Skiing the Planet

"Mongolia is kind of close, right?" Story about an attempt to ski everywhere in the world where there's snow. And in some places where there isn't. On and off-piste skiing on all continents, skiing into craters of live volcanoes, climbing, photography, and travel.

The blog about skiing around the world. The most recent blog articles can be found here:

Click here for the main site. There is also a full list, an off-piste guide, services "approved by the Planetskier", and a map.

The first part of a list of all blog articles can be found below. The list continues in part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, and part 7.

Frozen car and key
Sigh, car frozen after few days at the outdoor (cheap) parking place in the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.
Full story
January 2024
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Car

Bromma lounge
I travel less than I used to. Good for me, good for the environment. However, sometimes I get to travel, and it is to see new places, go skiing, or work with your colleagues. After a long pause I visited Sweden for work, and on return flew through my local airport, Bromma.
Full story
January 2024
Bromma Airport, Stockholm, Sweden


Flying; Travel; Skiing (None)

Siltamäki suburb swimming hall
I realized there's more swimming pools in the Helsinki area that I have not visited. Today I visited the Siltamäki swimming pool. a small sports facility in the suburb of Siltamäki in Helsinki. My expectations were not high, and the pool being four lanes, 17m long, and only 80cm deep for half it... it wasn't a super good place for laps in the pool. But, it was a nice visit to a new place! And the sauna was just perfect temperature and design.
Full story
January 2024
Siltamäen uimahalli, Siltamäki, Helsinki, Finland


Swimming (Water,Indoor,Waterbody-Pool); Sauna (Normal)

The Studio Sauna Again
I've been here before, but again... The Studio Hotel is a modern but nice hotel in Kista, where I often have to visit for work. The rooms are pretty small, but it is very affordable (61€ per night), has a good breakfast, is walkable but not too near to the offices, has parking, and most importantly, has a good sauna that is open late night.
Full story
January 2024
The Studio Hotel, Kista, Stockholm, Sweden


Sauna (Normal)

Väsjöbacken: night skiing in northern Stockholm
The nice work trip turned even nicer with an evening visit to the Vasjöbacken, local ski hill somewhere between Kista and Arlanda. Not bad at all!
Full story
January 2024
Väsjöbacken, Sollentuna, Sweden


Skiing

Tower of Velate
The Velate tower is in town of Varese northwest of Milan. It is in ruins, only two sides of the tower remain.
Full story
January 2024
Tower of Velate, Varese, Italy


Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites,Towers)

Lago di Como tower ruins
Castello Baradello is a fortress on a nice hill above present day Como, with great views of the city and the lake. Fortresses on this site date back to the 6th century, although the current fortress was rebuilt in the 13th century. This is also the site of the original settlement in Como.
Full story
January 2024
Castello Baradello, Como, Italy


Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites,Towers)

Grani hill 90 years!
My local ski hill in Kauniainen turned 90 today. This little hill got the first ski lift in Finland in 1934. Congratulations!
Full story
January 2024
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Enough is enough?
Is this enough car window cleaning?
Full story
December 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Car

Today's road conditions
Today’s road conditions. Count the cars ahead.
Full story
January 2024
Jorvas, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Car

Will it start?
Helsinki airport, 2am in the first night of the year. Car is buried, will it start? Any bets? -17 and stayed here for a week. No electricity to heat it up.
Full story
December 2023
Lentoparkki, Vantaa, Finland


Car

Matinkylän uimahalli, now with parking
I've been to the new Matinkylä swimming hall before, but it was only now I realized how to park in their garage! The swimming hall is a block or two away from the massive Iso Omena shopping mall, where I've parked before. But I kept wondering how come people were walking to the garage underneath the swimming hall, yet I couldn't see a way to drive there.
Full story
January 2024
Matinkylän uimahalli, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Indoor,Water,Waterbody-Pool); Sauna (Normal)

Google Maps Approach to Going Skiing
We were talking about skiing in places that I have not been to, like Tunis or Alger. I asked Google Maps about "Tunis ski" and it helpfully interpreted this as a request to drive from the Finnish skiing association to Tunis :-) Helpfully, it also displayed all the speed cameras on this 4000+ km journey ;-)
Full story
January 2024
Cima Bianca, Bormio, Italy


Skiing (None)

Want: Bormio spa
There's a more famous spa in Bormio city center, but ... this is something else: QC Terme Bagni Vecchi. Nestled in the high mountains above Bormio, on the road to the famed Passo di Stelvio... like a castle with indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna in a cave heated by the natural thermal waters.
Full story
January 2024
QC Terme Bagni Vecchi, Bormio, Italy


Swimming (None); Sauna (None)

Grotta San Giovanni Mystery
Grotta San Giovanni is near Lecco and Lago di Como, in northern Italy. As you can see from above, the views are wonderful! But there's a mystery: did this cave inspire Leonardo da Vinci's painting Madonna (or Virgin) on the Rocks?
Full story
January 2024
Grotta San Giovanni, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni side cave 1, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni side cave 2, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni cemetery side cave, Lecco, Italy


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst); Urban-Exploration (Other)

Rats... Frankfurt
I had been consuming the food at the Lufthansa Business Lounge in Frankfurt (T1) for hours while on a layover from my flights from North Macedonia to Finland. Then I saw it. And now running back. Grabbed my phone, but it was too quick. Definitely a mouse, but I think too big for that actually. I'm semi-confident it was a rat.
Full story
December 2023
Frankfurt Airport, Germany


Flying

SKP Primeclass
My first time in North Macedonia. My first time at the Skopje International Airport (SKP). By some luck of draw, I had won a Lufthansa upgrade bid with the minimum bid (70€) and was flying out on business class. So.. one should be able to visit a lounge, right?
Full story
December 2023
Skopje International Airport, Skopje, North Macedonia


Flying

Popova Shapka
Popova Shapka is one of the major ski resorts in North Macedonia. Perhaps THE major resort even. At the time I was there, however, in early season it had not yet opened. Wanted to see it though.
Full story
December 2023
Popova Shapka, Tetovo, North Macedonia


Skiing (None); Caving (None)

Sunken church
Interesting. A sunken church, abandoned in the face of rising waters for a dam built in 1952. The Old Mavrovo Church is repeated submerged, and as a result has been considerably damaged, e.g., the roof has caved in.
Full story
December 2023
Old Mavrovo Church, Mavrovo, North Macedonia


Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Popova Shapka mini-cave
On my trip to North-Macedonia, I drove by an interesting rock formation on the way to the Popova Shapka ski area above the town of Tetovo. I did not have time to explore other caves, and this one wasn't much of a cave either. But in Finland it would qualify as a cave. A small crack in an eroded rock feature sticking out.
Full story
December 2023
Guri i Sidollit mini-cave, Popova Shapka, Tetovo, North Macedonia


Caving (Rock,Rock-Unknown,Morphology-Crack,Basic)

Villa Bisera saunas
Lake Ohrid is a wonderful, large lake in southern part of North Macedonia. Very clear water! I wanted to recommend a hotel on the east side, few kilometers from the town of Ohrid. The Villa Bisera is a nice hotel, but I was particularly struck by their saunas in the hotel rooms. In the summer they also have outdoor pools.
Full story
December 2023
Villa Bisera, Lagadin, North Macedonia


Sauna

Grani slope opening day
In 2023, the Grani ski slope opened on 2nd of December. I walked to the hill, a nice experience in the cold morning weather. And I feel lucky for having a ski hill within walking distance, maybe a bit over a kilometer away. On the way back (unless the roads are sanded) it is also downhill, so I can ski big parts of it.
Full story
December 2023
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Caves of Castel Gandolfo
I had an opportunity visit Castel Gandolfo recently. While I had been there briefly before, it was clear that there'd be more to explore. Castel Gandolfo sits on the rim of the lake Lago Albano, and also near Lago di Nemi. These lakes are beautiful places but also with interesting geology, both being volcanic craters.
Full story
November 2023
Arte e Vino*, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Grotta Neolitica**, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Piccola Grotta Neolitica al Lago***, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Minuscola Grotta al Lago****, Castel Gandolfo, Italy


Caving* (Man-Made,Rock,Basic); Caving** (Rock,Rock-Volcanic,None,Morphology-Erosion); Caving*** (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Volcanic,Morphology-Erosion); Caving**** (Rock,Basic,Rock-Volcanic,Morphology-Erosion)

Riihivuori, what a nice place to ski at!
Coming back from my visit at the bat cave headquarters, I was faced with a choice: drive straight home with my crappy car and minimize risk of breakdown? Or detour extra two hours via Jyväskylä and visit the a ski hill that I've never been on, Riihivuori? They had just opened... in the end I took the risk. And wow, was it worth it!
Full story
November 2023
Riihivuori, Jyväskylä, Finland


Skiing

Night at the batcave headquarters
What a wonderful experience, pre-Xmas party with my caver friends, in a Lava (angled shelter by the fire) and Palju (a barrel of hot water). What could be better? Oh yeah, we had also interesting talks about explorations in Norway, Turku, and ... also our own Käsivarsi exploration in the summer.
Full story
November 2023
Ilvesjoki Caving Association Headquarters, Ilvesjoki, Finland


Caving (None,Social)

Prague lounge shower
Good basic lounge, and with a shower cabin & with towels. Nice.
Full story
November 2023
Prague international airport, Prague, Czech Republic


Travel; Flying

Kauniainen-Prague by train
Yet another business trip by train! Had lots of fun, stopping at the head office in Sweden, riding the night train while hacking software with my colleagues... and much less CO2! Need to do this again.
Full story
November 2023
Hilton Prague, Prague, Czech Republic


Travel

Another CREG Journal Article
This summer I managed to write another article to the cave radio expert group's journal, the CREG journal. This time the article was about cave-outliner, and turning 3D models into maps, slices, and plan views.
Full story
October 2023
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (None,Media,Researching,Equipment)

Day of caving but no luck
I had great plans, but they all failed. Either the caves I visited turned out to be man-made, they were too small and I had to let them go, I didn't find them, or I arrived to late and they were already closed. So much for my effort to visit five new caves on my way from the conference to the airport.
Full story
November 2023
Jeskyné Klemperka*, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Jeskyné Klemperka underground hole*, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Jeskyné Klemperka side apartment**, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Kokořín shelter cave 1*, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Kokořín shelter cave 2*, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Jeskyné Rozbořenka**, Kokořín, Czech Republic; Jeskyné Wernerovka**, Medonosy-Libéchov, Czech Republic; Wernerovka firepit shelter cave***, Medonosy-Libéchov, Czech Republic; Wernerovka mini cavelet*, Medonosy-Libéchov, Czech Republic; Konépruské Jeskyné***, Konéprusy, Czech Republic; Kodska Jeskyné***, Srbska, Czech Republic


Caving* (Rock-Sandstone,Basic,Rock,Morphology-Erosion); Caving** (Rock-Sandstone,Basic,Rock,Man-Made); Caving*** (Rock,None)

Wurmberg: Busy Skihill in Harz
I've never heard of this place. But, it is a cozy national park, relaxing, forest, some caves around... and it is also a 971 meter high mountain, the highest in Lower Saxony. So obviously there's a ski resort with lifts. Including a gondola! The views are nice, the weather like sunny, and to my luck there was also some fresh snow on the sides of the ski slopes. Can't complain.
Full story
February 2022
Wurmberg, Harz, Germany


Skiing

Late fall swim
It is always a bit sketchy to visit our summer cottage in late fall. It is cold, freezing, the facilities are pretty basic, and if the road is icy we can't cope with the steep hills on the road. Not with my crap car at least. But, it always ends up being a wonderful visit. Dipped in the cold lake once at least, had a wonderful warm sauna in glowing fire light, the lake and sunsets were beautiful. And I saw for the first time northern lights! Amazing that I have not succeeded in seeing them before, but for some reason not.
Full story
October 2023
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Sauna; Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake)

Opening day + 1 at Vihti... at children's slope...
Wow, I missed the opening the day by one day, but no matter. The slopes at Vista are running at full speed! Or slope, rather. There's just the children's training slope. And full speed is not exactly Ludicrous Speed, it felt a bit like standing on a carpet and waiting for it to move. For sure it was worth to pay 39€ for the lift ticket to ski on this for an hour? Still, wonderful. Everyone seemed to be having a lot of good time. I did too! Kudos to Vihti, Hyvinkää, and Talma opening their slopes so early this year!
Full story
October 2023
Vihti ski, Vihti, Finland


Skiing

Love a swim and smell of kerosine in the morning!
I was in a conference at the Arland airport this week, in the "Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport Terminal" as they like to call it :-) It is directly connected to the shopping and restaurant space of the airport, one does not have to walk outside to get here. But the really cool thing is their rooftop pool. One can enjoy a warm outdoor pool while breathing fresh air mixed with some kerosine smell. Love it! Particularly in the mornings!
Full story
October 2023
Clarion Hotel Arland Airport, Arlanda, Sweden


Swimming (Outdoor,Waterbody-Pool,Water); Sauna

Go-Around from HEL
It did wake me up! The Finnair A320, OH-LXD, was landing late in the night. Suddenly the engines were turned higher up and the plane started rising. A few minutes later the captain announced that due to unexpectedly high tailwinds, they could not slow down quickly enough to land. So around we went...
Full story
October 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flying

Second-hand clothing store at my airport!
I don't fly as much as I used to, so it was the first time I saw the Helsinki-Vantaa airport new shops. These include a nicely decorated and expanded Moomin shop and a second-hand clothing store. Very nice! Nothing for men / sports, however.. maybe next time.
Full story
September 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flying; Travel

Hotel Mariasteinerhof saunas
Mariastein is a small village near the highway leading from Innsbruck to Munich. It is centrally located for excursions to the Austrian alpine resorts, e.g., one hour away from the end of the Zillertal valley and the Hintertux summer ski center. One of the nice hotels in Mariastein is the Mariasteinerhof. They have four saunas in their spa section, two Finnish saunas, one steam room, and one infrared sauna. Nice!
Full story
September 2023
Hotel Mariasteinerhof, Mariastein, Austria


Sauna (Normal,Steam,Infrared)

Sunny, Extremely Icy
Birthday. I needed some skiing for that. And, the only real skiing on this side of the planet was in Hintertux, the friendly location for year-around skiing on the glaciers. Sadly, the glaciers are shrinking. Now on first of October their state in Hintertux was worse than last year in the worst of the summer in the end of August. That's not good. But, some ice left. A bit of snow also on top in some places, even some unskied snow! But wow, were the main slopes icy. Extremely icy, as the weather forecast indicated.
Full story
(TGR version)
October 2023
Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria


Skiing

Korkberget fun
Korkberget is my favorite local cave. Also one of Finland's largest block caves, even if you don't get to go very dark while going through the cave; in most places you can see entrances and light between the boulders. But it is a wonderful sight, a great squeeze exercise, and nice back massage. And clearly an opportunity to practice much needed flexibility by the cavers :-)
Full story
September 2023
Korkbergetin lohkareluola, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders)

Viking Ice
Wow, I had been here before but ... did not see this coming! There's also an ice room in the Viking Glory spa department. Nice! A real sauna (actually, one joint and two separated), a steam sauna (joint) and then the ice room!
Full story
September 2023
Viking Glory, Stockholm, Sweden


Sauna (Normal,Steam,Other)

Grani Igen
Such bliss. A quiet swimming pool, almost an empty sauna and showers... now we are visiting the Kauniainen (Grani) swimming hall. It is one of the oldest and most basic swimming halls in the areas around Helsinki. And it may be torn down; but for now it means low prices, quietness, and space.
Full story
September 2023
Kauniaisten uimahalli, Kauniainen, Finland


Sauna; Swimming (Indoor,Water,Waterbody-Pool)

Screaming Underground
I've been here many times before, but doing it with my friends this time made me realize an annoying thing. We visited the Itäkeskus swimming hall, a wonderful underground creation. But... one of the nicest pools in a rock-dug hole was painful when kids were screaming at the full power of their lungs. And it is a massive echo chamber. In fact, the entire swimming hall is quite bad at acoustics; hard surfaces for the sounds to bounce off.
Full story
September 2023
Itäkeskuksen uimahalli, Helsinki, Finland


Sauna (Normal,Steam); Swimming (Indoor,Water,Waterbody-Pool); Urban-Exploration (Bunkers)

A Finnish Caving Buffet
If your caving friend was coming over for a weekend, what would you show about the Finnish caving scene? Here's our menu for a caving buffet, covering everything from ice saunas to block caves to cracks in granite, mines, limestone caves, to salmon meals to ... did I already mention saunas? Not to forget Sibelius for dessert!
Full story
September 2023
Viking Glory*, Stockholm, Sweden; Luolavuoren luola**, Turku, Finland; Rotkoluola***, Kaarina, Finland; Itäkeskuksen uimahalli, Helsinki, Finland****; House Arkko*****, Kauniainen, Finland; Högberget******, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Ansabunkkeri*******, Siuntio, Finland; Korkbergetin lohkareluola********, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Hvitträsk cliff*********, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Sauna* (Normal,Steam,Other); Caving** (Basic,Rock,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Boulders,Equipment); Caving*** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack,Equipment); Sauna**** (Normal,Steam); Swimming**** (Water,Waterbody-Pool,Indoor); Travel*****; Caving****** (Basic,,Rock,Equipment,Morphology-Erosion); Urban-Exploration******* (Bunkers); Caving******** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders); Urban-Exploration********* (Historic-Sites)

More lights testing, now in Torhola
We continued the sampling of the best Finnish caves on our weekend tour, as well as played more with the nice lights we had. (Previous light story was here.)
Full story
September 2023
Torholan luola, Lohja, Finland


Caving (Basic,Equipment,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst)

Mine sauna
I've been here before, but it is always refreshing: the Tytyri kaivos keeps having less miners but more and more tourists and elevator researchers. This time we found a treasure: a sauna in the depths of the mine, on level 80.
Full story
September 2023
Tytyrin kaivos, Lohja, Finland


Sauna; Urban-Exploration (Mines)

Caves on crack
A canyon. A wonder of nature that I did not know existed in Finland. Amazing, truly amazing green views! A place so secret that I do not wish to even tell its name or coordinates, for fear of leading more traffic to this delicate natural place. The place is near Turku, however. Let's call the it "Kaarinan rotkoluola" (Kaarina crack cave). You may ask how we knew about this place. We had a friend with us with knowledge... so here we were.
Full story
September 2023
Rotkoluola, Kaarina, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack,Equipment)

Testing new lights in the Luolavuori cave
Our first stop on the grand tour of southern Finland caves was in Turku, in the Luolavuori cave (The Cave Mountain Cave :-) ). We ended up trying for fun various lights, an oil lamp and a new Black Diamond headlamp that supports not just white but also red, green, and blue light. Very nice effects!
Full story
September 2023
Luolavuoren luola, Turku, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Boulders,Equipment)

More Husbyfun: Husbybadet
While skiing in Husby, I saw something which I wanted to return to: Husbybadet, the local community swimming hall.
Full story
September 2023
Husbybadet, Husby, Stockholm, Sweden


Swimming (Indoor,Water,Waterbody-Pool); Sauna

Husby Ishall: September Skiing
I had a much needed trip to see colleagues in Kista. Took the train and the boat and the bus this time... not too bad of a travel mode. Also, since the month is soon over I had to find a place to ski. Mini-skis and the snow pile by the Husby ice skating rink did the trick. Maybe three turns. At least. All obviously on different runs on this half a meter high mountain. September skiing is now done!
Full story
(TGR version)
September 2023
Husby Ishall, Husby, Stockholm, Sweden


Skiing

Limestone in the Käsivarsi area
As part of our exploration trip to the Njiellalanjávri area, we scouted all signs of limestone around lakes Njiellalanjávri, Toskaljärvi, Veajetjávrrit, and Láfoljávri lakes, and the mountains in between. In some cases limestone was easy to identify, known to be limestone, in other cases it was not so easy to identify by non-experts. But we think we made a reasonable analysis, and found quite many places where there is at least potential limestone. There's plenty of loose rock pieces that are clearly limestone, but the more interesting target for us were ground rock layers. Or larger collections of potential limestone rock pieces that might indicate a ground rock layer would be somewhere nearby.
Full story
August 2023
Toskaljärven maanalainen joki*, Enontekiö, Finland; Njiellalanjávri**, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárrit***, Enontekiö, Finland


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,Researching); Hiking**; Climbing***

Small holes ... cavelets (?) ... caves (?) in the Njiellalanjávri mountains
As part of our exploration trip to the Njiellalanjávri area, we scouted all possible cave holes around lakes Njiellalanjávri, Toskaljärvi, Veajetjávrrit, and Láfoljávri lakes, and the mountains in between. We also scouted for limestone (see separate article).
Full story
August 2023
Láfolvárritin rinteen lohkareluolanen*, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfoljávrin jyrkänteen kolmioluolanen**, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen lippaluola lohkareella***, Enontekiö, Finland; Skaidin pikkukolot****, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven maanalainen joki*****, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven jyrkänteen lohkareluolanen******, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven jyrkänteen vesiputouksen lohkareluolanen*******, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen puronuomaluolanen********, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen lohkarealusta*********, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin lohkare**********, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven jyrkänteen kolo***********, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen oviaukkokolo************, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen sivuhalkeama 1*************, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen sivuhalkeama 2**************, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen alempi lippaluolanen***************, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin harjanteen ylempi lippaluolanen****************, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin pieni halkeamaluolanen*****************, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfolvárritin minihalkeama******************, Enontekiö, Finland; Veajetoaivon lippaluolanen*******************, Enontekiö, Finland; Veajetjávrritin kanjonin luolanen********************, Enontekiö, Finland; Láfoljávrin jyrkänteen paperiluolanen*********************, Enontekiö, Finland


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack); Caving** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack); Caving*** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack); Caving**** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack); Caving***** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,Surveying); Caving****** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Boulders); Caving******* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Boulders); Caving******** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Boulders); Caving********* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Boulders); Caving********** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Boulders); Caving*********** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving************ (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving************* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving************** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving*************** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving**************** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving***************** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving****************** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving******************* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying,Morphology-Crack); Caving******************** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Unknown,Morphology-Unknown); Caving********************* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Unknown,Morphology-Unknown)

Malmin uimahalli (Malmi swimming hall)
The Malmi swimming hall is one of the halls operated by Urheiluhallit Oy, a corporation running several sports facilities in Helsinki. For some reason I had never been there, had not even heard about it. I ended up visiting on its 40th birthday celebration. Quite an achievement, though undoubtedly achieved through several major renovations. In its current state, the hall is quite modern and nice.
Full story
September 2023
Malmin uimahalli, Malmi, Helsinki, Finland


Swimming (Indoor,Water,Waterbody-Pool)

Not just a lifebuoy
I had not seen this before, but at the Oittaa beach on the Bodom lake there's a clever "lifebuoy", with integrated emergency boat for the rescuers to use. Very nice! We need more of these!
Full story
September 2023
Oittaan uimaranta, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (None)

Punkaharju: Beaches of the Road of the Century
Vuosisadan tie (road of the century) or Punkaharjun Harjutie is a road built on a narrow ridge between two lakes, Puruvesi and Pihlajavesi. The road runs for several kilometers and at times the ridge is barely wider than the road. The views and the nature around the road are very beautiful, pictures of this road and ridge some of the classic Finnish tourist pictures.
Full story
August 2023
Vuosisadan tien uimaranta, Punkaharju, Finland; Kuikonniemen uimaranta, Punkaharju, Finland


Swimming (Water,Outdoor,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Hospitz sauna and beach
You have to agree that the name is weird, but regardless of that, Hotel Hospitz is a nice boutique hotel in Savonlinna's city center. It is small, just few rooms in two floors. But it has a bookable sauna in the basement, with direct access to the beach in front. Such a nice swim!
Full story
August 2023
Hotelli Hospitz, Savonlinna, Finland


Sauna; Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Láfolvárri - one of highest mountains in Finland
Woohoo, climbed one of the highest mountains in Finland! But I shouldn't mention it was only 1000 meters and few meters over. And just 250 meters to climb to from where we were. Still, a nice view. And most importantly, the only place in the neighborhood where we could get connectivity to mobile networks! Yay social networks!
Full story
August 2023
Láfolvárrit, Enontekiö, Finland


Climbing

Njiellalanjávri swim
Our caving expedition to the Käsijärvi wilderness area involved camping and research around the Njiellalanjávri lake. Of course, I had to swim there every night to clean myself of the day's sweat and dirt :-) Even if it was cold. Well, maybe these more like quick dips into the lake. Anyway, spectacularly nice water and scenery!
Full story
August 2023
Njiellalanjávri, Enontekiö, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake)

Särkijärvi Sauna
Särkijärven Majat is a small collection of villages in Särkijärvi, unsurprisingly by the lake Särkijärvi :-) We stayed there on our way to the Käsivarsi wilderness high up north.
Full story
August 2023
Särkijärven Majat, Muonio, Finland


Sauna

The Njiellalanjávri expedition
Last week I went with Jarmo Ruuth and Duncan Simey to look at Njiellalajävri lake and surroundings in the Käsivarsi wilderness area. This is a far-away area almost at the Norwegian border. We saw no one in the area except for a few reindeer. There are not even common hiking paths. The Internet knows very little about this lake, not even a picture. Despite the incredible beauty of the lakes and the rock! We knew the area only through satellite images, geological surveys and maps.
Full story
August 2023
Njiellalanjávri*, Enontekiö, Finland; Toskaljärven maanalainen joki**, Enontekiö, Finland


Caving* (None,Research); Caving** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,Researching); Hiking*; Flying*

August turns: Check
Mini skis. Lapland. Helicopter. Heli-mini-skiing? And big mistakes and miracle rescues. In any case, the turns for August have been completed. I have to ski every month because not doing so would break the long streak.
Full story
(TGR version)
August 2023
Kopmajoken sivurotko, Enontekiö, Finland


Skiing

Rokokallio re-scan
The Finnish Caving Association had a nice meet-up in May ... we went to the Rokokallio, a high cliff in Vihti. High for Finland at least :-) Everybody joined... men, women, and dogs... and I worked with Ralf to systematically go through the cliff area and take positions and photos of all the caves. There's a total of 21 underground holes in the cliff and under boulders, though a few the holes are perhaps too small to be proper caves. We used Ralf's addition to the association's cave database user interface (Psgeo) to make the getting of the positions easy.
Full story
May 2023
Ahdas luolanen**, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Halkeamaluola****, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Hiotun kiven luola***, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Jakoluola**, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Kahden kolon luola****, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Kallionkololuola*, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Kivenalusluola**, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Kivikasan luola**, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Käytäväluola**, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Lippaluola*, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Lohkareenalusluola**, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Pikkuhalkeamaluolanen*, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Pikkukiven alusluolanen**, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Pikkulippaluolanen****, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Päällysluola****, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Pääluola*, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Päänuotiopaikan luola****, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Syvä halkeamaluola****, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Terävän kiven alusluola**, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Toinen nuotiopaikan luola****, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Yläkolon luolanen*, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Boulders); Caving** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders); Caving*** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Erosion); Caving**** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Crack)

Union Square pool
I'm staying at the Parc 55 hotel in San Francisco. It does not have a pool, but the same chain runs the next door hotel, the Hilton Union Square, so guests in my hotel can use their pool. It is up on the 16th floor. Pictured above at night from the 41st floor...
Full story
July 2023
Hilton Union Square, San Francisco, California, USA


Swimming (Outdoor,Waterbody-Pool,Water)

The REAL Postojnska Jama
Riding the train to the inside of the Postojna cave in Slovenia. The ride takes eight minutes through wonderful cave scenery. And then the actual cave tour starts, lasting an hour and a half. Is this the best show cave in the world???
Full story
July 2023
Postojna Cave, Postojna, Slovenia


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,Showtour)

The Iron Lung Sauna
How about some iron lung therapy to go with your sauna visit?
Full story
July 2023
Aparthotel Vila Minka, Ljubljana, Slovenia


Sauna (Infrared)

Slovenia lakes swim
My personal favorite lake was the Lake Bohinj (above pic). Pristine, clear water, almost no signs of civilization long the lake shores and the green-covered mountains around. Wonderful, just wonderful. But Lake Bled was also good, obviously with more castles and other human structures and services around...
Full story
July 2023
Lake Bohinj beach, Bohinj, Slovenia; Grajsko kopališče, Lake Bled, Bled, Slovenia


Swimming (Outdoor,Waterbody-Lake,Water,Beach)

Ljubljana Airport
What a wonderful airport and mountainous approach!
Full story
July 2023
Ljubljana Airport, Ljubljana, Slovenia


Flying

Skiing in San Francisco... in a garage... on a treadmill
Wow. I did not plan for this. But when I learned that this was possible, I just had to go. One hour of my Sunday.... spent skiing in downtown San Francisco. In what looks like a garage. And a sloping treadmill. But, make no mistake. Contrary to my usual style, this is not a crackpot hobbyist scheme, but a commercial operation, the Adventurous Sports. And a place to spot and correct your technique, for the treadmill gives you no room to be sloppy with your form.
Full story
July 2023
Adventurous Sports, San Francisco, California, USA


Skiing (Indoor,Substance-Other)

Flying the Marimekko 350
lying again Finnair's Marimekko-decorated A350, OH-LWL. Nice.
Full story
July 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flying

The HOT lounge
No, HOT is not a new low-cost airline. It is literally the hottest airport lounge anywhere, ever. True statement! Finnair's Platinum lounge at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport sports a sauna. A dark colored, nice proper sauna. Respect!
Full story
July 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Sauna; Flying

Venice again, no skiing, just heat
Many years ago, I tried to find some skiing inVenice. No luck, could not score any snow from local skating rinks, so was unable to plaster the Calatrava Bridge with snow... sad... or maybe good. This year we went back there.
Full story
July 2023
Venice, Italy


Skiing (None);Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Predjama Castle
I had only heard about the Postojna Cave before coming to Slovenia. But it turns out that there are many caves (of course) as well as many very interesting or famous cave sites. Right next to the Postojna cave, a 10 minute car ride away for instance is the Predjama Castle, which is world's largest castle built in a cave.
Full story
July 2023
Predjama Castle, Postojna, Slovenia


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst); Urban-Exploration (Military,Castles,Historic-Sites)

July Desperation
This is a difficult month. Again. But, Leppävaara to the rescue! A constant stream of fresh snow is being delivered outside the ice skating rink. So why not make a ski hill on the nearby slope?
Full story
July 2023
Leppävaaran jäähalli, Espoo, Finland


Skiing

Northern Croatia swim
On our tour of Slovenia's Piran, we also peeked on the Croatian side, and had a swim in the Polynesia Beach in the town of Umag. Little did we know that the ruins we started our swim from were actually the ruins of the Sipar Castle from A.D. 1000 or thereabouts. Some have even called this place the Atlantis of Sipar. Interesting!
Full story
July 2023
Polynesia Beach, Umag, Croatia


Swimming (Outdoor,Waterbody-Sea,Water,Beach); Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites,Castles)

Walls of Piran
Piran is a medieval town on the coast of Slovenia. A wonderful town, clearly retaining its historic parts. The protective walls of the city date back to the 7th century, and can be toured for a nominal fee. Much recommended.
Full story
July 2023
Walls of Piran, Piran, Slovenia


Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites,Castles); Flying

Lonely little cave that no one notices
We were driving back from the technical museum of Slovenia - a massive museum, by the way, well worth visiting. Then there was a hole in a cliff we drove by. I had to stop. The cliff was next to a parking lot and a bus stop, in town of Notranje Gorice near Ljubljana. No one was paying any attention... too many nice caves in this country, I guess. I decided to call the cave the Forgotten Cave. And I did go in.
Full story
July 2023
Forgotten Cave, Notranje Gorice, Slovenia


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Unknown)

Final nail to the rust bucket?
Crisis to crisis, which one will be the final nail to the rust bucket? Now the steering gear and rack are toast, no parts. And then they make you drive a Prius.
Full story
July 2023
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

Here again... sigh
It seems as if it wasn’t that long ago since we were here… maybe because it wasn’t… so here we are again. The front supports and few other parts needed replacing so that the car wouldn’t feel coming apart on small bumps. And power steering kept making noises. Much of that but not all fixed now; still looking for a part that at the moment looks like it doesn’t exist. Saga will continue … maybe
Full story
July 2023
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

For once, a nice airport cart
Saw an interesting passenger assistance cart at Heathrow today. Actually, would have wanted that service, given my troubles with my feet...
Full story
July 2023
Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom


Flying

Dogs and kids, unfazed by a cave
Took some dogs and kids to a cave today, the Högberget cave in Kirkkonummi (near Peuramaa). Amazingly, none of them were particularly impressed or interested. Just another place, moving on to picnics and computer gaming or peeing on plants and light poles... which is ok and natural.
Full story
July 2023
Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Caving (Basic,,Rock,Equipment,Morphology-Erosion)

A year of walking.. and then, sigh
Just one day after completing my year of walking, I'm a cripple. Sigh. I can barely walk to the bathroom, let alone go outside. Problems with joints.
Full story
July 2023
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Hiking

A year of walking
Completed my first year of tracking steps, not super much and all of it slow. But still yearly avg 12500 per day. Highest monthly day average was 19200 on the month where my hotel was 5km from the conference, and I kept making several trips per day. And highest daily count was 63000 when I walked to the office and back (43km, took eight hours).
Full story
July 2023
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Hiking

Solbergabadet igen
Once again I'm in the caving meet-up, camping out on the beach. And since I'm an early riser, keep taking off from the camp at 6am and heading to the Visby swimming hall, the Solbergabadet. Very nice. Quiet, not crowded, showers, bathrooms, saunas, and the pool. Great experience!
Full story
June 2023
Solbergabadet, Visby, Gotland, Sweden


Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Pool,Indoor)

Swim break
Phew, finally at the my summer cottage. Time for a swim break for everybody, including the unicorns!
Full story
June 2023
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Lake,Outdoor)

Kaleva swim. 2x.
I was looking for a visit in the Tampere swimming halls on the way to my summer cottage. It turned out that just on that day most of the halls closed for the summer. Bummer, I thought, and grudgingly decided to go for the remaining one. Little did I know that the Kalevala swimming hall - or Tampereen Uintikeskus as it is officially called - would be a truly magnificent place. Perhaps one of Finland's greatest swimming halls?
Full story
June 2023
Tampereen uintikeskus, Tampere, Finland


Swimming (Indoor,Outdoor,Waterbody-Pool,Water); Sauna

Can you believe there's a swimming hall here?
I've lived in and around(*) Espoo for 35 years. And I often go to the swimming halls. How is it then that I've never visited Olari's swimming hall? I think I've heard about it, but had forgotten about its existence until looking for pools that I have not visited in the Helsinki region the other day.
Full story
June 2023
Olarin uimahalli, Olari, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Indoor,Waterbody-Pool,Water); Sauna

More pictures from the Suomenoja boulder
I was going through pictures of caves I visited, and noticed that I had not published some pictures from the Suomenoja luge boulder that we visited in 2016... so here's some photos!
Full story
May 2016
Suomenojan siirtolohkare, Espoo, Finland


Caving (Basic,Morphology-Boulders,Rock,Rock-Gneiss)

Hakunila swim
Another day, another new swimming hall to visit: Hakunilan uimahalli. Not a bad place! Very nice, modern saunas (incl. steam saunas) and many pools: cold plunge, main 25 m metallic pool, therapy pool with two sides, two kiddie pools. Congrats to Hakunila!
Full story
June 2023
Hakunilan uimahalli, Vantaa, Finland


Swimming (Water,Indoor,Waterbody-Pool); Sauna (Normal,Steam)

Finnair's European A350 routes
I've occasionally ended in a wide-body A350 flight flown by Finnair, on an intra-European route. Turned out that this week I got two experience two of them in different cities: Brussels and Amsterdam. The third route that they regularly fly is London Heathrow.
Full story
May 2023
Brussels Airport, Brussels, Belgium; Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Flying; Travel

One kilometer walkway tunnel
This tunnel appeared on my walk while visiting Rotterdam. I was walking from my hotel to the conference venues, as a like to do to keep my step counts up :-) And as one expects, there are some waterways to cross in the Netherlands cities :-) I thought there'd be a bridge though. But no, it was a tunnel. It was only in the tunnel and later in Wikipedia that Maastunnel is actually 1070 meters long that crosses the Niewwe Maas.
Full story
May 2023
Maastunnel, Rotterdam, Netherlands


Urban-Exploration (Tunnels)

The Golden Gate of Sääksmäki
We visited an old, not so big, but quite famous bridge in Finland. This used to be on the main road, but since the opening of the highway from Helsinki to Tampere, it is no longer getting as much traffic as before. The bridge is still beautiful, though.
Full story
May 2023
Sääksmäen silta, Valkeakoski, Finland


Urban-Exploration (Bridges)

400K
This is not about the U.S. retirement investment scheme 401K. This is about my car reaching a respectable level of 400 thousand kilometers.
Full story
May 2023
Sääksmäen silta, Valkeakoski, Finland


Car

The Tampere Lenin Museum
In this room in Tampere, Lenin and Stalin met for the first time. Yeah. What can I say? This is a historic site and hence worth seeing. Even if I don't like their autocratic, oppressive ways. Communism as implemented in Soviet Union caused misery and death. Stalin alone got tens of millions people killed and masses of the population sent to Gulags. His legacy unfortunately continues to drive today's autocratic despots, and allows these rulers to wage wars while having total control of their populations.
Full story
May 2023
Lenin museo, Tampere, Finland


Travel; History

Uimahalli Aurinkoinen
I have both bad and fond memories from my childhood and the swimming pool in Kerava. The one bad memory is from someone stealing my pocket money at age 11 or something. Well lesson learned, about leaving money in pockets without lockers :-) Might have lost a whopping half a euro. This happened in the old outdoor pool setup that they had in the 1970s. But the many, many happy memories are particularly from the new swimming hall, one of the first ones in Finland that was built to "spa" like standards in the 1980s. I visited this place so often!
Full story
May 2023
Uimahalli Aurinkoinen, Kerava, Finland


Swimming (Indoor,Waterbody-Pool)

Petnička pećina
Petnička pećina is an old but abandoned show cave in the limestone rock hills near the town Ваљево (Valjevo), Serbia. While only 600 meters long, the cave feels massive due to its vertical differences and the high halls. Just look the two people in the above picture for scale. And the "eyes" in the ceiling! The cave is also Europe's largest cave tomb.
Full story
June 2023
Petnička pećina, Ваљево, Serbia


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst)

More parts falling off
Parts falling off (while driving).
Full story
May 2023
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Talviturkki moment of 2023
In Finnish there is an expression "heittää talviturkki" or "throw one's winter fur coat". It means the first time swimming in outdoor waters that year. For me it was as late as mid-May in 2023. Oh, and then there were some needles in my bath whisk...
Full story
May 2023
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Swimming (Water,Outdoor,Waterbody-Lake); Sauna (Normal)

Kalemegdan bunker
In the Kalemegdan park / Belgrade Fortress there's also a bunker. This is a bunker Tito ordered to be built, and it was constructed in early 1950s. It has two gun ports (now closed), and it is today an open museum that you can visit.
Full story
May 2023
Belgrade Fortress Bunker, Belgrade, Serbia


Urban-Exploration (Ruins,Military,Bunkers)

Only crappy parts with this car
While I was away, they replaced the door with a used one from the car wreckers. It is dark so hard to see, but initial reaction at home is that it doesn’t fit because “it is clean and not rusted at all unlike the rest of the car”.
Full story
May 2023
Autotrio, Espoo, Finland


Car

Trust me, it is NOT a watertower
It does look very weird. For some reason I thought it was a water tower. It is in the town of Oberreid in the Black Forest area in Southern Germany, near Freiburg. But ... it is in fact a defense against against nuclear weapons and natural disasters...
Full story
May 2023
Barbarastollen, Oberried, Germany


Urban-Exploration (Towers)

Burg Hohenzollern
It is an imposing, massive castle on top of a high hill. Worth a visit!
Full story
May 2023
Burg Hohenzollern, Hechingen, Germany


Urban-Exploration (Castles)

Bärenhöhle
Bärenhöhle: small cave by Central European standards, but a wonderful place to visit. And easy. A nice hike to a lush valley on a path and there you are. Water is flowing from the cave, dropping through the steps of rocks... moss has painted the cave green... there's a bit of climbing if you want to get to the end of the cave. Very nice!
Full story
May 2023
Bärenhöhle*, Rodalben, Germany; Bärenhöhle side cavelet 1**, Rodalben, Germany; Bärenhöhle side cavelet 2**, Rodalben, Germany


Caving* (Basic,Rock-Limestone,Surveying); Caving** (Basic,Rock-Limestone)

No sauna power for me
"The sauna is only open until 10pm". But I was coming in later, so I wanted to know if I could use it in any case. They said I could, if I was quiet. However... I couldn't turn the sauna on.
Full story
May 2023
Schloss Dagstuhl, Dagstuhl, Wadern, Germany


Sauna (None)

May 1st at the Finnair Lounge
Wow. Munkkeja (donuts). Traditional May 1st delicacy.
Full story
May 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flying

Leaving the car, hoping for a fix
I'm going for a business trip, and I'm dropping the car off on the way to the airport. Let's see ... this could be expensive...
Full story
May 2023
Autotrio, Espoo, Finland


Car

Happy 1st of May!
Traditional 1st of May celebration, on skis. This time on my local hill.
Full story
May 2023
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Hyrylä dust-off
After cleaning up at my mom's, it was time to dust off myself: my first visit to the Tuusula swimming hall. Quite nice. Small, but good saunas, a therapy pool, airy, nice views in the main pool area, etc. Worth a visit!
Full story
April 2023
Tuusulan Uimahalli, Hyrylä, Tuusula, Finland


Swimming (Indoor,Waterbody-Pool,Water)

She's Back!
Well, she's back! The exhaust pipe has been re-attached a bit further away from the hull parts, and everything tightened :-)
Full story
April 2023
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Something is wrong again
Sigh. Something is wrong again. Loud noise when driving over 5km/h over the most minor bumps.
Full story
April 2023
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

I scored a hole-in-one-car
Remember how I left the car for a week+ in the repair shop and for the annual check-up? I have new see-through door … but check up approved. Mostly because I needed to drive the car to the shop that can do the door replace, not because they approved the rusted door … anyone happen to have a right door for a 740?
Full story
April 2023
Autotrio, Espoo, Finland


Car

Good luck with the Volvo...
Wish me good luck. The car is going for the shop to some repairs, and they will take to the annual check. Very unclear if it will ever return to me ...
Full story
April 2023
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

Wiesliczka Salt Mines
Wiesliczka is a suburb of Krakow. Under it is a massive salt mine, extending to a depth of approximately over 300 meters, with the total length of labyrinth passages spanning over 287 kilometers. The use of the site dates back to the 13th century, where the locals would harvest salt from brine (salt concentrate) wells dug on the wetlands. Later in the same century the wells started to be extended as deeper mine shafts and tunnels. Wiesliczka is not just a mine, it is a massive underground world and site of art and history. It is also a well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Full story
January 2023
Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli, Wieliczka, Poland


Urban-Exploration (Mines); Caving (Man-Made,Basic,Rock-Other,Showtour)

Communism is closed, so is the museum
We went to the Krakow Museum of Communistic Poland... it wasn't open, and neither is communism. Would have been very interesting to tour this, but oh well.
Full story
January 2023
Museum of Communistic Poland, Krakow, Poland


Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Rokokallio meet-up
So, as reported earlier, our caving association went to Rokokallio. Very nice to see people in the middle of the pandemic :-) and be in the nature. We ended up exploring most of the caves in the area. Here are some pictures of them.
Full story
July 2020
Pääluola, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Hiotun kiven luola, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Päällysluola, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Päänuotiopaikan luola, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Syvä halkeamaluola, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland; Lippaluola, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland


Caving (Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Boulders,Basic)

Dockyard Garden
Dockyard Garden is an old dry dock in the Yokohama harbor, cornered between some of the highest skyscrapers in Japan. Doors have been cut to the sides of the massive rock walls protecting the dock, to build access to nice restaurants at the bottom.
Full story
March 2023
Dockyard Garden, Yokohama, Japan


Travel; Urban-Exploration (Harbours)

Tale of three ski ... attempts
A tale of three ski … attempts. First, the nice one was in the evening with Dan and Tero in the Snova Shin Yokohama, an indoor facility with interesting “polymer snow” that is complete harmless to human but should be thoroughly washed before leaving 🙂
Full story
April 2023
Snova Shin-Yokohama, Yokohama*, Japan; Sun Meadows Kiyosato Ski Area, Yamanashi**, Japan; Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen***, Finland


Skiing* (Snow,Indoor); Skiing** (Outdoor,Snow,None); Skiing*** (Snow,Outdoor)

A Certificate for Visiting the North Pole!
Finnair gave me a certificate for being on their flight over the North Pole! When I asked the flight attendant about the coordinates (which are not exactly at North Pole), she promised to check with the crew. When she came back, she said that the captain says he doesn't know what coordinates were on the certificate, but that it was probably the marketing department's idea of the location of the North Pole :-)
Full story
April 2023
North Pole, International


Flying

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge
Haneda, Tokyo Internal Airport. Japan Airlines has a very nice lounge... and it was an empty one at the time for the Finnair flight to leave late in the evening.
Full story
April 2023
Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan


Travel; Flying

Sun Meadows Kiyosata ... no skiing for me
It was a great plan. Take trains to the Sun Meadows ski resort in Kiyosata, Nagano prefecture, Japan. And then come back at the end of the day, pick up my luggage from the hotel and head to the airport. In the words, I was on a deadline. And I was illiterate...
Full story
April 2023
Sun Meadows Kiyosato Ski Area, Yamanashi, Japan


Skiing (Outdoor,Snow,None)

More Yokohama Forever Snow
I've been here before. But now I was again in Yokohama for conference, and also had some friends eager to go skiing. After our meetings were over in Friday evening, Dan, Tero, and me got into a taxi and headed to Snova Shin Yokohama.
Full story
March 2023
Snova Shin-Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan


Skiing (Indoor,Snow)

Enoshima Caves
Only in Japan: They have a "candle lending service" at cave. And it is not like it is a dark, lightless place even without the candles - the Enoshima cave has lighting, but obviously the candles are a remarkable addition to the experience. On the other hand, since the candles are actual candles with actual fire, there is now a need to have a fire alarm system, if somebody accidentally sets the cave on fire...
Full story
March 2023
Enoshima Island***, Fujisawa, Japan; Enoshima Iwaya Cave*, Fujisawa, Japan; Enoshima Iwaya Cave 2*, Fujisawa, Japan; Enoshima Iwaya mini cavelet 1*, Fujisawa, Japan; Enoshima Iwaya mini cavelet 2**, Fujisawa, Japan; Shinto Shrine****, Fujisawa, Japan


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Erosion,Showtour); Caving** (None,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Erosion); Hiking***; Travel***; Urban-Exploration**** (Historic-Sites)

Onsen in the backstreets of Yokohama
I didn't like the prospect of using a super expensive conference hotel. Even if I didn't pay for it myself... so I looked for something more affordable, yet with some character.
Full story
March 2023
Hotel Terrace Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan


Swimming (Indoor,Waterbody-Pool)

Trip to the North Pole Full story
March 2023
North Pole*, International; Helsinki-Vantaa**, Vantaa, Finland


Flying*; Sauna**

Phew the car does run
It turns out that after adding coolant and oil, the car seems to be ok. The coolant level... maybe dropping. Needs investigation, but let's see.
Full story
March 2023
Kauniainen shopping mall, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Out of coolant and oil... is that a problem?
Engine heat is jumping around and edging towards the danger zone. I stop to investigate, and there's pressure in the coolant system, but no liquid to be seen anywhere :-) Maybe I should have checked the levels at some point.. not doing it in recent year at least. And I can't see inside the box from outside, without opening it, it is too dirty.
Full story
March 2023
Swinghill, Espoo, Finland


Car

March Swinghill Madness
My March was super busy at work, and I was also away for extended part of the month. I had to put in my March skiing in early. A Saturday with decent weather seemed like what I should do. I opted for going to Swinghill in Nuuksio, a small but nice hill. The visit turned out to be really nice. The restaurant was booked for some private event, so no snacks for me. But there was a fire in the fire pit outside, which I loved.
Full story
March 2023
Swinghill, Espoo, Finland


Skiing

Caged Finnair Plane
The new Berlin airport (Brandenburg Airport, BER) has nice walkways to the plan, with some see-through but not entirely views to the planes.
Full story
March 2023
Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Berlin, Germany


Flying; Travel

Vrnik beaches
Vrnik is a small island off the bigger Korčula island in the Adriatic Sea. Vrnik has only a handful of houses and remnants from its past as a quarry for stones. There are two restaurants, but no shops, and no services. But it has great, clean, beautiful waters. The beaches are rocky but it is a pleasure to swim in them.
Full story
July 2022
Vrnik Beach*, Vrnik, Korcula, Croatia; Vrnik shore**, Vrnik, Korcula, Croatia


Swimming* (Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach); Swimming** (Water,Waterbody-Sea,Nature);

Vrnik Quarries
Otok Vrnik is a small island close to Korcula (town) and the Korcula island. Otok Vrnik's history revolves around quarries ... the whole island is a quarry. Since the activity has stopped hundreds of years ago, there's little that you can see today, but there are some places where big walls of rock are still visible.
Full story
July 2022
Vrnik Quarry, Vrnik, Korcula, Croatia


Urban-Exploration (Quarries)

New ZIF-25 bunker in Siuntio!
We had heard a rumor of a potentially previously unknown bunker in Siuntio. Let's call it the Hoivakodin Bunkkeri (Retirement Home Bunker). It turned out to be accessible -- if you don't mind passing through pieces of concrete hanging by rusting, twisted rebar. And it was a massive one! Another ZIF-25 model bunker, i.e., a two-floor bunker with several entrance tunnels and a side mountain gun port.
Full story
March 2023
Hoivakodin bunkkeri, Siuntio, Finland; Ansabunkkeri, Siuntio, Finland


Urban-Exploration (Bunkers)

Slava Ukraini!
I saw something today that I didn't realize actually existed in our neighborhood. It takes maybe half an hour for me to get from where I live to Siuntio, and there's a nice castle, the Sjundby Castle (or Manor). It was built starting from 1417, by the rapids on the Sjundbyån river. It is not open to the public so maybe that explains why I haven't heard about it.
Full story
March 2023
Sjundbyn linna, Siuntio, Finland


Urban-Exploration (Historic,Castles)

Skiing the Mount Parnassus
Early morning by the olive trees. Too early, but I have a long drive, 3-4 hours from my hotel to Mount Parnassus, a premier ski resort in Greece. It is perhaps the resort that is known, if anyone has heard of any. A quite magnificent ski resort, I think. Slightly lover than the other one that I visited, Kalavrita, but with more slopes, lifts, and because Mount Parnassus stands alone (prominence: 1,590 m) it feels a much bigger mountain. There is a vast area of snow up there, and only tiny fraction of it is in the ski resort. This would be a wonderful place to do so ski touring!
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2023
Parnassos Ski Centre, Polidrosos, Greece


Skiing

Kalavrita: Highest vertical ski resort in Greece
Greece: I have always pictured it as a land of sunshine, warm beaches, and white sand. I clearly had no idea. It is those things, too, particularly in the summer. But in the winter it is surprisingly cold, has a lot of mountainous areas, and yes, IT HAS SNOW AND SKI RESORTS! I tried two of them in February 2023...
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2023
Kalavrita Ski Resort, Kalavrita, Greece


Skiing

3D-printing 3D-scans of caves
Can we copy a cave, by scanning it with an iPhone lidar, then printing a model of the cave using a 3D printer? The short answers is yes, but there's a lot of complexities, and it is not as easy as one might initially think.
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2023
Lukupuro, Espoo, Finland


Caving (None,Surveying,Research)

Kalemegdan Park Castle
There's a castle at the Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade, the Belgrade Fortress.
Full story
December 2022
Belgrade Fortress, Belgrade, Serbia


Urban-Exploration (Ruins,Military,Castles)

Cold swim in Ancient Corinth
Brr. A bit cold, maybe 5 degrees. But no matter. The views are great! And I've never swam in Greece before, so now I have to.
Full story
February 2023
Oliveus Euphoria Resort, Ancient Corinth, Greece


Swimming (Outdoor,Waterbody-Pool,Water)

Cave Lakes: World's Highest Cave Pools in Greece
A loved child has many names: Kastria Cave, Cave Lakes, Troupisio, and, of course, Σπήλαιο των Λιμνών. I'm in Peloponnese, few hours west of Athens. And in the village of Kastria, in the municipal region of Klitoria.
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2023
Cave Lakes, Klitoria, Greece


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,Showtour)

I don't know what this is, but it looks somehow familiar...
Greetings from your sewer inspectors! This adventure in Ancient Corinth, Greece, started in a very promising way: why not visit a cave whose name is Σπηλιά «αιδοίο» της Αφροδίτης, or, Aphrodite's you-know-what? And I have to say, it does look very familiar, in fact it looks exactly like the Finnish Högberget cave. See below:
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2023
Σπηλιά «αιδοίο» της Αφροδίτης, Archea Corinthos, Greece


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Unknown,Surveying)

Tower and Cave in Alíartos
A random discovery while driving through Greece's small mountain towns. A massive hole by the road, with a tower on of the rock hill. This was so sudden that I didn't even think of registering the location or stopping. And I was in a rush to get to the ski area anyway.
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2023
Πύργος Αλιάρτου, Alíartos*, Greece; Σπηλιά Αλιάρτου, Alíartos**, Greece


Urban-Exploration* (Ruins); Caving** (Basic,Rock-Limestone,Surveying)

Beach without sunshine: The Cave of the Seals
Imagine summer. Imagine a nice beach in a southern country, like Greece. Way too hot! How about a beach in a cave, so that you don't have to get sun cream out? This, and so much more you can get in the Cave of the Seals, north of Corinth and Loutraki and on the Perachora peninsula. An hour from Athens.
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2023
Cave of the Seals, Perachora, Greece


Hiking; Caving (Basic,Rock,Morphology-Erosion); Swimming (None,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

I love the smell of ...
... ski boots in the morning.
Full story
February 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Skiing (None); Travel; Flying

The long walk (2023)
I went to the office today by walking. It is about 19 kilometers, and this took nearly four hours in crisp winter weather. But overall, a very nice experience. Was able to listen to some courses, take a conference call, and enjoy some entertainment on my headsets.
Full story
February 2023
Jorvas, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Hiking

Grani, WTF?
Apparently, there's "no winter maintenance" at the Grani ski hill in Kauniainen. Weird. But ok...
Full story
February 2023
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Sunsets in HEL
Not a bad sunset. For HEL(l).
Full story
January 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Travel

You've been assimilated
Close to the place where I live there's a street, Borgintie (Borg street). Maybe I should move there and volunteer to host a mailing address for the Star Trek club...
Full story
January 2023
Borgintie, Kauniainen, Finland


Travel

Jasná Nízke Tatry - Chopok
Our second day of skiing in Slovakia was on Jasná Nízke Tatry, also called Chopok. Chopok is the name of the 2024 meter peak by the highest lift station, few meters lower at 2004 meters. I did climb to the peak as well, going up was easy but coming down was treacherous as it was quite icy. And speaking of ice ... I think either my skis were a bit off sharpness, or the slopes were extremely ice. Actually maybe both. It was difficult to control speed on the steep black runs from the top.
Full story
(TGR version)
January 2023
Jasná Nízke Tatry - Chopok ski area, Demänovská Dolina*, Slovakia; Chopok, Horná Lehota**, Slovakia


Skiing*; Climbing** (Mountain)

Tatranska Lomnica
Foggy day. At the top, at least. No matter. Let's ski.
Full story
(TGR version)
January 2023
Tatranska Lomnica, Vysoké Tatry, Slovakia


Skiing

Finnair lounge Xmas
Colors have been selected correctly!
Full story
January 2023
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flyin

Flying on Air Serbia
I had a rare opportunity to fly Air Serbia. Not quite Aeroflot level ... but I wouldn't trust them :-) Just kidding it was ok.
Full story
December 2022
Belgrade Airport, Belgrade, Serbia


Flying

LEGO snow cat
Want.
Full story
January 2023
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing (None,Equipment)

Testing the new Matinkylä swimming hall
I had an idea to for once visit a swimming pool somewhere yesterday. Pre-pandemic, I might have gone swimming several times a week. The pandemic interrupted that, but even after the pandemic issues are mostly gone, I don't find myself going too often. I've only been to Finnish swimming pools couple of times a year recently. Maybe being too busy, or trying to use the time for walking. Anyway, missing a lot. But what a nice treat the visit to the Matinkylä swimming pools were!
Full story
January 2023
Matinkylän uimahalli, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Water,Indoor,Waterbody-Pool); Sauna

2x ski maintenance, please!
Ski maintenance needed. Make that double! (And maybe on the rocks?)
Full story
January 2023
Ski Service, Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, Finland


Skiing (None,Equipment)

Chopin's Fantazja Executive Lounge
After our original flight was cancelled, I ended up leaving Kraków by taking LOT to Warsaw, and then onto a Finnair evening flight. Sorting out the situation was a hassle, but in the end we got home.
Full story
January 2023
Warsaw Airport, Warsaw, Poland


Flying; Travel

Krakow Business Lounge
When returning from our trip to the Polish mountain regions, we flew out of Kraków's airport. We ended up waiting in the Business Lounge. It turned out that the wait was actually quite long. Our plane circled near the airport for 90 minutes, waiting for the fog to to dissipate.
Full story
January 2023
Krakow Airport, Krakow, Poland


Flying; Travel

Rain, darkness, and wind: GREAT Zakopane ski experience!
Their official name is Koziniec-Ski Sp. z o.o. Czarna Góra - Stacja Narciarska, but I have no idea what any of that means. But they appeared with their lights and ski lifts on from the wet darkness of miserable drive through rain and sleet as we were nearing Zakopane on our return trip from Slovakia. And I needed to ski properly in Poland. In 2011 I was on a through trip and managed to hike up a closed ski hill. Nice, but now I when had an opportunity to ski on an actual open and lit ski slope, I needed to take it!
Full story
January 2023
Koziniec Ski Stacja Narciarska, Nadwodnia, Czarna Góra, Poland


Skiing

Zakopane Aqua Park
A ski vacation would be nothing without a visit to hot pools and saunas! This time we visited the Zakopane Aqua Park in Poland. And obviously in the mountain town of Zakopane.
Full story
January 2023
Zakopane Aqua Park, Zakopane, Poland


Swimming (Waterbody-Pool,Water,Indoor,Outdoor)

Cave inside the Tatra Mountains: Belianska Jaskyňa
Wow, another cave country! Slovakia is I think my 28th country where I've been underground. Belianska Jaskyňa is the largest cave open to the public in the Tatra Mountain region in Slovakia. At the length of 3681 meters it is quite big. And, remarkably the tour actually is quite long, rising over a hundred meters in vertical as well inside the cave. And almost two kilometers long! One of the best walking cave tours I've been on.
Full story
January 2023
Belianska jaskyňa, Vysoké Tatry-Tatranská Kotlina, Slovakia


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,Showtour)

Pećina Beli Kop
Pećina Beli Kop is a small cave in Sremski Karlovci, in mid-western Serbia, northwest of Belgrade. The coordinates are N 45.13654 E 19.85772. The cave sits under a sandstone cliff that appears to have eroded, forming the cave. The cave floor is actually a large sandpit itself, and difficult to walk up and down.
Full story
December 2022
Pećina Beli Kop, Sremski Karlovci, Serbia


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Sandstone,Morphology-Erosion,Surveying)

The hood is fixed .. kind of
Fortunately, I was able to fix the Volvo's hood. It is not perfect, the hood itself was not changed so it has some damage that you can see if you look carefully. But the car's also otherwise clunky, so no problem. But unfortunately, the repair shop was unable to do anything with the root cause of the hood problem, my stupidity.
Full story
December 2022
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

December snow at Vihti
While my car was broken again (long story...) I got a ride from a friend to visit Vihti ski center again. I started my Finnish ski season here in November, but it seems that I'm skiing here again in December. No complaints, it is a great place to ski in. And the snowmageddon in southern Finland has laid plenty of nice powdery stuff on the hill.
Full story
December 2022
Vihti ski, Vihti, Finland


Skiing

Embarrassing
I'm on idiot. There was a minor issue, a broken off air tube. Which is why I had my hood open, trying to figure out what was going on. And completely predictably, I forgot to close it properly in the excitement, and then, once I got on the highway, BAM. Hood resting on the windshield.
Full story
December 2022
Autotrio, Espoo, Finland


Car

Tube from Whistle to Barking
This is all just so London... but all so funny as well. Or not. Perhaps you had to be there...
Full story
November 2022
High Street Kensington station, London, United Kingdom


Travel

Caving images generated by DALL-E
Wow. I've seen DALL-E's pictures from other topics elsewhere previously, but now I tried it myself for caving. And since we just had the pre-Xmas party of our association in the cave, I gave the AI the task of imagining what it would look like. True to its style, the generated images are mixture of amazing with some very disturbing undertones.
Full story
(TGR version)
November 2022
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (Media)

Caver's club Xmas in a cave
The Finnish caving association, Luolaseura, has a tradition to hold pre-Xmas parties. This time we started it in a warm place ... in the Grottberget cave in Siuntio. And it was surprisingly warm, I guess because the cave entrance is lower than the cave itself. And with a dozen cavers in this small cave, it also heated up quickly. I really liked the old style oil lamps. And the cave dog!
Full story
November 2022
Grottbergetin luola, Siuntio, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Social,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crystallization)

London skiing. On a side of a building.
One thing you do not expect when strolling in London is a huge mural on the side of a building, depicting skiing and ski lifts. Well done, South Kensington!
Full story
November 2022
Reece Mews Ski Mural, South Kensington, London, United Kingdom


Skiing (None,Media)

Season is on again! Only six months break in Vihti and Hyvinkää
I opened my official Finnish ski season on 16th of November in Vihti. Vihti actually opened already on the 14th and Hyvinkää had already had sessions from October 24th. The last seasons ended on May 10th in Vihti and May 9th in Hyvinkää, so only 5.5 - 6 months summer break! Well done!
Full story
(TGR version)
November 2022
Vihti ski, Vihti, Finland


Skiing

Far, far away by train-bus-boat
Trying out the slow travel option for a conference in London, left yesterday from Kauniainen, now somewhere between Copenhagen and Hamburg. Trains, boat, couple of buses, walking … 16 legs. Two days, one night but still some opportunities for missed connections or train strikes 🙂 Pretty nice so far, sleeper cabin in the night train and some sauna relaxation on the boat. Noisy stations and choppy sea WiFi have disturbed some conference calls but still workable. Energy savings? Not sure. This is an experience or experiment though.
Full story
November 2022
Turun satama, Turku, Finland; St. Pancras station, London, United Kingdom


Travel

Sauna on a boat
My train trip through Europe also involved one boat ride, from Turku to Stockholm. A day boat... arriving just in time in Stockholm for the night train. But, more importantly, the boat had three nice things going for it: (1) a cabin included in the ridiculously low 30€ price, nice for conference calls and naps, (2) decent restaurants to eat at, and (3) a spa with several saunas and pools, all with views of the archipelago as we were sailing towards Marienhamn.
Full story
November 2022
Maarianhaminan satama, Maarianhamina, Finland


Sauna (Normal,Steam);Swimming (Indoor,Waterbody-Pool)

October turns at the x-country ski hall
The city of Helsinki maintains a previously commercial Kivikko indoor ski hall. It has been scheduled for closing, however, due to rising energy costs and small number of users. Hopefully that decision can be turned! But. It is an *x-country* ski hall, how can one enjoy it for downhill skiing? To begin with, I was wondering if I'd be allowed in with my ski boots and alpine skis. But no one batted an eyelid... and I put them in touring mode, which made progress on the track nice. And then .. there is about a 4-5 meter slope along the track... I switched to "skating" mode and side of the track... voilà!
Full story
(TGR version)
October 2022
Kivikon hiihtohalli, Helsinki, Finland


Skiing (Indoor)

Lost River Caverns
On my work trip to Philadelphia, I also managed to visit the Lost River Caverns, an hour and half from the city. What a wonderful display of colors and cave forms!
Full story
July 2022
Lost River Caverns, Hellertown, Pennsylvania, USA


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,)

Taking the chairlift to September runs
I try to ski every month and September is always a difficult one. Today’s run was short, but with full service.
Full story
(TGR version)
September 2022
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Jabba the Hutt makes an appearance in a Philadelphia cave!
Crystal Caves here, there, everywhere! I had an uncanny feeling that I've been before to a Crystal Cave, but hey, everybody's entitled to have a crystal cave, no? And this everybody isn't just anybody, it is somebody. Jabba the Hutt, to be precise!
Full story
July 2022
Crystal Cave, Richmond, Pennsylvania, USA


Caving (Basic,Morphology-Karst,Rock,Rock-Limestone)

Kipontie, what a wonderful Finnish cave!
Why look for limestone caves and stalactites, when in Finland you can find moss-stalactites? And besides stalactites, the Kipontien luola (cave of the scoop road) is an exceptionally nice experience. Most Finnish caves are cracks on a cliff or space under boulders. But Kipontie is a hole in the ground, on a more or less level surface, even if inside you can see that it is made up of cracks and boulders. But it is dark, it is tight, actually make that very tight, and downright claustrophobia inducing hell hole. Just like caves should be!
Full story
(TGR version)
September 2022
Kipontien luola, Orivesi, Finland


Caving (Basic,Surveying,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack)

Schraubenfallhöhle
Schraubenfallhöhle is a cave, an underground river. It starts from one raging waterfall of the Tuxbach dropping into a wide hole in the ground, and emerges a bit later to start another waterfall. It is located by the end of the Hintertux valley, right by the lowest lift station taking people up to the Hintertux glacier.
Full story
August 2022
Schraubenfallhöhle*, Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria; Schraubenfallhöhle kleine Seitenhöhle 1**, Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria; Schraubenfallhöhle kleine Seitenhöhle 2**, Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Marble,Morphology-Erosion); Caving** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Marble,Morphology-Erosion,Surveying)

Vantaa is too tight
We went for a short caving trip in Vantaa... visiting our old friend Kalkkikallion ketunluola. It is still a great small cave, dark and tight. But one of the other caves, Kalkkikallion matalan katon luola (the low roof cave) was even more interesting. I had been there before, and didn't want to go through between the two entrances. Now I tried again... and still didn't want to go through. The cave gets progressively lower between two rock layers, and just before exit it is less than 20 cm... maybe someone else wants to try?
Full story
September 2022
Kalkkikallion kivikatoksen luola*, Vantaa, Finland; Kalkkikallion nuotiopaikan luola*, Vantaa, Finland; Kalkkikallion matalan katon luola*, Vantaa, Finland; Kalkkikallion ketunluola**, Vantaa, Finland


Caving* (Basic,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack,Rock,Rock-Gneiss); Caving** (Basic,Surveying,Morphology-Karst,Morphology-Crack,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Rock-Limestone)

Schneefleckhöhle
Continuing my quest for using lidar in newest phones to build 3D models of caves. Here we have a scan of the Schneefleckhöhle, a 160-meter marble cave in the Zillertal mountains in Austria. The cave has been scanned with iPhone 12 Pro and Polycam, using lights and the phone mounted on a Benro selfie stick. Scanned segments were put together in Blender and used for fly-through animation. I can also feed the 3D model to my "Cave Outliner" software that draws a plan view map and cross sections based on the model. Lots to improve in various pieces of software, and scanning an entire complex form is very hard. While all of this is very experimental, bleeding edge technology it is also very exciting, and already offers some stunning views onto a caves.
Full story
(TGR version)
August 2022
Schneefleckhöhle, Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria


Caving (Basic,Surveying,Rock,Rock-Marble,Morphology-Erosion)

Finnair A350 on short haul routes
Interesting... ended up on the Finnair A350 on my way back home from London. And they gave me an upgrade! A rare one, but still :-) And the A350 is such a nice airplane.
Full story
August 2022
Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom


Flying

Lounges .. now we are talking...
... or barking?
Full story
July 2022
Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Travel; Flying

More of the same pool in a plain hotel in no particular place
Hampton Inn... a good but not remarkable hotel... New Jersey... nice state but not remarkable... South Plainfield... newer heard, but ok and again not remarkable. A plain hotel in Plainfield?
Full story
July 2022
Hampton Inn South Plainfield-Piscataway, South Plainfield, New Jersey, USA


Swimming (Outdoor,Waterbody-Pool,Water)

Grafenloch and Rossstall cave maps
I visited these caves last year, but now have software to produce a map of them.
Full story
(TGR version)
July 2022
Grafenloch, Oberaudorf, Germany; Rossstall, Oberaudorf, Germany


Caving (Surveying)

ORD flagship lounge
I had a layover in Chicago on my way to a meeting... it turned out to be a long layover due to planes being late, and everything being super-crowded. But this also meant that I had time to visit the American Airlines Flagship Lounge in Terminal 3. Not bad, particularly liked the well-working WiFi and the mushroom pasta.
Full story
July 2022
Chicago O'Hare Airport, Chicago, USA


Travel; Flying

Reindeer burger and a hot sauna. Airport lounges redefined?
Only in Finland, and only in Helsinki, and only with Finnair. Nowhere else can you enjoy a lounge sauna and a reindeer burger in the airline lounge. Not too shitty. But then I had to squeeze myself into a small metal tube for travel.
Full story
July 2022
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flying; Travel; Sauna (Normal)

Summer meetup at the Cave Association
I visited the summer meeting, with my loaner dog... did not have time for the actual cave visits. Well, I've been to the area caves already. But they might have found some smaller ones from the forests, and be bitten by mosquitoes :-) But the rest of it was a lot of fun, sauna, swim, eat!
Full story
July 2022
Ilvesjoki Caving Association Headquarters, Ilvesjoki, Finland


Caving (Social,Research)

Snowdog finds snow, Planetskier skies it
Snowdog found snow! And I skied it, of course :-)
Full story
(TGR version)
July 2022
Kauniaisten jäähalli, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing; Hiking

Korcula wall swim
Korcula is a wonderful historic town (on the island of Korcula :-) ) And there's a wonderful swimmable beach ... rocks just outside the east city wall, under the restaurant walking path. You'll be under pine trees, on rocks, with some steps leading to clear water.. can't get much better than this!
Full story
July 2022
Korcula wall beach, Korcula, Croatia


Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Haimoon maauimala
It is good to jump into refreshing water after a long hike and cave crawl! Haimoon Maauimala to the rescue :-)
Full story
July 2021
Haimoon Maauimala, Vihti, Finland


Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

South beaches on Vis
I had an opportunity to visit the Zaglav, Milna, Zenka beaches while on the island of Vis in Croatia for a few days.
Full story
August 2021
Zaglav, Vis, Croatia; Zenka, Vis, Croatia; Milna, Vis, Croatia


Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Letecké Muzeum: More airplanes
Our hotel near Prague was by two smaller, older airport that operates now as a general aviation, military, and museum airports. The Praha-Kbely airport has a truly great aviation museum, the Letecké muzeum Kbely. (Nice, Prague. I wish Helsinki was more clever about retaining historic airports...)
Full story
July 2022
Letecké Muzeum, Praha, Czech Republic


Flying; Travel; History

South Czechia castles: Rabí and Kašperk
Our trip to Czechia concluded with a road trip to the Kašperk and Rabí castles. Both are medieval castles, partially in ruins and partially restored. Kašperk's two-towers-on-a-steep-hill design reminded us very much of the Trosky castle that we had seen a few days earlier.
Full story
July 2022
Hrad Rabí, Sušice, Czech Republic; Hrad Kašperk, Kašperské Hory, Czech Republic


Urban-Exploration (Ruins,Castles); Travel

Anna Mine
60 kilometers southwest of Prague is a historic mining area of Příbram. There's mining museum at Mine Ševčinský. There's also two mines that you can actually visit, the Hornické muzeum Příbram – Vojtěšský důl (Vojtěšský mine) and the Hornické muzeum Příbram – Anenský důl (Anna Mine). The latter involves a small train journey in mine carts...
Full story
July 2022
Hornické muzeum Příbram, Anenský důl, Příbram, Czech Republic


Urban-Exploration (Mines,Historic); Travel

Hotel Maria-Luisa pool swim
Hotel Maria-Luisa is in the suburbs of Prague, near the military / museum airport (see this article). I almost always choose hotels based on their spas, pools, and saunas. Unfortunately, this time their wellness area turned out to be closed for renovation. Oh well, we were probably too busy anyway to get to the saunas during their opening hours. But the pool was open, and looked nice!
Full story
July 2022
Hotel Maria-Luisa, Prague, Czech Republic


Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Pool,Outdoor)

They say the repairs would be easy!
Been looking for a better car, saw this on sale today, would it be a good choice? They say repairs are easy.
Full story
July 2022
Trabant Muzeum Praha Motol, Prague, Czech Republic


Car

Jeskyně Postojna -- Czech Edition
Jeskyně Postojna famous, massive cave in Slovenia. We are on our way to a Jeskyně Postojna. But not the one in Slovenia... a smaller one in northern Czech Republic. This cave, Postonja cave, was named after farmers' shouts as they kept shouting for their sheep "wait little one" ("postüj malá"). While the cave is not huge, it was a very nice cave to crawl through. Soft, dry sand at the bottom... smooth, round surfaces, tiny holes to squeeze through. A great exploration, with also countless other smaller caves around in the so called Klokočské Rocks natural park. There must be thousands and thousands of holes here, wondering if everything's been researched and looked into?
Full story
(TGR version)
July 2022
Jeskyně Postojna, Mírová pod Kozákovem, Czech Republic; Jeskyně Postojna první boční jeskyně, Mírová pod Kozákovem, Czech Republic; Jeskyně Postojna druhá boční jeskyně, Mírová pod Kozákovem, Czech Republic


Caving (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Sandstone)

Castles, castles... Czech edition
I had an opportunity to visit castles in Czech Republic this summer. The first one we went to was Hrad Trosky, the ruins of an amazing two-tower steep clifftop castle. What a magnificent, for defense business -only castle! The second castle, Hrad Kost was a more full-service one, and was used as an administrative base. With a torture chamber, of course. (Is there any other kind of administration???)
Full story
July 2022
Hrad Trosky, Rovensko pod Troskami, Czech Republic; Hrad Kost, Libošovice, Czech Republic


Urban-Exploration (Ruins,Castles)

Refresher course in communism and nuclear bunkers
I've been here before, but a refresher course is always good, plus I have the next generation with me, useful course for him as well. The Prague's communism and nuclear bunker tour is a good reminder of what oppressive things went on during the eastern block years in Czechosloakia and elsewhere. Fortunately, those times are past us. But in 2022, you can still feel the nuclear-bomb threats being made ... you guessed it, from the east.
Full story
July 2022
Parukarka Park bunker*, Prague, Czech Republic; The Cold War Museum**, Prague, Czech Republic; KGB Museum**, Prague, Czech Republic


Urban-Exploration* (Bunkers); Travel**

Mali Kozjak hike
Mali Kozjak is a mountain ridge in Split, Croatia. Near the airport, in fact. I had seen this on a previous trip, and it looked interesting... was there a hike? After perusing through the Wikilocs and Starves of the world, and some (maybe not enough) local advice, it seemed like there's a nice walk up via the Planinarski Dom Putalj mountain hut. I chose to hike up a bit further north so that I could descend to the hut. But boy did that generate some headache!
Full story
(TGR version)
June 2022
Planinarski Dom Putalj*, Kaštel Sućurac, Croatia; Svrka Sv. Luka*, Blaca, Croatia; Veli Vrj radar station**, Vučevica, Croatia; Orlovo gnijezdo - Planinarsko sklonište*, Kaštel Kambelovac, Croatia; Gojača Beach***, Kaštel Sućurac, Croatia


Climbing*; Hiking*; Urban-Exploration** (Military,Buildings); Swimming*** (Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Ski, sail, sauna, and swim
A fun day, starting with emergency skiing 🎿 the quickly disappearing snow on my local hill at 6am, continued with sailing ⛵️to Suomenlinna on Markus’ boat - thanks! From then on the company picnic day was just starting 🙂 Lot more fun followed, e.g., a sauna 🧖‍♂️ and swim 🏊‍♂️ in the Suomenlinna boat harbor.
Full story
(TGR version)
June 2022
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland*; Suomenlinnan vierasvenesatama, Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland**; Cafe Bar Valimo, Suomenlinna***, Helsinki, Finland


Skiing*; Sailing**; Sauna***; Swimming** (Water,Outdoor,Waterbody-Sea)

First cottage swim of 2022
Lame, but I did not swim in spring 2022 until May 28... but it was good, even if a bit cold still. Brr... but the sunsets and blueberry bushes were spectacular!
Full story
May 2022
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Swimming (Water,Outdoor,Waterbody-Lake); Sauna

First time in a swimming hall since the pandemic started
I have not gone to public swimming pools before this. Now I did, as I was returning from the great skiing in Vihti, and needed to be fresh before going to the office. Good time to visit, though, 10am-ish, with the morning people already gone and pretty much no one else around.
Full story
May 2022
Kirkkonummen uimahalli, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Swimming (Water,Indoor,Waterbody-Pool)

Sutro Baths Tunnels
The Sutro Baths were luxurious swimming pools on the San Francisco seafront, in an almost all glass building, built in the 1890s. Complete with salt and freshwater pools, slides, and 30 swinging rings, and a springboard. It was served by two rail lines, one of these being the Sutro Railroad, another creation of Adolph Sutro, a famous engineer and industrialist and mayor of San Francisco! In the 1900s the facility fell into disrepair and it burned down in 1966. Today only ruins remain, including the pool basins, a settling pool, and tunnels.
Full story
(TGR version)
May 2022
Sutro Baths, San Francisco, USA


Urban-Exploration (Ruins,Tunnels); Caving (Basic,Man-Made)

DFW!
I'm on my way back from a work trip in the US, and making a rare stop (for me) at DFW. Interesting place, and the airport seems to work well, changing from flight to another is easy, etc.
Full story
May 2022
Dallas Fort Worth airport, Dallas, USA


Travel; Flying

Moaning Caverns adventure tour
Moaning Caverns is a limestone-marble solutional cave in Vallecito, California. It is about 200 kilometers east of San Francisco, on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The main show cave attraction is the 165-feet high massive hole, but the cave extends further down in smaller passages under the big room, getting to a depth of 410 feet or 120 meters. An adventure tour explores some of these parts, which is why I was here. But there are other interesting aspects of the cave as well -- at the bottom of the main room there's a large pile of animal and human bones, presumably from whoever fell down to their fate here.
Full story
(TGR version)
May 2022
Moaning Caverns, Vallecito, California, USA


Caving (Basic,Rock,Surveying,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst)

LAX how I have missed you!
Oh, I missed you so so much, LAX! It has been YEARS. But upon arrival, I tried to follow your signage to change to another terminal and ...
Full story
May 2022
Los Angeles International airport, Los Angeles, USA


Travel; Flying

Maanala - Manala
Went to the Amos Rex art installation today, on the topic of subterranean matters... with friends from the Finnish Caving Association. Only that it wasn't just about subterranean, it was underground things but also hell, evilness, and devilish matters. It took a while for me to understand this, because I of course associate underground things as interesting and fun, not as dark hellish situations.
Full story
May 2022
Amos Rex, Helsinki, Finland


Caving (None,Media,Social)

It's alive! (and street legal)
It’s alive! (and street legal) The cheap fixes - only about 1.6k 🙂 worked. And a 10+ year idle rpm problem also disappeared after the engine control circuit board was re-soldered. Still a few smaller things to fix in a month but no need to go back to checkup until next year 🙂
Full story
April 2022
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Helsingin Sanomat published 3D cave models!
The main newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat, published a story from visiting three caves in the Helsinki region with Harri-Pekka Pietikäinen, the author of a recent caving book.
Full story
April 2022
Torholan luola, Lohja, Finland; Grottbergetin luola, Siuntio, Finland; Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Caving (Surveying,Basic,Rock,Media)

Ice on the plane???
Is it normal that after de-icing and take-off, you can still see ice stuck to the plane's windows? Felt odd to me...
Full story
February 2022
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flying

Empty lounge
Crotia's Split has a very nice and modern airport. Still relatively small though, particularly for the big crowds that use it during the summer. But during the spring... pretty empty. There's only one lounge, before passport check and with very minimal services. But still very nice: quiet, there's power, drinks, clean and modern toilets, Internet... nice!
Full story
April 2022
Split Airport, Split, Croatia


Flying

Mysterious delivery
What's this? A mysterious packet in the mail ... wonder what it is?
Full story
February 2022
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (None,Media)

Supporting Ukraine
I wanted to say that I support the peaceful people of Kyiv, Mariupol and other parts of Ukraine, and oppose aggressors.
Full story
February 2019
Protasov Yar, Kyiv, Ukraine


Skiing

Baumannshöhle
Running into an unexpected cave during travels? Very nice. To a show cave that was opened in 1646? Even nicer! We were on our way to visit the ski hills in the Harz region in Germany when there was a sign for a show cave -- the Baumannshöhle. Upon returning from skiing, we were able to visit the cave as well, just before it closed.
Full story
(TGR version)
March 2022
Baumannshöhle, Harz, Germany


Caving (Basic,Rock,Morphology-Karst,Rock-Limestone)

Mini-lounge?
What's this? They are making the lounges really small now?
Full story
March 2022
Flughafen Wien-Schwechat, Vienna, Austria


Flying

Apartment Carved out of Stone
Coming back from the skiing on the Mount Olympus and Troodos Mountains in Cyprus, I was driving by an area that had reported some kind of underground passage. I stopped to find out what it was about. From the map it looked like it was near a road, but it turned out to be only near some kind of agricultural path, and a kilometer or two from the drivable public roads. Well, why not walk to the darkness on the first night in a country you've never been to...
Full story
February 2022
Σπηλιά του Μούλου, Troodos Mountains, Cyprus


Urban-Exploration (Other,Bunkers); Caving (Basic,Rock,Man-Made)

Zagrebenje bunker maze
Croatian islands have had a military past. During World War II when Tito held his headquarters on the island of Vis. After the war, Vis was turned into a defense bastion, and only opened for foreigners as late as in 1989. Today we toured a maze of tunnels on the Zagrebenje mountains on the southeast corner of the island, connecting a number gun positions.
Full story
April 2022
Zagrebenje gun positions, Milna, Vis, Croatia


Urban-Exploration (Bunkers,Military); Caving (Man-Made)

New airport check-in at HEL!
I've travelled a few times since the opening of the new Helsinki-Vantaa terminal, the expansion of T2 which is the main terminal. However, until now the actual check-in and security still used the old facilities. But now in May they had actually opened the full services in the new expansion. Quite exciting, and difficult to figure out where to go. What a wonderful new security they have, with NO NEED TO TAKE LIQUIDS OR COMPUTERS OUT!!!
Full story
April 2022
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flying

Sauna at the Hotel-Restaurant Bänklialp, Engelberg
Bänklialp feels a bit out of the Engelberg town, on the mountain side towards the ski slopes, but is actually just a few hundred meters walk from the lifts. I particularly liked the hotel restaurant, but the very western-style alpine decoration in the lobby areas was also interesting. And, you can't dislike a a ski locker room with a hang-out lobby, sofas fridges for drinks, etc. :-) Not to mention the sauna! Sauna was the criteria that I used for booking the hotel.
Full story
April 2022
Hotel-Restaurant Bänklialp, Engelberg, Switzerland


Sauna

Final countdown
Here she goes in this morning... while the radio happens to play "Final Countdown".
Full story
April 2022
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

Last drive?
Only three days of legal driving left. The Volvo goes to a last-ditch cheap attempt to fix it, but, the odds are not great. Took the car for a spin today, along with the 'Genuine Accessories' aka the Volvo 740 skis. Just like the car, however, the skis are aging, one binding's plastic parts disintegrated. No prob, one ski is enough.
Full story
(TGR version)
April 2022
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing; Car

Laitamaa - Sidecountry - mini-cavelets
I needed some exercise, so went for a snowshoe walk with Jarmo. On his suggestion we ended up going to Laitamaa, an area of Kirkkonummi where we've previously seen many small caves.
Full story
April 2022
Kakarpuron pikkukolo, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Kakarpuron lippaluolanen, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Kakaraukion lippaluolanen, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Kakaraukion pikkukolo , Kirkkonummi, Finland


Snowshoeing (Basic); Caving (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack)

Make the trip to the airport count
Conference is over, time to head to the airport. How about an early wakeup, and trying to make the trip count as something interesting? I headed to the hotel sauna, then hit slopes in Semmering (one hour away), climbed and lidar-scanned a couple of caves, and still had time to check the apres ski in St. Corona ski resort :-) There was none.
Full story
(TGR version)
March 2022
Hilton Vienna Park, Vienna, Austria*; Semmering, Austria**; St. Corona, Austria**; Semmeringhalbhöhle, Semmering, Austria**; Schrägaufzughöhle, Semmering, Austria**


Sauna*; Skiing**; Caving*** (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Limestone); Climbing***

Is there hope?
Is there hope?
Full story
March 2022
Autotrio, Espoo, Finland


Car

Fix not economically possible
Picking up the car from repair shop as economically not fixable … 4 weeks of legal driving time left
Full story
March 2022
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

Bad news from the repair shop
Bad news from the repair shop: Volvo would need couple of m2 of new metal plating for the emergency hull repairs to pass checkup, work cost 4K. Proper fix 10K though. They recommended junk yard.
Full story
March 2022
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

Ice fishing at the parking lot
Not the fault of the car, but I managed to drop all four tires in ice holes at the parking lot, and got stuck. Master driver :-) Took five people to push it out.
Full story
March 2022
Espoon Keskus, Espoo, Finland


Car

Great Volvo ... not mine
What a great Volvo car! My Volvo on the other hand … yearly checkup … apparently you should see through the windscreen, not see through the wheel wells, should not see the battery from outside, there should be some beams in the floor, and emissions should be measurable. Maybe 2K€ to fix, maybe more.
Full story
March 2022
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

Lounge closed
SAS, what did you do???
Full story
February 2022
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Travel; Flying

HEL morning views
For once I'm flying on Lufthansa. Felt a bit like ... not using my own airline. But there was no option for this trip to Cyprus. And therefore, no breakfast at the lounge. However, the morning views as we lifted off from Helsinki-Vantaa airport (HEL) were spectacular!
Full story
February 2022
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Travel; Flying

Sunset at the Troodos mountains
These views from Troodos Mountains in Cyprus are ... not too shitty, as we say in Finland.
Full story
February 2020
Mount Olympos, Troodos Mountains, Cyprus


Travel

Cyprus Sauna
What do you do when you arrive in a new place? I always go check out the sauna...
Full story
February 2022
Harmony Bay Hotel, Limassol, Cyprus


Sauna (Normal)

Cyclop's Cave
I had an opportunity to visit Cyprus this week, and, of course, there were also some caves. The Cyclop's Cave is on the south-east end of the island, a nice 23 m x 24 m cave with a sand floor and a thin rock cover above. Right on the beach, with great sunset views. But this is also likely not the "real" Cyclop's cave from the historic tales, that is in Greece.
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2022
Cyclop's Cave, Paralimni, Cyprus


Caving (Basic,Rock,Surveying)

Eduskuntatalo fail
I have long wanted to ski the Parliament House stairs. And I thought today's "Valtteri" winter storm was the perfect opportunity to do that. However... when I got to the chairs, it turned out they are being heated, and snow-free even in a once-in-a-decade storm. Sigh. What a letdown. And maybe also waste of energy :-)
Full story
(TGR version)
January 2022
Eduskuntatalo, Helsinki, Finland; Temppeliaukion kirkko, Helsinki, Finland


Skiing

Stuck with the car
I called Tero while driving back home from Valtteri-storm ski explorations. When I was nearing home, I told him that I'm only fifty meters from home and safely back without car incidents, and hung up. Twenty meters later I got stuck :-) not having yet made home.
Full story
January 2022
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Knee testing
Today is the first time I'm on skis, after starting to have knee pains since the beginning of the year. A test on the local hill. Wish me luck!
Full story
January 2022
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Caver's meetup in -17 degrees
Caver’s meetup, warm even if -17 and interesting short films at Kino Jalasjärvi. And my Volvo made it 350 km away, furthest it has been! But will it last the way back? The summer’s trip reliability was 85% - what we call in the industry with the technical term “almost one nine reliability”. So the odds are pretty good!
Full story
November 2021
Jalasjärven Kino, Jalasjärvi, Finland


Caving (None,Social,Research)

First publication in a Swedish caving magazine!
My article on 3D modelling in Lummelunda was published in the Swedish Caver's Association's 'Grottan' (cave) magazine. Nice! The magazine was delivered to me rolled :-)
Full story
November 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (None)

Kollinluola - cave of the tomcat
Just before the caver's pre-xmas party, I visited 'Kollinluola' - the cave of the tomcat. Or, the cave of Juho Korkiakoski who was also called Kolli. It is a small cave under rocks.
Full story
November 2021
Kollinluola, Jalasjärvi, Finland*; Pirunpesä, Jalasjärvi, Finland**


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying); Caving** (None)

Der Sauna im Hotel Landhaus Schmid
One of the many good things with Austrian guest houses is that they almost always have a sauna. So did our place, Hotel Landhaus Schmid, in Fischen, in Austria near the ski resort of Oberstdorf. A nice sauna, and you could reserve it all for yourself.
Full story
January 2022
Hotel Landhaus Schmid, Fischen, Germany


Sauna

Automatically generated cave maps from Austria
In August I visited Austria, and was able to hike to the Tischofer höhle and Hyänen höhle caves. Back then, I took 3D scans of the caves. Having worked with automatic construction of cave maps since then, six months later I'm now starting to have a capability to run these models through the Cave Outliner and get plan and cross section views out. Pretty interesting work, by no means done but lets see where this path leads us to!
Full story
(TGR version)
January 2022
Tischofer Höhle, Kaisertal, Kufstein, Austria; Hyänen Höhle, Kaisertal, Kufstein, Austria


Caving (Basic,Rock,Surveying,Equipment,Researching,Rock-Limestone)

Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim
I had not known about this: Deutsches Museum has a wonderful other side outside Munich, for aviation.
Full story
January 2022
Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim, Munich, Germany


Flying

Großer Bunkerberg
Großer Bunkerberg is the name of the Berlin ruble mountain in Volkspark Friedrichshain. It housed previously one of Berlin's air defense 'flak towers', the Flakturm II G. Only a small corner of the blown up tower is still visible on the site, at the top of a large hill.
Full story
December 2021
Großer Bunkerberg, Berlin, Germany


Urban-Exploration (Bunkers); Caving (None,Man-Made)

Santa Claus skiing
Time for the traditional Xmas eve ski run. Maybe the best one ever was on the steps of the cathedral in Helsinki, but skiing my local hill in Santa Claus costume and a bag of presents was also nice!
Full story
(TGR version)
December 2021
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

More ski training for the twins
I just love the colours of night skiing. And in Finland, we only have night skiing, because usually there's either no light or very little light. And I also love taking my sister's twins for skiing, this time in Talma, Sipoo's great ski resort, 30 minutes outside Helsinki.
Full story
December 2021
Talma Ski, Talma, Finland


Skiing

First fall of the season!
My first time this season on the Kauniainen ski hill. With my crappy, duct taped skis because, well, no need for the better skis in potentially rocky conditions. But the conditions were not rocky. It -8, solid ice blown from the new "snow" machines, probably meter or two thick at places. My skis did not have the edges to stick to the ice, so I fell... and fell further... and further. Had even difficulties to get back up to fetch the pole I left in mid-slope :-)
Full story
(TGR version)
November 2021
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

It's dark, we're wearing sunglasses, and ski season just opened
It is pitch dark. Raining heavily. The whole place is closed. But I'm on a mission, so I grab my skis and walk to the bottom of the hill in my boots, as there's a rumour that there's some snow in the hill. And when I get to the bottom, what I find is a group of teenagers with just a couple of flashlights -- skiing, jumping the jumps, riding the pipes and rails. Wonderful!
Full story
(TGR version)
October 2021
Hyvinkään Sveitsin hiihtokeskus, Hyvinkää, Finland


Skiing

Darkness in the Lapland Hotels Tampere Sauna
We had an opportunity to stay at the Tampere for a night in a hotel. The Lapland Hotels Tampere was a new one for me, I had been to many other hotels there in past years. Pretty nice, great breakfast, and the saunas in the highest floor were different from usual hotel saunas. They were black!
Full story
October 2021
Lapland Hotels Tampere, Tampere, Finland


Sauna

Storfinnhova sauna inside a natural rock. With a waterfall.
Smoke sauna for 45 people, with a small waterfall and a warm pool, all inside. Takes three days to heat up. This is possibly one of the greatest sauna experiences I've had.
Full story
October 2014
Storfinnhovan savusauna, Björkboda, Finland


Sauna (Smoke)

Namco's Alpine Racer
I visited Tampere's game museum -- maybe the best museum of this kind that I've seen anywhere. Many. interesting things, displayed and playable in the setting of the time. But for me the jewel of the museum was Namco's Alpine Racer arcade game. I wish I had one at home...
Full story
(TGR version)
October 2021
Suomen pelimuseo, Vapriikki, Tampere, Finland


Skiing (None,Media)

First time in movies again!
October 2021 -- my first time in movies since the beginning of the pandemic. I joined the Banff Mountain Movie Festival in Helsinki, with many interesting ski and other adventure movies.
Full story
October 2021
Savoy Theater, Helsinki, Finland


Skiing (None,Social,Media)

Finally, a SUP hobby that I can get excited about. Underground.
I had been to Eispalast before. It is an ice cave that tourists can visit, 30 meters under glacier, near the top of the Gefrorene Wand mountain in Hintertux, Austria. But when I saw they had an option for trying SUP boarding on the river or lake in the ice cave, I knew I had to go again.
Full story
(TGR version)
September 2021
Hintertuxer Gletscher Eispalast, Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria


Caving (Basic,Ice,Boating,Surveying)

Birthday trip, full of fun!
How much fun can you pack into one birthday trip? I started with a drink ... non-alcoholic, of course. And then things starting going faster after that: a sauna at the Oberstegen, continued with skiing on the Hintertux Glacier, went for a SUP paddling tour in an ice cave river under that glacier, and ended up climbing to the Grafenloch and Rossstall caves, and doing a 3D model of them. Not bad, and that was just the first day! Maybe for my next birthday I'll try to come with an active program.
Full story
(TGR version)
September 2021
Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria*; Hintertuxer Gletscher Eispalast, Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria**; Grafenloch, Oberaudorf, Germany***; Rossstall, Oberaudorf, Germany***; Gasthof Oberstegen, Stockach, Söll, Austria*****; Gasthof Oberstegen, Stockach, Söll, Austria******


Skiing*; Caving** (Basic,Boating,Surveying,Ice); Caving*** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Surveying); Hiking****; Sauna (Normal,Infrared)*****; Travel******

Oberstegen saunas
Gasthof Oberstegen is in Söll, near the border between Austria and Germany. I chose as a convenient location with a decent drive up to the ski hills but also near some caves I wanted to explore. And not far from the Munich airport! Of course, there's some saunas since we are in an Austrian gasthof...
Full story
September 2021
Gasthof Oberstegen, Stockach, Söll, Austria


Sauna (Normal,Infrared)

Climbing to the Grafenloch cave
Grafenloch -- also called Luegsteinhöhle -- is a cave on a massive cliff face above the villages of Luegstein and Oberaudorf. A smallish cave, maybe 22-25 meters deep. But an interesting small hike of about 40 minutes to get to it. And an interesting last few meters to climb to the cave on the cliff face. Assisted with a rope and metal stairs, but still.
Full story
(TGR version)
September 2021
Grafenloch, Oberaudorf, Germany; Rossstall, Oberaudorf, Germany


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Surveying); Hiking

Another country, another drink
Can you guess where I am? :-)
Full story
September 2021
Gasthof Oberstegen, Stockach, Söll, Austria


Travel

Instagram vs. reality
I've made many trips to the summer cottage this year. It is always wonderful views. And usually great swimming. But now the waters are too cold, and I seem to spending most of my time under the building, trying to block holes that the mice use to come in. Lots of fun, but not really beautiful pictures.
Full story
September 2021
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Swimming (None)

Swinghill Season's Opening
It is snowing in Swinghill, the lift is running, and I opened the season. Cool.
Full story
(TGR version)
September 2021
Swinghill, Espoo, Finland


Skiing

First publication in a UK caving magazine!
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Nt6U1SyJuMM/YU_zjznDQtI/AAAAAAAB3IE/zYG_FKdnSzQMROyxAHecCKvT1vuQICn5ACLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/blog964_cover.jpg
Full story
September 2021
Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Surveying,Researching,Equipment,Media)

New reliability numbers for Volvo
.... now I've managed to do 66% of the summer cottage trips with the Volvo. It will just be a small matter of turning those numbers around and I'll have a "two nines" reliability already!
Full story
September 2021
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Car

Not the only crazy Volvo owner at the office
And if you thought I was the only crazy person at the office … pic from after lunch parking.
Full story
September 2021
Jorvas, Kirkkonummi, Finland


car

Back to the office!
First day at the office in 18 months. Also booked movie tickets for next month. Enough dangerous living for the rest of the year?
Full story
September 2021
Jorvas, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Car

Feeling lucky
For 1000€, the handbrake now works (cable was fine, but the hull around had disappeared) and clutch replaced. Previous fixes were, e.g., welding broken clutch parts. Feeling lucky so I took the car to the cottage, 200 km away. It could be a long tow.
Full story
September 2021
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Car

Clutch is fixed, properly!
Volvo is now ready to be picked up! The clutch is properly fixed, finally. They had to replace the parts rather than repair them.
Full story
September 2021
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

This is better skiing than last week
Last week I skied on my own yard, with snow carried in cardboard boxes. This week I'm skiing in Austria's glaciers. Not too shitty, as we say in Finland!
Full story
(TGR version)
August 2021
Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria


Skiing

Madseiterhof Saunas
While skiing in Hintertux, I stayed at the Gasthof Pension Madseiterhof. A remarkably good quality/price ratio! I paid only 80€ per night, which included breakfast and dinner. The rooms are not the newest, but they have a VERY nice sauna at the basement.
Full story
August 2021
Gasthof Pension Madseiterhof, Madseit, Hintertux, Austria


Sauna (Normal,Infrared)

Adler Inn Saunas
While skiing in Hintertux, I stayed across the street from the Adler Inn, and was lucky to be able to visit their saunas and spa as well. What a wonderful experience!
Full story
August 2021
Adler Inn, Madseit, Hintertux, Austria


Sauna (Normal,Steam); Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Pool,Indoor,Outdoor)

Bus parking
So this is where the busses are parked in the summer...?
Full story
August 2021
Hintertux, Zillertal, Austria


Skiing (None)

Tischofer Höhle
Such a nice hike. If it weren't for the missing piece of the path, at least. But I finally made it to the Tischofer Höhle, a cave in Kaisertal, near Kufstein, Austria. What a wonderful cave, easy to visit if one picks the right path to get there. And despite being only 40 meters long it is a large cavern, with a large opening and large hall inside.
Full story
(TGR version)
August 2021
Tischofer Höhle, Kaisertal, Kufstein, Austria; Hyänen Höhle, Kaisertal, Kufstein, Austria


Caving (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Limestone); Hiking

Citroen hits 88mph and ...
... doesn't go back to the future. It bends parts on the roof.
Full story
July 2021
Hämeenlinna, Hämeenlinna, Finland


Car

Everyone is surprised that the car is broken again
... not
Full story
July 2021
Kauniaisten jäähalli, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Still adding oil
Last week we fixed the car's braking system by adding more oil. Now the light is on, and I keep adding oil. Now a bit more. Light is off, fingers crossed!
Full story
July 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Uh oh brakes...
The brake failure light just come on, and we are still 200 km from home. Uh oh...
Full story
July 2021
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Car

Westend algae dip
Today's exercise was to visit a beach in Westend, Espoo, where I had not been to before. Unfortunately, the beach was marked as having blue-green algae, and it also looked unpleasantly slimy. But then it turned out that there is a small rocky peninsula, and a pier on it. The water there was a bit more cleaner looking. So I was able to swim!
Full story
July 2021
Westendin uimaranta, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Desperately seeking Sus... beach without blue-green algae
Lauttasaari, such a nice place. They even have a backup beach on the other side if the one beach is covered by slimy algae!
Full story
July 2021
Veijarivuoren uimaranta, Helsinki, Finland*; Särkiniemi harbour beach, Helsinki, Finland**


Swimming* (None); Swimming** (Water,Beach,Waterbody-Sea)

Puotila beach by the subway
Today I had an opportunity to be in eastern Helsinki, and chose to stop by another new beach, at the Puotilan uimaranta (Puotila Beach). It is right by subway line and therefore easily accessible.
Full story
July 2021
Puotilan uimaranta, Helsinki, Finland


Swimming (Beach,Water,Waterbody-Sea)

Another visit to Högberget
New signs lead visitors to the right place! Well done, Ratsutila Wikner!
Full story
July 2021
Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Equipment,Morphology-Erosion)

July skiing done at the last moment
This month's skiing - check. Falling & road rash - check. Edges didn't work so well on rock.
Full story
(TGR version)
July 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Another two new lakes -swimming day
Yet another day with not just one but two new lakes to swim at!
Full story
July 2021
Karskogin uimaranta, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Storträskin uimaranta, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Swimming (Water,Outdoor,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

First 3D modelling of Lummelunda Grottan
Earlier this week I visited the caver's camp in Lummelunda in Gotland. What a wonderful event, happy to be able to go there again! One of things I did was to see if I could build a 3D model of the cave using LiDAR in the newest iPhones. I was able to start the project at least, here are some early results of the 450 meters or so that I modelled.
Full story
(TGR version)
June 2021
Lummelunda, Gotland, Sweden


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Equipment,Surveying)

Long lake swim
First time swimming in Nuuksio's Pitkäjärvi (Nuuksio Long Lake)! There isn't really an official beach, but there is one semi-official, down from the Haltia nature center.
Full story
June 2021
Solvallan uimaranta, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach,Outdoor

Vihta. Vasta. Whisk.
A fresh bath whisk from my own garden, and enjoying a Friday evening in my own sauna. Bliss!
Full story
June 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Sauna

Lamminjärvi swim
Another new lake swim, this time in Veikkola, at the Lamminjärvi and the Lammaskallio beach. Very nice. And hottest day of the summer so far!
Full story
June 2021
Lammaskallion uimaranta, Veikkola, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Swimming (Water,Outdoor,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

First swim of the season!
I've been lazy. Last year I swam every day during the summer, this year.... took to June 19 for the first swim!
Full story
June 2021
Svartvikin uimaranta, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Swimming (Water,Outdoor,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Kattilajärvi cave walk with Jarmo
Last winter I explored the far reaches of the Kattilajärvi on snow shoes, and found several new small caves. But also ran out of time to explore them further, and the heavy snow cover didn't make it easy to explore the boulder caves. I wanted to return during the summer, and now Jarmo and I hiked around the Lippukallio are east of Kattilajärvi. And wow, many new small caves, and we realized one of the boulder caves I had seen in the winter was actually quite big. Three levels, complex maze, shaky moving boulders... nice!
Full story
(TGR version)
June 2021
Lippukallion lippaluola, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion lohkareluola 1, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion lohkareluola 2, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion minilippaluolanen, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion halkeamakololuolanen, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion kiipeilyhalkeamaluola, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion pieni lohkarehalkeamaluola, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion kallionsisuksen halkeamaluola, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion halkeaman päätykololuolanen, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland; Lippukallion rapautumislippaluola, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Surveying,Rock-Gneiss)

World's southernmost ski resort
What might be the world's southernmost ski resort? Internet claims that the answer is Cerro Castor, outside Ushuaia, on the southern end of Argentina. But, that is actually NOT the right answer. Glaciar Martial, a small ski slope in the city of Ushuaia is actually south of Cerro Castor. But wait, even that is NOT right. There's an even smaller ski slope, Club Andino Ushuaia, south of Glaciar Martial. Or is there?
Full story
(TGR version)
August 2012
Cerro Castor, Ushuaia, Argentina; Glaciar Martial, Ushuaia, Argentina


Skiing

Solamäki tour
Kari Vierinen organizes nature appreciation walks in Siuntio, and he called me to join their walk to the Solamäki caves in Siuntio. It was a very nice experience, particularly with the new information about paintings in the cave that Kari was able to tell us about.
Full story
(TGR version)
June 2021
Solamäen luola, Siuntio, Finland*; Solamäen luolan halkeamasivuluola, Siuntio, Finland*; Solamäen siirtolohkareluola, Siuntio, Finland**


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack); Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders)

June and the Grani hill is still going strong
It is June 6th, and Grani ski hill *still* has snow! Thanks go to the ski hill maintenance team who made and piled a lot of snow during the season.
Full story
(TGR version)
June 2021
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Saunalahti hole
I was originally going to explore bigger caves in Nuuksio this weekend with Jarmo, but I forgot that I was dogsitting Olli's dog while they were moving. I couldn't take the dog to long hike and boulder fields, so ended up doing nice walks in the seafront during the weekend. One of those walks to go see the Saunalahti hole, a small crystallization hole in an otherwise solid ground rock.
Full story
May 2021
Saunalahden onkalo, Espoo, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Morphology-Crystallization,Rock-Gneiss)

Airplane meal... on the ground!
I've been missing this... or have I?
Full story
May 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Flying

Herttoniemi boulder underside
While visiting (again) the secret Margarine factory tunnel, I came across a small boulder cavelet in Herttoniemi.
Full story
May 2021
Herttoniemen kivenalus, Helsinki, Finland


Caving (Basic,Morphology-Boulders,Rock,Rock-Gneiss)

Avalanche transceivers as cave location devices?
A while ago, Bo Lenander asked a question in the Swedish Caver's Association if avalanche transceivers could be used as cave location beacons. As I have such transceivers, I started looking into this...
Full story
(TGR version)
May 2021
Torholan luola, Lohja, Finland


Caving (Basic,Surveying,Rock,Rock-Limestone,Equipment)

Kauniainen is melting!
Kauniainen ski hill is melting! Just a few days ago it was almost completely skiable, but now... just two plots of snow left.
Full story
(TGR version)
May 2021
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Volvo is back! (But how long?)
Volvo is back! Refueled, washed, with summer tires and in sunshine it feels like a decent car now 🙂
Full story
April 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

The long walk
Long walk... enjoying the spring weather while on calls... also picking up my car from the repair shop :-)
Full story
April 2021
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car; Hiking

And now the loaner car broke down!
Now the loaner car is broken and needs to be towed to the shop that already is repairing my Volvo. (Should I ask for another loaner? Should they give me one?)
Full story
April 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

New driver's license!
Youngest son gets a driver's license and a shiny new ... key to the blue rust bucket 🙂
Full story
September 2020
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Loaner
Loaner, because they haven’t made the part that my Volvo needs in 10 years
Full story
March 2021
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

Vihti. And then the car breaks down.
Clutch failure. Stranded in Vihti... waiting for the call from towing company ...
Full story
(TGR version)
March 2021
Vihti ski, Vihti, Finland


Skiing; Car

The front... mirror fell off. Fixing it.
Look at my professional repair operation!
Full story
March 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

3D Model of the Torhola Cave
Digitalisation of caves is proceeding! :-) I now have the first model from a bit larger cave, the Torhola cave in Lohja, southern Finland. This cave is Finland's largest karst cave, with around 100 meters of complex tunnels on 3-4 levels.
Full story
(TGR version)
May 2021
Torholan luola, Lohja, Finland


Caving (Surveying,Researching,Equipment,Basic,Rock,Rock-Limestone)

First cross section from a 3D model
I've been trying constructing 3D models from few caves with the LiDAR sensors in iPhone. While I've been able to rotate these models on screen easily, I also wanted to see whether I could construct more traditional maps from these models. But it has been a big learning curve to use the 3D modelling software. Today, with the help of Olli, I finally managed to make my first cross section of a cave model in Blender.
Full story
(TGR version)
April 2021
Pääluola, Rokokallio, Vihti, Finland


Caving (Surveying,Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders)

More Kauniainen cave maps and 3D models
I spent Sunday biking and walking in Kauniainen's forests, mainly in the Kasavuori ("pile mountain") area. I wanted to visit a couple of small holes there are in the cracks and boulders of the rocky landscape on this "mountain". And draw a couple of simple maps about them, and use my new iPhone 12 Pro to record 3D models.
Full story
March 2021
Auringonlaskun luola, Kauniainen, Finland*; Stockmannin Luola 1, Kauniainen, Finland**; Kauniaisten luola 6, Kauniainen, Finland***


Caving* (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack); Caving** (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders); Caving*** (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Crack);

New cave (sort of) in Kauniainen
While cataloguing Kauniainen's tiny caves (if one can call them that), I came across another one. A small tunnel between two boulders. The tunnel part is maybe 3 meters (though with a small crack at the top for some part of that).
Full story
March 2021
Kahden kiven luola, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (Rock,Basic,Surveying,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders)

First biking of the season!
Well, I had no other wheels since the car broke down...
Full story
March 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Biking

Looking for caves in Lohja's Linnanmäki in Karstu
The evening's excursion was to Lohja's Karstu area, in search of caves. The Linnanmäki is a high hill and cliff in Karstu, and the book Suomen Luolat notes that there are two caves on the hill. One was supposed to be inaccessible without climbing equipment. But as usual, the coordinates were inaccurate, so I ended up going around the entire hill, and I think found the other cave plus four other small roof/shelter caves.
Full story
March 2021
Karstun Linnanmäen luola 1*, Lohja, Finland; Karstun Linnanmäen luola 2**, Lohja, Finland; Karstun Linnanmäen luola 3***, Lohja, Finland; Karstun Linnanmäen luola 4***, Lohja, Finland; Karstun Linnanmäen luola 5***, Lohja, Finland; Karstun Linnanmäen luola 6***, Lohja, Finland; Karstun Linnanmäen louhos****, Lohja, Finland


Caving* (Basic,Rock,None); Caving** (Basic,Surveying,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Erosion); Caving*** (Basic,Surveying,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack); Urban-Exploration**** (Quarries)

Serena at the quiet hour
Today's outing was in Serena, a small commercial ski hill in northern Espoo. Serena combines skiing with summer activities from downhill cars to tree climbing routes, and one of the largest spas in Finland. It has been very popular... the Corona times have hit it as well, however. Nevertheless, skiing was great.
Full story
(TGR version)
March 2021
Serena, Espoo, Finland


Skiing

More parts falling
More parts falling, again...
Full story
March 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Cold start
Another cold start early in the morning. Seems to work. But there's an odd sound...
Full story
March 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Grottberget cave
I wanted to get some exercise, and ended up walking 3-4 hours on snowshoes in Siuntio. I always need a 2nd goal for such trips, however, and this time it was to visit the Grottberget cave, and see if any of the surrounding cliff areas have additional caves.
Full story
March 2021
Grottbergetin luola*, Siuntio, Finland; Grottbergetin pikkukolo**, Siuntio, Finland; Grottbergetin kivenalus***, Siuntio, Finland


Caving* (Basic,Surveying,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crystallization); Caving** (Basic,Surveying,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack); Caving*** (Basic,Surveying,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders)

New Kattilajärvi caves
I was hiking around on my snow shoes, going around lake Kattilajärvi in Nuuksio. I was there for the sake of a nice walk in the winter weather, but also wanted to check out the many cliffs for possible caves. I've been here before, and saw for instance a wonderful roof cave. But then I came across a big cliff with a number of caves, not reported by others as far as I can tell.
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2021
Kattilajärven pikkukolo, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland*; Lippukallion lippaluola, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland**; Lippukallion lohkareluola 1, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland*; Lippukallion lohkareluola 2, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland*


Caving* (Basic,Morphology-Boulders,Rock,Rock-Granite,Surveying); Caving** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Surveying)

Korpikylä boulder cave
Korpikylä ("Remote Village") is a region in Hyrylä. I was stopping in Hyrylä for other reasons, and looked on the map for an interesting place to go snowshoeing in. Korpikylä fit the bill, and after some searching for a parking place I headed out for a two-hour nice hike in snowy forest.
Full story
March 2021
Korpikylän lohkaresuoja, Hyrylä, Tuusula, Finland*; Korpikylän leikkaus, Hyrylä, Tuusula, Finland**; Korpikylän rakennelma, Hyrylä, Tuusula, Finland***


Snowshoeing* (Basic)*; Snowshoeing** (Basic); Snowshoeing*** (Basic); Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying); Urban-Exploration* (Railway,Military); Urban-Exploration*** (Buildings)

Volvo gets back from 2 week gentle care
Volvo, March edition: more metal, less holes.
Full story
March 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Kauniainen cave with a view
Cave of the sunset! I guess this just goes to show that no matter how well you know something, there are things you don't yet know. I did a snowshoes hike between Kauniainen and the Glims museum area, and came across a new cave!
Full story
March 2021
Auringonlaskun luola, Kauniainen, Finland


Snowshoeing (Basic); Caving (Rock,Basic,Rock-Gneiss,Surveying)

First repair
One repair done, eight left. The Volvo goes today to the shop, not for repairs but for evaluation of repairs. I have 22 days left before it goes illegal.
Full story
March 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Yet Another Abandoned Ski Area
While looking for ski areas I could go ski at, I came across a nearby ski hill that I had not even heard about: Klaukkala's Tornikeskus, or Tower Hill. Unfortunately, they just closed permanently. That doesn't mean I couldn't go ski there, of course :-)
Full story
(TGR version)
March 2021
Tornikeskus, Klaukkala, Finland


Skiing

Impulse shopping
Lunch break impulse shopping. My first snow shoes!
Full story
February 2021
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Snowshoeing (Equipment)

Volvo is shedding parts
... again. This time only the mirror, however. And it fell on soft snow on my own yard. Good.
Full story
February 2020
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Be the ski lift
Today’s exercise was to be the ski lift for sister’s twins as they tried out skiing for the first time on a small hill (not visiting a ski resort yet, this was a more relaxed setting). They made lot of progress, snowplough, turns, how to fall, etc. Fun day!
Full story
February 2021
Tuusulan urheilukeskuksen pulkkamäki, Hyrylä, Tuusula, Finland


Skiing (Snow,Outdoor,Hiking,Training)

LiDAR 3D modelling caves and bunkers
I continued my earlier underground tests with iPhone 12 Pro's LiDAR sensor and software. This time I started testing the 3D modelling software. Can we produce an accurate 3D model of a cave using these sensors and software?
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2021
Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland*; Ansabunkkeri, Siuntio, Finland**


Caving* (Rock,Basic,Equipment); Urban-Exploration** (Bunkers,Equipment)

Looking for bunkers and all we found was SHIT
We drove in two cars to south end of the Porkkala peninsula -- 50 minutes away -- to explore three bunkers there. The best map that we have of the abandoned Soviet-era bunkers comes from Lynx, the local orienteering club. Unfortunately, this time their map oversold what was to be found at the location.
Full story
February 2021
Maakellari 1, Lähteelä, Porkkala, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Maakellari 2, Lähteelä, Porkkala, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Rauniot, Lillkanskog, Porkkala, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Vesi- tai lietesäiliö, Friggesby, Porkkala, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Urban-Exploration (Ruins,Containers)

Högberget in LiDAR
We visited the Högberget cave today, to test drive the LiDAR sensor in the iPhone that got today. Pretty interesting!
Full story
(TGR version)
February 2021
Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Erosion,Equipment)

Espoonkartano tree skiing
Covid. Lines everywhere. Commercial skiing... maybe not for us this year. Fortunately, Jarmo knew a place where we could get some forest skiing in. And even the sun was shining!
Full story
(TGR version)
January 2021
Mynttilän kukkulat, Espoonkartano, Espoo, Finland


Skiing (Snow,Outdoor,Hiking)

Christmas Caving
Christmas seems like a good time to spend on improving your cave lights. Or, "improving" as it may be in my case. But I really like to the colours of the new lights :-)
Full story
(TGR version)
December 2020
Lohkarepuristimen luola, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders)

Sauna at the duck
Tero and I stayed at the "Duck" (Ankka), a cabin near Ruka. We had driven up with Tero's car to avoid having to use flights or get too exposed to viruses.
Full story
October 2020
Mökki Ankka, Ruka, Kuusamo, Finland


Sauna (Normal)

White wall
I recently watched the new mini-series "White Wall" on YLE Areena. This is a Finnish-Swedish production. The plot is about a mine being converted to store nuclear waste... until they hit something strange.
Full story
November 2020
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (None,Media); Sauna (None,Media)

Grottan 3
The third issue of this year's Grottan -- Swedish Caver's Association's magazine -- came in mail today.
Full story
November 2020
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (None,Research,Media)

Strange rock
Tero and I were on a trip... while caving was not the main purpose of the trip, as usual I also wanted visit a cave. A promising-looking hole at the Pyhä ski area turned out to not be a human-sized hole. But while returning to the airport in Rovaniemi, we drove south of the city to look at Tapulikallion onkalot (Tapulicliff holes). We founded a very weird, large boulder.
Full story
(TGR version)
November 2020
Tapulikallion onkalot, Rovaniemi, Finland


Caving (Rock,Basic,Rock-Other,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Weathering)

Not broken
It isn't broken. It just needs more duct tape.
Full story
(TGR version)
October 2020
Ruka, Kuusamo, Finland


Skiing

Dogs and caves in Löpärö
Jouni had organized a tour of the Löpärö island in Sipoo for us, including the local guide Jukka showing is the cave locations. I think all of us were expecting a nice walk but pretty small caves. But were were really impressed by what we found! Just take a look at these photos by Jarmo Ruuth! (Also some by Jari or Elena.)
Full story
(TGR version)
November 2020
Dyviksbergenin luola, Löpärö, Sipoo, Finland*; Dyviksbergenin luola 1, Löpärö, Sipoo, Finland**; Långbergetin lohkareluola, Löpärö, Sipoo, Finland***; Långbergetin lohkareluolan sivuhuone, Löpärö, Sipoo, Finland***; Långbergetin toinen lohkareluola, Löpärö, Sipoo, Finland***


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Crack); Caving** (Basic,Rock); Caving*** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders,Morphology-Crack)

Maintenance!
I've been putting this moment off for some reason. But now they are there: both of my main skis are in maintenance and repair holiday at the Ski Service. Lets see how shiny they come out!
Full story
November 2020
Ski Service, Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, Finland


Skiing (Equipment)

Laukkakoski cave
Nice cave, but I had to reverse my car out of the road that led to it. No way to turn around, and road got impassable after a while.
Full story
November 2020
Laukkosken luolakallion onkalot, Pornainen, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Crack)

Maintenance
More car maintenance. Winter tires, first oil change since 2019, fixing brake lights, fixing something in the undercarriage that had been slightly damaged on some excursion :-)
Full story
November 2020
Autofit Latokaski, Espoo, Finland


Car

Looking for the Urtvuori cave
I spent at least an hour trying to find the cave, despite a tag on the Google Maps from someone, as well as coordinates from the book of Finnish caves. It turned out that the cave can be entered from the middle of the sloping rock face, in the cracks that have opened in it. But what a wonderful cave there was!
Full story
October 2020
Urtvuoren luola, Sammatti, Finland*; Urtvuoren kalteva rakoluola, Sammatti, Finland**; Urtvuoren lippaluola, Sammatti, Finland**


Caving* (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Boulders); Caving** (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack)

Nice basement
The book Finnish Caves (Suomen Luolat) lists several caves in Perniö. I had already been in the 'Hiidenkellari' (Devil's basement), but since I needed to drive through Perniö today on my visit to Tero's summer cottage, I wanted to visit more of the caves. I chose 'Antinmäen Hohteen kellari ja paja' (The basement and workshop at the Antinmäki shine).
Full story
October 2020
Antinmäen Hohteen kellari ja paja, Perniö, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Boulders)

Ramunder's stone
Right in the middle of Tammisaari there's a classic "stone table", Ramunderinkiven onkalo (The Hole of the Ramunder's stone). Stone tables are stone formations where a rock sits on other stones. Ramunder is the strong man of old tales, and the story is that he threw a large boulder to crush some giants, giants that are now the stones holding up the boulder.
Full story
October 2020
Ramunderinkiven onkalo, Tammisaari, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Gneiss,Morphology-Boulders)

Refreshing October sea swim
I had a nice, refreshing dip in the sea, mid-October. Twelve degrees. Cold, but if you compare it to the usual summer sea water temperatures, not that much lower yet...
Full story
October 2020
Rantasauna ystävän mökillä, Töllinkari, Salo, Finland


Sauna (Normal); Swimming (Water,Outdoor,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Birthday skitrip
This month's skiing was a bit of a challenge. Travel is difficult, unlike in August. Many of things that one could do were already done.
Full story
(TGR version)
September 2020
Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing (Outdoor,Grass,Snow)

Underland
I got a tip from Johan at work about an interesting book, one that deals with underground wonders. The book is Underland by Robert MacFarlane. I don't really know yet what's inside, but there was a recommendation in New York Times, that can't be bad :-)
Full story
September 2020
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Caving (None,Media)

Inside the blown up central nazi navy command bunker. Alone.
Need some excitement? Maybe crawling inside a blown-up bunker in the middle of dark forest would help. Hope the Nazi command is no longer on site... and that the ammunition laying in the ground isn't dangerous.
Full story
August 2020
Lager Koralle, Wandlitz, Germany


Urban-Exploration (Bunkers,Military); Caving (Man-Made)

Lilla Karlsö Caving
Lilla Karlsö. A paradise for birds, enough to warrant ban on entering except during special times and only with a guide. Of course, we didn't know any of the stuff about the guide, but wanted to visit some caves. Turned out that we had to follow a guide, and that it actually was a very good idea to follow the guide.
Full story
July 2016
Kuren, Lilla Karlsö, Sweden; Suder Vagnhus, Lilla Karlsö, Sweden; Norra Vagnhus, Lilla Karlsö, Sweden


Caving (Rock,Basic,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,Morphology-Erosion)

Solbergagrottorna
Cracks... cracks... and ladders.
Full story
August 2016
Solbergagrottorna, Uppsala, Sweden


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack)

Kasbergsgrottan
Small cliff.. but such a nice cave and rock!
Full story
August 2016
Kasbergsgrottan, Väddö, Sweden


Caving (Rock,Basic,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack)

Getsvältan
Getsvältan offers great views onto the sea and a nice crawl into small caves.
Full story
July 2016
Getsvältan, Visby, Sweden


Caving (Rock,Basic,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Erosion,Morphology-Weathering)

Mäyrämäki. Badger hill.
Icy holes. Those are the best ones!
Full story
April 2016
Mäyrämäen kellari, Lapinjärvi, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack)

Bombergsgrottan
Bombergsgrottan has a small entrance, a hole at the bottom of a big cliff. But the small hole hides a big (25m, big by Finnish standards) cave that extends left and right under the cliff.
Full story
April 2016
Bombergsgrottan, Liljendal, Finland


Caving (Basic,Rock,Rock-Granite)

Roof caves on Isonniitunmäki
Jarmo went further on our search in Vihti, and found some small roof caves.
Full story
August 2020
Lippaluolanen 1, Isonniitunmäki, Vihti, Finland


Caving (Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack)

Hiidenkellari. Rare Karst in Finland.
Such beautiful pure calcite in the ceiling and floor. And cut so exact, as if by man... but it is the works of chemistry and water.
Full story
August 2020
Hiidenkellari, Vihti, Finland*; Kololuolanen 1, Isonniitunmäki, Vihti, Finland**; Kololuolanen 2, Isonniitunmäki, Vihti, Finland**; Hylätty kellari, Isonniitunmäki, Vihti, Finland***


Caving* (Rock,Basic,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst); Caving** (Rock,Basic,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders); Urban-Exploration (Buildings,Ruins)

The Missing Hole
Searching for a cave listed in the Finnish book of caves as "unconfirmed". Came up with nothing.
Full story
August 2020
Lähderannan kolo, Lähderanta, Espoo, Finland


Caving (None)

Visiting the devil's church - Pirttimäen hiidenkirkko
We visited this magnificent hole without really knowing much about what to expect. We had seen it listed in the book of Finnish caves, and in Retkipaikka, but the name told us little. Devil's church?
Full story
July 2016
Pirttimäen hiidenkirkko, Perniö, Finland


Caving (Rock,Basic,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders)

Sipilän luola
Sammatti. Hemmetti. Wipers not working on my Volvo. Oh well. But on the other hand, we visited a very nice little cave, Sipilän luola. Beautiful forms of rock.
Full story
January 2017
Sipilän luola, Sammatti, Finland


Caving (Rock,Basic,Granite,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Erosion)

3 times 3 roof caves
I recently visited three nearby places that had been listed as having large roof caves (by Finnish standards). And they did indeed deliver on that promise! In addition, I found that the three actually had three roof caves each. Nine cave visits on three trips :-)
Full story
August 2020
Limpanin iso lippaluola, Siuntio, Finland; Siitoonmäen lippaluola, Nummi-Pusula, Finland; Siitoonmäen lippaluolan sivuluola 1, Nummi-Pusula, Finland; Siitoonmäen lippaluolan sivuluola 2, Nummi-Pusula, Finland; Hyypiänmäen lippaluola, Nurmijärvi, Finland


Caving (Rock,Basic,Rock-Granite,Surveying)

Limpan's caves
An evening outing to a promised 30+ meter cave. Turns out there are three, with the biggest one 45 meters. Roof caves, so not so cave like, dark holes. But rock above your head nevertheless. Also, deer flies. Oh how I love deer flies in my hair.
Full story
August 2020
Limpanin lippaluola 1, Siuntio, Finland; Limpanin lippaluola 2, Siuntio, Finland; Limpanin iso lippaluola, Siuntio, Finland


Caving (Rock,Basic,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack)

More cave searches, based merely on the name
Inspired by Ralf's observation of cave-like names in the countryside, I searched for more caves from the Finnish map databases, and came up with some more placed called "Luolamäki" or cave hill. This time near Nummi-Pusula, Lohja, and Vihti. Jarmo, Ralf, and me set out to explore... with no prior knowledge of any caves in this area reported anywhere. Not in the book of Finnish caves, not in Retkipaikka, nowhere.
Full story
July 2020
Kyynärjärven Luolamäen lippaluolanen, Nummi-Pusula, Finland*; Kyynärjärven Luolamäen pieni lippaluolanen, Nummi-Pusula, Finland*; Kyynärjärven Luolamäen lohkareen alusluolanen, Nummi-Pusula, Finland**; Huopinmäen Luolamäen lippaluolanen 1, Nummi-Pusula, Finland*; Huopinmäen Luolamäen lippa 2, Nummi-Pusula, Finland***; Huopinmäen Luolamäen lippaluolanen 3, Nummi-Pusula, Finland*; Huopinmäen Luolamäen lippa 4, Nummi-Pusula, Finland***; Huopinmäen Luolamäen kolonen, Nummi-Pusula, Finland**


Caving* (Rock,Basic,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack,Surveying); Caving** (Rock,Basic,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders,Surveying); Hiking***

Siitoonmäen lippaluola -- Roof cave in Nummi-Pusula
I've been using the new Luolaseura map app and database to look for nearby caves that I have not been to. This is now much more convenient than it was before :-) You can easily look at, say, all caves bigger than some number of meters and look around you. So, I wanted to go see another 50 meter roof cave that was just 40 minutes drive away.
Full story
August 2020
Siitoonmäen lippaluola, Nummi-Pusula, Finland; Siitoonmäen lippaluolan sivuluola 1, Nummi-Pusula, Finland; Siitoonmäen lippaluolan sivuluola 2, Nummi-Pusula, Finland


Caving (Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack,Morphology-Boulders)

Back to L.U.U.K.K.I. - Kaitalampi swim
I had already visited Luukki earlier, And had parking trouble, had to pay fees, etc. But it turns out the Luukki area has another lake as well, Kaitalampi. Kaitalampi is actually even better suited for swimming, and no parking fees!
Full story
July 2020
Kaitalammen oma uintipaikka, Kaitalampi, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Häkläjärvi swim: deep layer of mud covered by a thin layer of water
It looks pretty. But on my side of the lake, there's maybe half a meter of water, and ... at least a meter, maybe more of organic mush, mud, soft icky stuff. I'm afraid I'll sink in.
Full story
July 2020
Häkläjärven oma uintipaikka, Häkläjärvi, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Velskolan Pitkäjärvi swim
There's a nice road going alongside the Velskolan pitkäjärvi (Velskola's long lake). Unfortunately, parking is very difficult to find. Or public swimming spots!
Full story
July 2020
Venepaikka, Velskolan pitkäjärvi, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Social distancing in the Social Island: Seurasaari swim
After the Munkkiniemi swim I wanted more :-) and went to Seurasaari ("Social Island"). By now it was past 9pm, and there were only a couple of people on the island. No one swimming on the beach. Again, I had not been here before, but what a very nice beach! Much better than the one in Munkkiniemi.
Full story
July 2020
Seurasaaren uimaranta, Seurasaari, Helsinki, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Mud, and a bit water on top: Munkkiniemenranta swim
When my work runs late in the evening (as it often does, due to working with other timezones) that causes a problem for hobbies later in the evening. I'm not super hot on going on a hike in dusk or darkness. Or the mosquitos :-) Fortunately, for my July swimming tours I still have many easily accessible places left.
Full story
July 2020
Munkkiniemen uimaranta, Munkkiniemi, Helsinki, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach,Nature)

Långvik beach
Another day, another beach, another blue-green algae warning. I was at the Långvik beach in Kirkkonummi.
Full story
July 2020
Långvikin uimaranta, Långvik, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Boulder on Rocks
My swim at the Träskbyträsket yielded an unexpected benefit: a boulder cave. A huge piece of rock standing on four other rocks, as if by design.
Full story
July 2020
Träskbyträsketin lohkareluola, Långvik, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Caving (Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders)

Park swim
I wanted a swim, but it turned out that recent floods had made the Schliersee lake larger. Much larger.
Full story
August 2020
Schliersee, Germany


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Secret path to the beach at Tegernsee
The whole Tegernsee area was crowded with people. And cars jammed on the roads. But miraculously, out of nowhere appeared first a parking lot, a walking path, and then path through the bushes to a nice beach.
Full story
August 2020
Tegernsee, Germany


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Weitentalbach swim. Or dip.
Another fresh swim in the Hintertux valley, this time on the Weitentalbach, a small river that joins the Tuxbach. It does feel good to shed the sweat and dirt of a ski day in the guaranteed-fresh-water of these rivers.
Full story
August 2020
Weitentalbach, Hintertux, Austria


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-River,Nature)

Fresh swim at the Tuxbach. Very fresh. Brr.
What do you need after a hard day of skiing on the glacier? A small refreshening, perhaps? I wanted to swim at the waterfall in Hintertux, but it turned out to be both forbidden and not feasible. However, the water from the glaciers falls through the waterfall and then onto the Tuxbach, the river running through the Hintertux valley.
Full story
August 2020
Tuxbach, Hintertux, Austria


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-River,Nature)

Achensee swim
Achensee was on my way back from the slopes, on the way to the Berghotel. Why not dip in for a swim?
Full story
August 2020
Achensee, Austria


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Saunahut at the Berghotel
I managed to find a very nice, remote mountain hotel to stay at: Berghotel Sudelfeld. They also had a sauna!
Full story
August 2020
Berghotel Sudelfeld, Bayrischzell, Germany


Sauna

First flight during the pandemic
I took my first flight during the pandemic. Nervous.
Full story
August 2020
Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland


Flying

The pond at the sports complex
Another visit to my mom's place! While I was on my way to the airport (yikes!) I wanted to put in one more swim at the Finnish lakes. Or pond rather, the pond at the Tuusula's sport complex in Hyrylä.
Full story
August 2020
Tuusulan urheilukeskuksen lampi, Hyrylä, Tuusula, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Underground biking in Maastricht
Biking underground, in a cave/mine? Why not when that's available! And in Maastricht it was!
Full story
July 2010
Sibbergroeve, Valkenburg, Netherlands


Biking (Bike-Mountain,Underground); Urban-Exploration (Mines); Caving (Man-Made,Biking,Rock,Rock-Marble)

Hietsu swim
Second to last day of July, having swam every day so far. But again, not much time for this after all the work and home stuff. I'm late, but I haven't yet been in Hietalahti or Hietsu as it is called. Since it is late and weather is kind of sketchy, I'm guessing there won't be many people. What a treat I got, wonderful sunset/storm clouds. And a nice swim!
Full story
July 2020
Hietaniemen uimaranta, Helsinki, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Rusutjärvi, the long lost beach from my childhood
I saw my mom today in Hyrylä, and on the way back wanted to drop in for a swim, and visit a swimming place that I remembered from my childhood: Rusutjärvi in Tuusula.
Full story
August 2020
Rusutjärven uimaranta, Tuusula, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Late swim at Siikajärvi
Late, again. Past 9pm, and I'm in the back-areas in Nuuksio, at the Siikajärvi lake beach. Still, while I'm swimming the RC airplane enthusiasts manage to show up to give a flying demonstration :-) Cool.
Full story
August 2020
Siikajärven uimaranta, Siikajärvi, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Lauttasaari beach at night
Another day, another late start for trying to find somewhere new to swim in. I ended up driving to Lauttasaari, and visit their great beach on the west side. A good swim, there was a few people still on the beach after 9pm, but no crowds.
Full story
July 2020
Lauttasaaren uimaranta, Lauttasaari, Helsinki, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Beach,Water,Waterbody-Sea)

Hyypiänmäki massive roof cave
With the new cave map service that we've been building with Ralf, I was able to make more sensible searches for known caves. In the cave map I can select the length of cave, for instance, and look for the bigger ones (albeit all Finnish caves are small). It turned out that there's supposed to be a 50-meter roof cave in Hyypiänmäki, near Klaukkala.
Full story
August 2020
Hyypiänmäen lippaluola, Nurmijärvi, Finland; Hyypiänmäen pieni lippaluolanen 1, Nurmijärvi, Finland; Hyypiänmäen pieni lippaluolanen 2, Nurmijärvi, Finland


Caving (Rock,Rock-Granite,Basic)

Valkjärvi swim
I needed some freshening-up after my cave explorations in Klaukkala. And headed to the Valkjärvi...Another blue-green algae warning sign! But the water seemed free of at least visible algae. As far I could see... in the darkness. A quick swim and then head home to have a shower to wash off any residues.
Full story
August 2020
Valkjärven Tiiran uimaranta, Klaukkala, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Too crowded!
I wanted to swim somewhere near Berlin. I thought Wukensee would be a nice place, but they were closing... so I drove to Bernsteinsee. They were not closed yet, but they also had way too many people. A little worried about the crowds...
Full story
August 2020
FKK Strand am Bernsteinsee, Marienwerder, Germany


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Turns All Year
Well, it is a turn. And I was desperate.
Full story
(TGR version)
July 2020
Kauniaisten jäähalli, Kauniainen, Finland


Skiing

Torhola side cave
If this cave wasn't next to Torhola's great karst cave, it would be remarkable. Now, it is largely ignored.
Full story
February 2016
Torholan luola 2, Lohja, Finland


Caving (Rock,Rock-Limestone,Morphology-Karst,Basic)

The wet walk to the lake village lake
Today's swim was at the Träskbyträsket ("lake village lake"). Nice swim. The only thing was ... that the lake is in the middle of nowhere, and as I approached it, it became apparent that is surrounded by a swamp. Getting wet before getting wet in the lake.
Full story
July 2020
Träskbyträsket, Långvik, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Poisonous algae, but still swimming
Tuesday was difficult. The first place that I attempted to swim at in Matinkylä was signposted as having the dangerous blue-green algae in the water. And there was plenty of it, slushing green slime throughout the water. The same in the next spot... and the third. Or, there was a sign, but water actually seemed clear, so I did swim.
Full story
July 2020
Soukanrannan uimaranta, Soukka, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach,Nature)

Hiidenvesi swim... eek oil barrier snakes
Ralf and I wanted to dip into the lake after a sweaty hike where we searched for possible new caves. Hiidenvesi was on the way... it looked nice, but I had never really stopped there. We went to the water... and found (eek!) oil barrier snakes drying on land. Maybe swim on other side of the peninsula?
Full story
July 2020
Hiidenveden venepaikka, Lohja, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Luukki swim
One of the most well-known recreation areas in the Helsinki region is Espoo's Luukki. Too well known, perhaps, too many people, crowds. But when I visited Luukki on a grey evening, I found absolutely no one else there. A peaceful, calm lake. Oh, and a parking police checking my own car was properly parked :-) It was.
Full story
July 2020
Luukki, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach); Car

Suvisaaristo: Svinö swim
A beach far in the south... of Espoo's Suvisaaristo :-) It is late, it is starting to rain, and there's no one on the beach. Nice.
Full story
July 2020
Svinön uimaranta, Suinonmäki, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Vetokannas swim
Late is the key. Almost no one at the Vetokannas ex-sandpit, current beach & hangout place.
Full story
July 2020
Vetokannas, Kaivoksela, Vantaa, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sandpit,Beach)

Sundet beach and Sundsberg harbour
I was looking for a place to swim in Sundberg, Kirkkonummi. My first attempt was to get to the apparent harbour on the west side, near Morbacka. Could it be a Soviet-occupation era harbour? And maybe a swimming would also be possible? This needed investigation.
Full story
July 2020
Sundetin uimaranta, Sundberg, Kirkkonummi, Finland*; Sundbergetin satama, Sundberg, Kirkkonummi, Finland**


Swimming* (Outdoor); Urban-Exploration** (Harbours)

Tampaja swim and the tilted house
Today's swim was at the lake Tampaja, which I had never heard about before. It is a medium-sized lake near Lapinkylä in northern parts of Kirkkonummi. There's a nice public beach, but unfortunately not much space around for a more socially distanced swims.
Full story
July 2020
Tampajan uintipaikka, Tampaja-järvi, Kirkkonummi, Finland*; Tampajan rauniosauna, Tampaja-järvi, Kirkkonummi, Finland**


Swimming* (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach,Nature); Urban-Exploration** (Buildings)

Vitträsk swim
Today's swim was at the lake Vitträsk, right across the shore from the famous Hvitträsk villa for the architects Saarinen, Gesellius, and Lindgren. There's a public swimming beach, Luoman uimaranta, but I wanted to stay on my own. There was ample. space and decent way to get to the water on both sides of the official beach.
Full story
July 2020
Vitträskin uintipaikka, Vitträsk-järvi, Kirkkonummi, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature,Beach)

Paimio cave search... on a swamp???
There are a lot of interesting data sources for searching for new caves. There are databases at the national geology research institute [1, 2, 3]. There are reports and books of boulder fields [4,5]. There are websites [6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Old newspaper keyword searches [11]. And regular maps [12]. But in addition, there are also names of places. Ralf had found the names Luolaniittu (cave field, on a small hill) and Luolassuo (cave swamp, an actual swamp) in Paimio. I have to say we felt pretty silly standing in the swamp with all our caving gear.
Full story
July 2020
Kukonharjanmäen kivenalusluolanen 1, Kukonharjanmäki, Paimio, Finland; Kukonharjanmäen kivenalusluolanen 2, Kukonharjanmäki, Paimio, Finland; Kukonharjanmäen kivenalusluolanen 3, Kukonharjanmäki, Paimio, Finland; Kukonharjanmäen lippaluolanen, Kukonharjanmäki, Paimio, Finland; Kukonharjanmäen kallionalusluolanen, Kukonharjanmäki, Paimio, Finland


Caving (Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Boulders,Basic,Surveying,Researching)

The furthest Volvo has been
This is the furthest the Volvo has been in two years, 220 km away. There and back, and even on one 40L tank of gas. Apparently, I had only half a liter left in the tank when I got home...
Full story
July 2020
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Car

Aunessilta swim
Aunessilta is a classic rock arch bridge in Kämmenniemi, Teisko. It is perhaps the most beautiful bridge in Finland. At least in my opinion! So why not swim under it, on a hot summer day?
Full story
July 2020
Aunessilta, Kämmenniemi, Teisko, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Waterbody-River,Water,Nature)

Kesämökki swim
Swimming on your own beach... on a hot summer day, having taken a couple of days off... with your youngest with you... bliss!
Full story
July 2020
Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Beach)

Make car great again
The Volvo needs fixing again. Not a surprise. But it is a surprise that I was able to fix it. Such a great skill, great tools, beautiful result. Painter's tape to hold it in place.
Full story
July 2020
House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland


Car

Cape Murder swim
The Bodom lake is a wonderful lake with sandy beaches in northern Espoo. It is also the scene of a gruesome murder in 1960, a murder that goes unsolved until today. The site of the murder is one of the most beautiful swimming spots. But obviously a sober spot as well.
Full story
July 2020
Murhaniemi, Bodom-järvi, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Tuohilampi swim
After-caving swim is very useful, to get rid of that mud and moldy basement smell. And replace it with the scent of freshly sprayed muddy forest pond. Nice!
Full story
July 2020
Tuohilampi, Vihti, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Sandpit swim in Paimio
It felt VERY good. To dive in clear water, on a sandpit lake. To wash the sweat of the day's hike away.
Full story
July 2020
Hiekkahelmi, Paimio, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sandpit,Nature,Beach)

Vuohilampi swim
After the failure in Matalajärvi, I looked for another place. The nearest one that I had not been to was Vuohilampi, also in Espoo and Nuuksio. After a short hike from the road I found a nice little lake, and no houses on my side of the lake. Nice!
Full story
July 2020
Vuohilampi, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Sahajärvi swim - The secret rapids
Fail. And fail again. My first choice of a lake turned out to be the water intake for Espoo. Maybe not swim there, in case someone doubts how well I wash my swimming pants :-)
Full story
July 2020
Salakoski, Sahajärvi, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature,Waterbody-River)

Tiny cave near Vuohilampi
While walking to Vuohilampi for a swim (and eating blueberries), I found a small cave in the woods.
Full story
July 2020
Vuohilammen luolanen, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Caving (Rock,Rock-Granite,Morphology-Crack,Basic)

Too slimy!
An attempt to swim in Matalajärvi... ended in a failure. I decided the slimy, still water and the extremely muddy bottom was not for me.
Full story
July 2020
Matalajärvi, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (None)

Saunalahti swim
Saturday's swim was in Saunalahti. At an official beach -- but since it was raining heavily, I figured there'd be no one else. I was right, except as I was leaving two groups of kids showed up, as the rain had ended.
Full story
July 2020
Kallvikin uimaranta, Saunalahti, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Sea,Beach)

Hepolampi swim
Today I went to Hepolampi for a swim. It is a medium sized forest pond, with clear but dark waters, soft bottom, and warm, quiet waters in the middle of nature. And -- guaranteed -- no one else around. There are 2-3 houses, but even they are well hidden and appeared empty.
Full story
July 2020
Hepolampi, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland


Swimming (Outdoor,Water,Waterbody-Lake,Nature)

Continue reading from part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, and part 7.