Tag: Helsinki

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.

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

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

Ghosts?

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.

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

14.05.2019: To Málaga With Norwegian

Wake up is at 4 am and when one is trying to remember who and where one is, it all comes back! It’s time for another trip.

At Helsinki Airport (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

This time we are heading to Spain, to Costa del Sol and Málaga area. Compares to the last trip, this is going to be a bit different experience as we are not actually staying in Málaga, but in Torremolinos, and for part of our trip we have decided to rent a car – which allows us to venture a bit further away without being tied up to public transportation schedules.

As much I would love to just have a Sun, Sea, and Sangria type of holiday, I know that I would be left craving more if we only stayed at one place.

Sunshine at 10kms (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019
On Top Of The World! (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

Helsinki Airport

At the moment the airport in Helsinki is undergoing a major renovation as they are revamping the whole entrance area. This far they have closed some of the driveways, and demolished a car park. We will see what the future holds. But for the moment this means simply that one should come to the airport a tad earlier, especially during the vacation season.

One thing that hasn’t changed are the extravagant prices at the shops! I am still amused that a 500ml bottle of soft drink can cost just under 4 euros. I blame the high rentals and the fact that most of the kiosks and restaurants are managed by one company.

Now they have also opened an extension which has added even more gates to one end of the T1. This is something to keep in mind if you are transiting at Helsinki – distances between gates can be long and time consuming!

Luckily for us, the walk today is not that bad. I also forgot how much we Finns love to queue up! People are actually standing, in a neat queue, at the gate about 30 minutes before departure. So funny.

The Flight

The Norwegian Cabin. (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

This time around we opted for a direct flight with Norwegian instead of using Lufthansa, which we have tried to do since realising that it might be better to concentrate on one company for the miles and more.

But as we found a really good bargain with Norwegian, as as it was a direct flight, we bought the tickets.

As there were some things that we thought warranted a bit more discussion, we made another post about it.

Arriving Málaga

Cafe Manon at the Airport. (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

As on the previous trip, finding your way from the terminal to the Renfe train station is a bit of a bore. This time around we managed it quite easily as we almost remembered the route from the last time. Just pay attention to the train logos until you get outside, where the buses depart and then you are almost there!

The single tickets for the trains can be bought from the vending machines that are quite easy to use. For me, using the train is an extremely handy way to go around between Fuengirola and Málaga.

And as it is over 20⁰C warm, it seems to be turning out as fantasting holiday ahead!