Diary

  • 22nd February 2005, late morning
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This time, I went for a longer period in Finland but It was too short ! I love Finland and I miss it …

We went to Lappi restaurant in Helsinki. One of the most famous one in the Finnish category. You’ll find more information about it in the Links section of this website.
After the restaurant, Amandine and I took a picture (I particularly love this one, maybe because I don’t look too much ugly on it).

Amandine & I after the Lappi restaurant


We also decided to go and visit Tampere in the middle of Finland but it was not exiting at all !!! I just remember the good breakfast at the hotel and a boring ghost city. It was also freezing (around -20 or -30°C) so don’t even think about a sightseeing tour or you may lose your buttocks, cheeks, nose, eyes, .... in a word, you may literally die !

One picture of a church in Tampere (to save my fingers, I just took one picture there …)

Tampere


And to finish with this article, some pictures of the Baltic sea in winter.
Baltic sea in Helsinki

Baltic sea in Helsinki


Just near the place where I took those pictures, was a sauna house and people were leaving the sauna to dive directly in the frozen sea (don’t worry, they cared about making a hole). For a French guy, it is quite strange to see naked people walking in the snow and having a refreshing bath in the frozen sea … without to say that my several layers and coat weren’t worse the -22°C.

See you and mind the cold !

  • 30th October 2004, early evening
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Hello guys

As you may know, I am a big fan of Burton snowboards (simply the best brand for everything lol) so you will understand why I didn’t resist to take the following photo. Taken in Helsinki center, not very far from Rautatientori (Finnish) / Järnvägstorget (Swedish) … ok the Central Railway Station (English lol).

burton billboard


When I say “not very far”, it is very funny because, nothing is very far from where you can be located in Helsinki. For example, and for the nostalgic of us, here the list of Helsinki metro stations is:

Ruoholahti – Itäkeskus:
– Ruoholahti (Gräsviken)
– Kamppi (Kampen)
– Central Railway Station (Rautatientori / Järnvägstorget)
– Kaisaniemi (Kajsaniemi)
– Hakaniemi (Hagnäs)
– Sörnäinen (Sörnäs)
– Kalasatama (Fiskhamnen) — opens January 1st, 2007
– Kulosaari (Brändö)
– Herttoniemi (Hertonäs)
– Siilitie (Igelkottsvägen)
– Itäkeskus (Östra centrum)
Itäkeskus – Mellunmäki: (northern branch)
– Itäkeskus (Östra centrum)
– Myllypuro (Kvarnbäcken)
– Kontula (Gårdsbacka)
– Mellunmäki (Mellungsbacka)
Itäkeskus – Vuosaari: (eastern branch)
– Itäkeskus (Östra centrum)
– Puotila (Botby gård) -> this one is my favorite ;o)
– Rastila (Rastböle) -> we were living here.
– Vuosaari (Nordsjö)

As you can see, it is nothing compared to a city like London or Paris. The GOOD point is that the metro is not crowded like in Paris or even London. Crowded places are a pain in the ass.

Ok, some boring shots of me

neocorsten portrait


neocorsten portrait


and one of Amandine

Amandine working


The big classic, Amandine and I, together on stage lol

2 of us: Amandine and Olivier


Now, on our way to the Uspensky Cathedral, the clearly Orthodox church quite close to the city centre. It is built right on the rocks that lie underneath Helsinki. A short climb takes you up to the entrance of this Russian Orthodox cathedral that is consecrated to the eternal sleep of the virgin Mary. The church is adorned with 13 golden cupolas and is the largest Orthodox church in western Europe. From here, a longer walk takes you past the main Cathedral to probably the most peculiar church of the city.

Amandine right next to the Cathedral


Yes … It was very warm as you can see lol

Me freezing


I have talked about the church and haven’t shown it to you yet.

Church picture

Church picture


To be honest, I prefer the style of the Helsinki Cathedral (aka The Lutheran Cathedral). It was built in 1830-1852 to replace an earlier church from 1727. The church is Greek cruciform in shape, and the original neoclassical design by Carl Engel was altered by his successor, Ernst Lohrmann. Lohrmann added four small towers and two side buildings of which one is a belfry, and the other is a chapel. There are statues of the Apostles made of zinc on the roof, and they are the biggest unique set of zinc sculptures in the world. The seating capacity is 1300. The church was called St. Nicholas church until the independence of Finland in 1917. Since 1959, it became a Cathedral, and is called Helsinki Cathedral or the Lutheran Cathedral. Here a crap view (All my apologies to you) of it.

 Lutheran Cathedral


and another photo I have found on google/images (http://www.cs.mtu.edu)

 Lutheran Cathedral


During those holidays, I had to work for my school exams and you can see that I was working on some analogical electronics.

where I was working on my exams


That’s all folks !!! I have to go out now, see you soon.

  • 29th October 2004, mid-afternoon
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Hello everybody !

Here are some fresh news …

I am now on holidays and the flight from Paris CDG to Helsinki Vantaa was ok. I flew with Finnair and appreciated it much than Air France. Better plane, good food and no live safety information. Yes ! It is amazing … they show you the safety info on a screen. You also have a nice view of the land under the plane and some other views around. I think it is a good idea to share the beauty of the breathtaking scenery with the cockpit guys !

The first thing I noticed when still being in the plane was the weird looking sky and the forest ! You can see little islands every where between Estonia and Finland and this land is really really covered by forest. I didn’t know that the international airport of Helsinki wasn’t in Helsinki so that explains why I did not see anything else than trees and forest till landing. Anyway I arrived at Helsinki Vantaa (quite far from Helsinki though) and immediately loved the architecture and ambiance.

Enough talking about my first day. I have to give you some good addresses !

A very good restaurant we tried with other erasmus guys from Harusti is Michelle. I have put the link in my links section within my website.

In this typic Finnish restaurant (I should say suomi now …), I absolutely loved the food, in particular the PAAHDETTU PORONFILE (understand Reindeer in more civilized language) with a mushrooms sauce …. still drooollling just thinking about it !

Reindeer was so tender !!!! nearly rare , the best ever ! Here is the photo but believe me, It was better in live.

reindeer dish at Lappi


And let me show you the bill …

Pöytä
—————
PAAHDETTU PORONFILE…...............26.50
Tarapaca Gran Resery (37.50/3).....12.52
SUKLAAKAKKUA…..........................7.90

which gives a total of….......................46.92
that they round to 47€ as the cheapest coin used in Finland is 5 cents.

Let me translate the bill a bit for you: we have some reindeer, very good Chile’s wine we emptied at 3 and a chocolate cake with berries. The menu offered some apple pies but those idiots love cinnamon !!!! It is everywhere !!!!!!! DAMNED !

Amandine ate some very good fish (I tasted it and it was really yummy …. I could have eaten both .. no it’s bad lol)

And the photo :

fish dish at Lappi


Earlier to this restaurant, we went to a Belgium pub called “Le Belge” and there, my friends, it was pretty cool. A Stylish and hype ambiance in a 2 levels “café-bar” providing some of my favorite beers : Chimay, Duvel, Lindemans cassis (than, I said to myself : ok that’s good, they must have some Lindemans faro but deception, only Lindemans cassis …. hard life). So I decided to try a “Barbare”, which I had never tried before and I definitely recommend this one.

In the pub, we chatted with the webmaster of the French Embassy who is also an organizer of cultural events over the capital.
Luckily, we were there for the famous “soirées groovin françaises” with good sound like “Paris Combo” or really old jazzy/twisty sound mixed together for your ears pure pleasure.

You go to Helsinki ? go to the “Belge” pub !

A photo (I still don’t know how to take photos when it is dark …. so crap I am) of the deco :

Le Belge café/pub in Helsinki


and a photo of the Beer mug I “borrowed” ... Remorses now :-s
beer mug from Le Belge café


I can’t close this article without talking about our windows !

Crazy triple windows ! just unbelievable ! Like the doors, there are 2 to get out ! triple windows, double doors, long live penguins !

very big windows nordic style

very big windows nordic style


And voilà ! I hope you enjoyed that breaking news ! I hope so because I’ve just spent 30 minutes to write it and I have some homework to do … This afternoon, my sweetie come back at 2:30pm. On the planning we have : cook a vegetables quiche. Indeed, we have a group of Finnish students that will arrive at 4pm. They organize a whole dinner and are going to take some photos for their intercultural project. We are going to laugh our asses off !

Yesterday we went to the Molly Mallones (Irish Pub). I wanted to try the beamish but they had no more of this lovely brewage DAMNED ! so I ordered a Guiness and half a pint of Kilkenny for my girlfriend. As there were no more Beamish, the barman, very kind guy (all of them were kind in this pub), gave me a pint of Guiness and a pint of Kilkenny for the price of a pint of Guiness and half a pint of Kilkenny. That is what I call BUSINESS ! And as my girlfriend doesn’t like beer … I can guess the following … I drank both :-s
We sang on some U2 songs, Creedance Clearwater Revivals and The Driven (with the famous Jesus loves you more if you can driiiiiveeeeeeeee …).

I was about to forget to add that yesterday we cooked those famous meat balls with porc, cumin, coriander, garlic and parsley (I did my own cumin powder with the rolling pin !!!!! I did fight about 10 minutes with those little seeds !! They don’t sell cumin powder but I really don’t know how they use the seeds like that …. vikings !). In the meantime, an apple crumble (believe me, size DOES matter), was cooking in the oven while my Macromedia Flash cooking timer did take care of the cooking time. All of that to say that my beloved powerbook was playing good snowboard videos with good sound in the flat and well, it was damned cool.

Last news, as I am in the Jussi Oksanen ’s town, I can’t say you goodbye without writing that the board expo 2004 where takes place the Burton Rail Jam Contest will open its doors on november 5th.
Here is the link : boardexpo
Everything is in Finnish or Swedish ? I can’t recognize one to the other anyway lol

Cheers !

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