Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Peuramaa Devil's Churn


Maps of the Peuramaa area in Kirkkonummi show a pothole or devil's churn near the ski area. Jarmo and I set out to find that, along with other potentially interesting features in the neighbourhood.

We did find the devil's churn easily. It had a frozen ice cap, and we don't know how deep it was. But nicely round, and nicely positioned in worn out, smooth rock face.

Coordinates: N 60.10462987 E 24.46870092.

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko and Jarmo Ruuth. All rights reserved.

Life, Universe, and Everything

Hiking in the woods of Kirkkonummi, thinking about life, universe, and everything. And keeping an eye open for that rumored cave somewhere.

Photo (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Hello, Hestra!

I was determined to find a few hours on some evening, even if my meeting seemed to be running from 8am to at least 8pm or even 10pm... but then the local ski hill closed.

The local ski hill, Alebacken, closed just as I was preparing to take the taxi there the next day. It is close to Göteborg, a tiny hill, but I like tiny hills.

But then I found out about Isaberg (see also Wikipedia article). This 160 meter vertical ski hill is the largest in southern Sweden. Southern Sweden, mind you, isn't the greatest ski destination.

But I'll settle for anything. The only downside is that I needed to rent a car and drive 1.5 hours... leaving at 5, I was still able to make it there at 19:30, even after all the unexpected (or not) hassles at the rental place and with Göteborg traffic.

It turned out to be in Hestra village, hosting also the maker of my and many other people's gloves. I can recommend them! 

I can also recommend the ski slope. For southern Sweden (or even Southern Finland), this is a great place, and I was glad I visited... half an hour more would have been nice. But even 1.5 hours in the slopes was good. I got my exercise. Got to ski, got to experience another ski place. Much appreciated.

I also got to think about my hard tech problem at work, while driving. And enjoy a nice Volvo in its natural habitat, 25 years newer than the one I have. Man, they have developed some cool new tech since then. Working wipers, for instance :-)

De-icing on my way to Göteborg:

Hestra at Hestra:

Facilities and restaurants:

Chair lift:


This blog article is also available at TGR. Tämä blogiartikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. The song "Energetic" is by Silent Partner; freely available for videos in the YouTube Audio Library (https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music).

Upper House Spa. Wow.

It was worth waking up at 6:45am for this. If I wanted to visit the Upper House Spa at the 20th floor of this Göteborg skyscraper, I had go early before my meetings.

And it was worth it. Particularly when the advertised price of 110€ (1095 SEK) unexpectedly got lowered to 29€ (295 SEK), because ... for reasons that don't fully understand but probably have something to do with the receptionist being nice. And it being so early that I'd not be able to get any treatments or be able to stay the full three hours. I did expect to get a 20% discount as a hotel guest in a connected building, but not this much discount! Thank you.

In any case, even at the original price this place was worth experiencing. To begin with, I was the only customer there at 7am so I got floors 18 through 20 all by myself. And this included:

  • A warm outdoor pool with glass bottom, sticking out of the side of the tower, hundred meters high, hanging right above the Liseberg amusement park. The wheel of the amusement park being nicely lit.
  • Two indoor pools
  • An incredible sauna with all-glass wall for the views, also towards Liseberg.
  • A floor for quiet relaxation, with juice, snacks available.
  • Heated relaxation chairs next to the pool.

Overall, this is one of the best spas I've ever visited, and that's many. Certainly the best in-city-in-cold-climate spa and sauna that I've seen!

(But the day that began so well did not continue as well. I returned from the saunas to the meeting, but got immediately a call and some sad news from home. There was not much to do than to fly home. And wonder if I should have been at home rather than away.)

Here's the view through the pool, through the glass bottom, 20 floors down:

And here's the views from the sauna:

And to show the arrangement of the magnificent outdoor pool sitting on the side of the building, this is what it looks like during daylight:


Ice dispenser:

Inside there are two more pools:

And here's the sauna!

Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. The music is from YouTube music library, and free for use:

Friday Morning by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100224 Artist: http://incompetech.com/

As usual, photos from pools and saunas have been taken at a time when the facility is closed or when there were no other people present.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Switzerland ... in Hyvinkää

A quick set of runs in Switzerland... of Hyvinkää. Small local hill. I was here as a kid long time ago and it looked different. I only now understand why... they moved it :-)

I needed to visit Hyvinkää during the weekend, and realised that I could at the same time stop at the local ski hill, and get some much needed exercise. The last time I was skiing here when I was maybe 10 and my dad took me there.

Chatting to one of the local skiers on the hill I learned that the old site with ski jumps and a ski hill had been closed down, and the new ski area is in a different location further away from the city. That explains.

The next day I returned to see again the old hill. Could it be skied, even without a lift? And yes, this was much more the place that I remembered. The Hyvinkään Sveitsi hotel... the ski hut... the narrow valley into which we skied. While the ski hut has been converted to a hotel/restaurant ("Sveitsin Maja"), not much of the actual old ski hill remains. Forest has taken over the slopes, except for the landing slope for the ski jump. The ski jump tower is gone, however. Fortunately, there's some fresh snow and I can ski the landing slope!

These are the pictures from the old ski hill:

And here are the pictures from the new ski hill:

This article is also available in ​TGR. Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Music and video editing from Apple iMovie. See discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-4201.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Gotthard Base Tunnel Museum

The Swiss Museum of Transport in Luzern had also nice displays about the building of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. And the tunnel boring machine's sharp end!

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Kuusijärvi Smoke Sauna

Kuusijärvi smoke sauna and beach. Great public sauna, maybe best around Helsinki (?)

I had a VERY relaxing (that was much needed) experience.

Went for the sauna, which was crowded, and the ice swimming twice. Didn't feel that cold, actually.

Interestingly, this place is very popular, particularly among foreigners living in Finland as well as Russian tourists. It is never guaranteed that you can actually get to the sauna; now they had a waiting list, and just as I came, they let 10 people in. Glad I was able to experience it.

The saunas are run by Cafe Kuusijärvi, and they are always open.

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Auguste Picard

At the Swiss Transport Museum, we were able to visit Auguste Picard, a passenger sub built for the 1964 World Expo.

After many phases in its journey, this submarine was refurbished and renovated for the museum. Before that it was basically a rusted wreck, and before that, a research vessel for oil rigs.

Interestingly, there was a photo inside that showed how the submarine at some point had sails!

The visit to this submarine is difficult to come by, by the way. They run just a handful of tours every day, and each tour only takes 8 persons. We were lucky to join the day's last tour!

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Convair CV-990

Janne and I visited the Swiss Transport museum in Luzern, and were able to visit the Convair CV-990 "Coronado", in the cabin.

Must have been a great airplane. And from times where tourist class seats were comfy! Not to mention having a lounge, *in the airplane*.

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Östersolberg II

While I was travelling for work and fun for the last couple of weeks, Jarmo had scouted several bunker sites. His visit to an incredibly large bunker in Siuntio's Östersolberg provoked our interest as well, and last Saturday Janne, Olli, and me went there as well.

The bunker was indeed large, by my (foot) estimate the concrete shield on top was 19 m by 19 m. Jarmo's estimate from Google Maps was 20 m x 20 m.

However, it is far more difficult to say what's inside. On the top, the construction looks fine, with a central, large gun tower, two entrance tunnels from opposite sides, and a set of chimneys or air shafts to the side. As if the bunker had heating, or a kitchen? :-)

And one of the entrance tunnels is open enough for us to enter. However, the insides are so completely destroyed that we can't get particularly far. I was able to get near the central gun mount, but had no idea how to go towards the area that housed the air shafts, for instance. And I don't know how many floors the structure had. One, and the internal explosion that destroyed the bunker ripped the roof slab into two layers? Or two, and we're looking at a floor?

It is easy to go maybe 10 meters from the entrance tunnel, and you can peek towards the rest of the structure. But actually getting to the rest is the difficult part. There's nothing except a wall on the right side, the side where one would expect to find more rooms leading to the air shafts. On the left, towards the gun tower there's hanging floors/ceilings and twister rebar. I was able to sneak through an opening to take some of the pictures in this blog article, but it didn't feel particularly safe to go further.

Interesting place!

Coordinates: N 60.1133285 E 24.1211985.

Here's a picture of the space that the entrance tunnel leads to, the only easily accessible location.


Bitumen inside the destroyed structure:

Aerial photo of the site:

A peek of the round gun tower in the centre of the structure:

Entrance tunnel:

On one side of the bunker there's a deep well, with stairs leading to the bottom. Used as an actual well? An emergency exit? Or for pumping water out of the bunker's base?

We also wanted to visit the Igor Museum (museum of Porkkala occupation) but it turned out to be cold during January:

This article is also available on TGR. Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. The song "The Coldest Shoulder" by The 126ers is from YouTube video library and freely usable.