Helsinki Part 2

I’m getting a bit behind on blogging…

Saturday: no luggage, suppose to come on flight from Oslo this evening.

On Saturday,  I was feeling pretty tired, didn’t sleep well, woke up at 5 and couldn’t get back to bed, so didn’t do all that much.  I spent much of the morning prepping for the jwoc sprint, going through street view of the entire terrain on ,you phone, while matching it up with the old maps of the area on my tablet. It looks like 1 great big hill that is half a forest park, and the other half narrow, mostly residential streets.

After that, I found an Orienteering map online for right near the hostel, and went for a run on a course there. I then came home to the hostel, had lunch and tried to figure out how to watch the WOC race (unsuccessfully), so had a nap. 

Walked around downtown for early evening, loud heavy metal concert in one park (where the 300 Porta potties were yesterday), and a pride celebration in another park.

A few more random though on Helsinki:

I absolutely love the bike network, and little design things that really make it flow. The bikes, pedestrians, and vehicles all have separate traffic lights, and the dedicated lanes and networks are great. 

Love the subtle brickwork separating cyclists and pedestrians. Granite not concrete curbs are also much nicer.

Is there a storm server system? I couldn’t find any drainage grills on the roads, and lots of rooftops just drained into the street.

Remnants of war. It was always subtle, but there were just random bunker entrances in various places as you would walk down the street.

Played some Jenna back at the hostel after dinner, but 4 blocks wide not three.

Sunday morning: 

Left the hostel around 9, started taking transition to airport where I was meeting up with the Blake family from the Yukon to head up to Tampere for jwoc training. The first bus was good, but then Google sent me on a nonexistent bus, so I walked in the general airport direction until I found a bus stop with a direct airport bus. Met up no problem after a brief detour into a train station.

Talked to the airline rep at airport in person, they couldn’t find the bag despite like half an hour of phoning around. So, still no bag. Getting pretty smelly. On the plus side,they gave me a free tee-shirt. 


Helsinki – A(n In)Complete Guide Map (Based on a 6 Hour Walk)

Here is a hand drawn summary map of Helsinki, with everything you need to know. Just give up on finding a bathroom anywhere. Probably to be expanded westwards tomorrow.

For the next time you visit! Tourist density based on number of seagulls, size of garbage cans(a direct correlation) and density of ice cream stands.

Day in a Nutshell:

My luggage has yet to show up, they havent found it yet, so I figured I’d just walk around Helsinki today. I started at around 9 am, and got back around 3, with a few breaks to people watch and have lunch. Checked world orienteering Championships, psychological results (way to go Damian!) and then had a nap before supper.

Harbour Access, with jurassic park looking zoo in the background.

Helsinki is decent sized, old buildings at the middle, and younger further out. Surprisingly large number of smokers, and cigarette butts everywhere. The waterfront is quite nice, public access is kept well, very little private access. 

Waterfront panorama. Referencing map above, $$$ boats on right, $$$$ yachts on left.

Land use: A few Greenspan especially, but most everything is 5-9 stories tall and made of brick. No skyscrers beyond 15 stories anywhere. Bottom floor almost always used for commercial purposes, with remaining higher floors residential or office space in downtown core. Business signage is understated, small which keeps the character of the town, but makes it a tad difficult to find things. One exception was a Mercedes Benz logo way up in the air above all the rooftops. 

Typical street. Tram, cars, parking. 1 level commercial, 4 residential.

Statues/monuments: all over the place. Especially naked copper turned green statues are a dime a dozen. Some monuments are only Finnish, others have 5 languages on them. 

The statue from the “somedays you are the pigeon (or seagull), some days you are the statue” memes.


  • In Salmon Arm: cyclists<pedestrians<smart cars<normal cars<pickup trucks
  • In Helsinki: cars<pedestrians<cyclists<busses<trams

Rent a bike and leave it in any other rack. Good idea, but rarely used, most racks full. Only saw 2 in use. Locals all have their own bikes.

A Day of Firsts – June 28 and 29

1. First time leaving the country by myself (and flying by myself).

Ready To Go!

2. First time I have seen 3 oceans in one day.

The pacific 

3. First time north of the Arctic circle (the sun never went down on my midnight flight!)

Greenland… I think? Maybe the Arctic ocean.

4. First time having the airline lose my luggage.

It was only a 50 minute layover, with the first plane arriving half an hour late, so not really a surprise.

5. First time in Europe. 

Little park near my hostel

Now off to explore Helsinki,  meet up with the rest of team Canada, and then off to junior World’s! 

Bonus First. First blog post not written on a computer (hence little text cause typing on touchscreens just doesn’t compare).