Saturday, 20 June 2015

Helsinki - tales from Finland 2

Apologies for delay in posting this... I've been busy...

The second half of my half term was spent in Helsinki.

Gatwick was the airport I had to use to avoid a long stopover somewhere on the way. I also wanted to fly Norwegian Air.
Norwegian Air offers free wifi, which is OK for sending a few e-mails and tweets and browsing some documents, but not fast enough for much else given that the plane was fairly full - it's faster with fewer passengers. Having said that, it's a lot better than nothing... and allows you to follow your route, and tweet from 35 000 feet.
They have a cool map which tells you where you are, so you can track your flight. We made good time: 2 hours and 20 minutes.

I was in Helsinki for a meeting of the GeoCapabilities project.

This took us to quite a few interesting locations, and we were also blessed with the weather, which was warm and sunny the whole time I was there.

Images from the trip can be seen at the end of the post.

Many thanks to Sirpa Tani and colleagues for the hospitality. We visited the Walkers cafe in central Helsinki, which is a subsidised place for young people to go (coffee at 10 cents) to avoid them getting into trouble in the city, or drinking alcohol. Rather than criminalise these young people, the Finns do something proactive about it.
We met the person who set up the venue, which was a good place to spend the morning. The project translates literally as 'Children of the station' and helps to stop children hanging around.


It was the weekend when high school students graduate, and they were all wearing their traditional white caps and the city was busy. We visited some splendid restaurants, each with a different atmosphere.
We headed out on the ferry to Suomenlinna, a World Heritage site, with an amazing fortress. Our 2nd day of meetings was in a room in the fortress.
I also headed for the Olympic Stadium and went up the tower and had a tour.



A few days of interesting new geographies, plenty of hours wandering the city and uncovering some of its secrets. Thanks to Duncan for showing me the roche moutonnees
I'll be back I hope...

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