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

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.

Stubböle's Kasabergen Bunkers

Jarmo, Olli and me explored the Stubböle area on Sunday, and played around with drones. This area is in Siuntio, on the Soviet occupation area of Porkkala, and they seem to have had bunkers on every little hill around the fields.

That we are here was this time not due to Lynx's great database of Soviet occupation remains, but Jarmo's even greater work on mapping many sources from history books to Lynx and mapping services together. He now has the most complete database, easily usable with overlaid maps and aerial pictures from different times. This database helps him find places that wouldn't otherwise be listed in any easily available source! More on this important development in future blog articles, I'm sure!

In Stubböle, our first bunker exploration turned out nothing, we merely found the foundations of some kind of silo or container, possibly just farming related (coordinates: N 60.06289470 E 24.13498145).

But on the Kasabergen south of Stubböle, we found two bunkers. The first one to the north of Kasabergen greeted us with moose skulls in the gun mount hole. The normal entrance tunnel was blocked, so we had to enter that way. The bunker was almost completely filled with water, but I was able to walk inside on top of some rocks.

The coordinates for the northern bunker are N 60.06057076 E 24.13599132.

The second bunker more to the south had a different setup, with the gun hole largely blocked but the entrance tunnel still usable. Oddly enough, someone had dragged logs into the entrance tunnel, presumably to help walking on the muddy floor (?)

The coordinates for the southern bunker are N 60.05592067 E 24.13394410.

We also found an abandoned basement or storage room in the nearby woods, but as that may belong to someone I don't want to reveal the coordinates.

And we talked to the locals, who indicated that there's plenty more to look for, including a recently dug-up three-story bunker. Interesting!

NOTE: WARNING! Please remember that old ruins and particularly military bunkers and any underground facilities are potentially very dangerous. Not for kids, not for adults, not for anyone. I don't recommend that you visit any of these sites.

Pictures from the north bunker. First water from the inside:


And an aerial:

Entrance hole:

More from inside:

It always pays to smile, no matter what the situation?

And then to the southern bunker. We found some "carrots" under the ice:


The hall:

We also found an oddly coloured rock:

Here's the bunker we did not find, just found the remains of some container:

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