutteritalo” (Nut House), called that as it is shaped like a nut. This was built in the 18th Century as a summerhouse to commemorate the visit of the King of Sweden, Gustav III.

Mutteritalo (The Nut House) (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Images from the Håkansböle Manor House area (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019


Any house or area that has a recorded history ever since the 16th Century is bound to have happenings that cannot be explained, and Håkansböle definitely doesn’t make an exception to this rule.

When I was a wee lad, and my friend’s family was a caretaker of the manor when the Sanmarks were in Sweden, we would sometimes be allowed to enter the manor – just for a quick peek. Once I witnessed a chair moving on its own, and have seen a horse-drawn carriage in the park…

But I forgot about all of these stories and things until I was an adult, and we had the fantastic opportunity to visit the manor during a Halloween, when an manor preservance organisation hosted ghost tours and told about these kinds of events that are said to have taken place in the manor. It was quite scary.

If you have the possiblity, visit the place yourself, but before you do, watch a Ghost Vigil video from a Finnish paranormal group (Paranormal Investigations Group Finland), who spent a night in the manor.

Is the Area Worth Visiting?

It definitely is. The major renovation of the area was completed in 2011 and the whole manor park has now been restaured in early 20th Century look. The area is suitable for strolling around leisuredly, there is a café Ruuna offering drinks, quick bite to eat, and knowledge of the history of the area.

Nearby there are jogging tracks, offering possibilities to further enjoy Vantaa’s countyside scenery, and about 1 km away there is a public swimming hall, and sports park with a skateboarding park as well.

ADDRESS: Kartanontie 1, 01200 Vantaa, Finland.

Hakunilan kartano – Håkansböle Manor House (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

23.06.2018 /3: The Imatran Valtionhotelli Hotel – and the Gray Lady

One of the reasons for this trip was to visit this famous landmark on the banks of the Imatrankoski Rapids. And as it was a bit late, we opted not to eat at the hotel, but to have evening tea for two at the library whilst soaking up the atmosphere. Continue reading “23.06.2018 /3: The Imatran Valtionhotelli Hotel – and the Gray Lady”

23.06.2018 /2: The Imatrankoski Rapids

Ever since the late 18th Century Imatra and the Imatrankoski Rapids have been a place to visit. The visitors include numerous amounts of the so-called normal people, and also such famous visitors as Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, and Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil. But is it a mere coincidence? Because even in the Kalevala, the national epoch of Finland, the Vuoksi River is titled as the most powerful river in the whole Finland.

Continue reading “23.06.2018 /2: The Imatrankoski Rapids”

23.06.2018 /1: Midsummer Road Trip to Imatra

Waking up to a Midsummer day after a cold, rainy, and windy Midsummer Eve, we quite didn’t plan to travel near the eastern border of Finland just for evening tea. As the day progressed, we decided that we want to do something, and not just sit around musing why there isn’t anything much to do in Finland during midsummer.

Enter Google Maps. Continue reading “23.06.2018 /1: Midsummer Road Trip to Imatra”