2009-09-14 60 24
| Mon 14 Sep 2009 in Helsinki:|
The beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site Suomenlinna.
First time geohashing, I'm looking forward to earn a few awards as well – Land geohash achievement, No Batteries Geohash and hopefully even Picnic achievement. The hash is also perfect for the Hashcard achievement, the surroundings being one of the most popular tourist spots in the whole country.
At half past four I finally got myself on my bike, and off I went from the safe Viikki campus area. Cycling past Vanhakaupunki ('The Old City'), I did a small turn off my usual route and encountered some horses. The journey continued via Kumpula and Vallila, the suburban settlement making way to the downtown buildings little by little. After Hakaniemensilta, the seaside was magnificent, the old houses on the other side of the road and sailboats on the other, the sunny day making the look even more idyllic than usual.
Eventually, I reached the Suomenlinna ferry dock at Kauppatori ('The Market Square'), found out the ferry would leave in less than ten minutes, and asked a stranger to take a photo of me with my transport vehicles. It turned out that I would need to pay extra, six euros in cash, in order to get the bike with me. It didn't take me so long to decide I wouldn't be waiting for forty minutes for the next ferry (there was no bank ATM nearby), and I hopped on board and left my trusty bike behind. I spent the voyage nicely strolling around, listening with half an ear to some older man who was trying to tell the basic stuff about Suomenlinna to a group of tourists ("... Suomenlinna, 'Castle of Finland'... but Sveaborg, 'Castle of Sweden', in Swedish, used to be called in Finnish alternatively Viapori..."), and planning my walk, checking which signs I should follow.
On the fortress island itself, I found out there was no need to rush: the post office would be open till 19. After shopping some food in the only grocery store of the island, I started to make my way toward the hashpoint. To Susisaari ('Wolf Island')! Having crossed the bridge leading there, I scurried to the enjoy the dark tunnels and the military architecture from centuries ago. (Especially Susisaari is full of fortress walls and tunnels, a popular picnic island for the Helsinki locals, a popular must-see island for tourists, and a popular milieu for many a fantasy larp.) As soon as I started to wonder where the exact hashpoint might be, I realized I was on the road I was supposed to use to determine the location, facing the building that really marked the spot. I followed a group of three not-Finnish-speaking people with picnic supplies who seemed to be going to the same place as I, and how disappointed I was when they didn't stop where I did. The spot was elevated from its surroundings, some bedrock peeking from under the grass. Crazily lucky a place! I took some proof photos, dug my picnic blanket and food out of my backpack, sat down and kept feeling so stupid sitting on the cliff alone and taking photos of myself.
Enough of eating croissants and a banana and drinking some raspberry-cocoa-thing. Decided not to leave a sign of my visit, packed my stuff, and went back another route, checking out the tomb of Ehrensvärd, a Swedish general who was in charge of construction of the fortress, and taking a peek at the shipyard. I made it back to the ferry dock when the ferry had just left, so there was more than enough time write a postcard. The mail box will be emptied at noon tomorrow...
At last, the ferry was there, and soon I was back on the mainland. Sun was setting, and the last rays of the evening were reflected from the Suomenlinna church tower to Kauppatori, where I jumped on my bike and drove home. A tired but happy geohasher took out her laptop from the backpack and curled up in the sofa corner, her usual place. Everything was back to normal.
Thank you so much, Laura, for that surprising hashcard I found, when I came back from my holidays! --Reinhard
To be added.
|Laurelin earned the Land geohash achievement|
|Laurelin earned the No Batteries Geohash Achievement|
|Laurelin earned the Picnic achievement|
|Laurelin earned the Hashcard achievement|