Hameelinna – Part 2

They say that the castle has been built for 700 years and it is still in process since the current restoration work is considered to be a continuation of the building of the castle. We spent a lot of time, exploring different rooms; unfortunately, there were no English tours offered the day we were there, so we often could not map the rooms to their website descriptions.

Continue reading “Hameelinna – Part 2”

Hameenlinna – part 1

The Hame Castle was built sometime in the middle of the 13th century (there are several possible dates of when it was founded). It had its ups and downs and was rebuilt multiple times. In the middle of the 14th century, the castle was rebuilt with bricks (rather than greystone in the beginning of its history). It is the first brick castle in Finland, and thereby the graphics representing bricks can be seen everywhere as a symbol of Hameenlinna.

Midsummer

Sunday was perfect. It was the Midsummer, and it was the first time in my life I was in Helsinki on this day. Also, it was unusually hot (and still is) – the temperatures were in the mid-upper 80s. On Saturday night, we talked about going to Hameenlinna on Sunday but decided to sleep on it. In the morning, it still looked like a great idea, so we purchased the train tickets and went!

It felt like a perfect day. And it was weird because it was right after the Roe/Wade overturn, and also, it was the day of Russia’s shelling of Kiyv, so the two worst things were so much there and happening, but I still felt immensely happy, and I do not feel bad about it. It was not for a while that I didn’t worry about things and what I needed to do today and tomorrow. I liked that the weather was so nice and that we were going to see this new place, which we had planned to visit so many times, but never did.

We were not sure whether it was a good idea to go there on a big holiday weekend, but it looked like everybody who wanted to visit the castle did it on Saturday:). There were almost no visitors to the museums, and we had a great time. The only disappointment was the Birthplace of Sibelius museum; it was closed from Friday to Monday for the Midsummer.

I think we will visit Hameenlinna one more time. There was too much information in all museums to take in in one day!

Montcalm Royal

The hotel I stayed in was fancy:). And surprisingly, less expensive than many other hotels close by. I remember what Vlad taught me about the quality and level of service when he worked at Peninsula, so I recognized the level :). Interestingly, it was Peninsula Plus quality of service for half the price. The staff was exceptional. The room was great. The rooftop cafe where we had breakfast was above and beyond.

Just one funny thing I wanted to mention. The room lights, conditioner, and heating were managed from this cool panel, and there were no regular switches (except for by the bed).

Imagine how I felt when the morning of the conference I woke up, and could not “wake up” this screen! after several attempts, the following message appeared:

In London

I only stayed in London for two days, mainly at the conference, but the same as five years ago, it was great! Now for the second time, no rain all the time I stayed.

Last time, we went with Vlad, which meant that I didn’t have to worry about getting around. This time, I was a little bit nervous about how I will get around, even with Google maps, but everything turned out fine. Mostly because of exceptionally friendly people. Each time I would start to slow down and look at my phone, and then around me, somebody would ask me where I needed to go and help me get back on my route. It was truly amazing! Also, whenever I would emerge from yet another passage in the tube, somebody would ask me where I needed to go, and if that was the wrong train, they would not only tell me where to go to get on the right one but looked back to make sure I actually made all the left and right turns!

loved the hotel I stayed in (I will show the pictures in a separate post), and I enjoyed the conference, met many of my co-workers in person, met many people in general, and had a great time! I wish I had had time to do more things in London, but I hope it wasn’t the last time!

A New Twist In Biking In Helsinki

Boris had a very bad bike accident on Wednesday. He says that’s because the sun was bright and because he was not looking at the road but looking back, making sure I was not left behind. In my opinion, the problem was his state of mind. Before we went, I asked him whether he was sure we should go, and he said – yes, it might become better.

He had very serious reasons to be upset, so all is understandable, but as a result, he ran into the rear of a police car – at full speed! I am not even going to describe his face (it still looks very impressive, and actually worse than right after the accident), but the most amazing thing is that he broke a police car bumper!!!

The police filed a proper report, and the hilarious part of this story was that the officer said: we hope our insurance will cover the damage, but we need to check. Most times, it’s not the bike hitting a car, but the opposite, so we need to check whether they would cover the situations like this!

So…

I thought this trip felt a bit too perfect to go as planned. I am not flying to Ireland tomorrow, and it is very sad, mostly not because of Ireland but because I won’t see my friends. The only consolation is that it would be much worse if we found it out tomorrow! I spent two hours rebooking and rearranging my life for the next five days, and somehow it was rebooked and rearranged with virtually no financial loss.
I will cover the last three days later – they were great, but now I am infinitely sad and disappointed that things didn’t happen as planned.

Suomenlinna

We didn’t plan to go to Suomenlinna on Wednesday, it happened spontaneously. I too an unplanned day off, and then a couple other unplanned things happened, and we desperately needed something positive, so we went there for just an hour and a half at the end of the day.

It was amazing, as always, and we saw a couple of newly restored buildings, and had a fancy dinner at a restaurant that we didn’t check out for a while.

A Rose Garden

Boris took me to another rose garden – and I thought I knew all of them in Helsinki, at least the ones which are close to the city center. But here is another one – and in walking distance from our home.

And yes, not all of the flowers pictured here are roses, I know 🙂

Now we are finally talking roses!
These ones look so much like the lilac roses in San Jose,just the European size 🙂
Continue reading “A Rose Garden”