Friday, March 5, 2010

Helsinki, Days 5 through 8 – Constant Exhaustion

Busy. Unrelenting work with only dinner as down time. Everything went very well and the trip is essentially over. Off to the airport in about 8 hours.

Great food this week, we ended up eating at a couple of Michelin Recommended restaurants. Not that big difference in price from others, but pretty amazing quality.

Some images from this week …

The highway was beautiful the morning after all the snow … this was Tuesday I believe.


That evening we saw the famous church in the center of downtown. In fact, we parked across the street …


The cobblestone streets and rails for the trams look fantastic, especially when wet.


The next morning brings more snow.


That night, we park outside of grotesk, another Michelin recommended restaurant. But we walk to the Japanese restaurant we saw last night (We ate at Vespa last night and had wonderful pizzas.)


Another walk through their central park with the pretty lit trees … I could not resist this image of the crystalline entity … Start Trek TNG reference for the TV challenged.


Our Japanese restaurant.


I ate nothing out of the ordinary … and racked up 86 Euros … this is an expensive city. One does not go out lightly.

And finally … the sun. Friday morning dawns with a gorgeous clear sky. These northern skies are especially deep blue. No pollution I presume.

From the shadow to the light … downtown.


A dashing we will go …


Smoke is pretty, despite the knowledge that it is not good for the environment … the flattening of the smoke makes me think of a high pressure inversion …


I love the Finnish water towers …


Definitely some traffic in the mornings … we are glad to be going out of town, against the grain.



The big guns are all here … lots of hitech here in Finland.


The landscape reminds of of the Canadian Shield quite a bit …


I failed to capture an image of a crossing moose sign. Bummer.

All the road signs are in Finnish and Swedish …


Lovely forests …


And then on the way back after work … now I am in a taxi, as my coworkers have all left for the airport to catch their flights to Stockholm. Three people booked afternoon flights and all got different flights. Wow …

Glad again to be going against traffic …


Helsinki is just such a cool name …


Helsinki is on an archipelago, and as we cross the several bridges back from Jorvas, we can catch a brief glimpse of the Baltic Sea … by the way, the water can only be seen in pictures that freeze the fast motion …


A no-stopping sign … blue circle with red X. One half of the X says no parking. Try to ignore the girl, she is waiting to cross a street and is cold.


Against the grain …


But then, my direction is clogging up pretty good too …


Turns out that the truck is from Estonia.


The European Union standard license plate carries the country of origin.


And we arrive at the hotel. I am dog tired, but the water front is across the street and looks terrific in the setting sunlight. I must capture some images …

Finns are nuts … they ride bikes in winter all over the place … the Purha appears to be stuck in the ice for the winter.


There is also a sailing ship stuck in the ice on this side of the harbor.


Walking on the snow towards the edge, I get a nice view of the boat against the setting sun.


I can also get a little closer to the Purha a bit further down …


Here we can clearly see the line between the undisturbed ice on this side and the chopped ice on the other. And in the distance there is what appears to be a ferry … perhaps this is the one that takes the cars and trucks to and from Estonia each day.


My hotel looks pretty nice from the harbor …


The snow is fairly deep here … I broke through at points almost to my thigh …


A couple of strange reflective balls are buried in the snow.



Note: The F70EXR handles the blasts of light with aplomb. No other small sensor camera has this kind of dynamic range. And I am shooting all these at 800 ISO to maintain high shutter speeds. Have been all day long …

Beside the hotel is a stairway up to the street that goes downtown. How very European …


No parking … and it is pretty easy to figure out who gets to stop here … in Finnish, it is pronounced tok-see …


Remember that these are all posted straight from the camera. I would have tweaked almost all of them in one way or another, but the cam did a masterful job of capturing incredibly tough light. Go Fuji!

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