maanantai 27. heinäkuuta 2009

Over

My holidays are over, today is the first day back in the office.

I´m actually happy to be back to work. No back-to-work-depression for me. Next Friday starts a Finnish-German confirmation camp where I´m one of the four leaders. It´s possibly my last one, so it should be very emotional one.

Lomat on sitten ohi, tänään eka päivä takaisin kirkolla toimistolla. Itse asiassa on ihan kiva aloittaa taas työt, loma meni todella hyvin. Eli ei mitään lomaltapaluustressiä täällä suunnasssa. Ensi perjantaina alkaa mahdollisesti mun viimeinen sasu (suomalais-saksalainen) ripari, joten voi olla aika tunteikasta menoa. Sasulla aina tunteet on pinnassa.

http://sasublogi.blogspot.com/

Amorphis: From the heaven of my heart

keskiviikko 22. heinäkuuta 2009

Scientology, cult of death



http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/

Read about the truth about Scientology and the violence of their leader David Miscavige.

Ylläolevasta linkistä voit lukea totuuden Skientologiasta. Se ei ole vaan science fiction uskonto hassuine Xenujumalineen vaan oikeasti tappava kultti. Seuraa kriittisiä linkkejä: http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skientologia

tiistai 21. heinäkuuta 2009

Espoo Cathedral

It´s my last week on holidays, Monday I´ll return to work. Finnish-German confirmation camp awaits... But there´s still time to do all kinds of things.

Last weekend we visited
Linnanmäki Amusement Park in Helsinki and today we went to Espoo Cathedral. The first reason to our visit was that our children had heard a story that inside the Cathedral, in some brick or wall, is a print of cat´s paw and boy´s handprint. We decided to find out whether this is true.

The Espoo Cathedral is the oldest building in Espoo and still in everyday use. It´s built at the end of 1480´s and few decades before that the history of Espoo as a city and parish began. You can read more about the history in English
here. We asked about the marks in the bricks from the guide. She told that all the bricks in the Cathedral are handmade and in the process of drying them, it´s very possible that in many bricks there are marks. We found the paw, it was very clear. But not the boy´s handprint, or we couldn´t be sure whether it was there. But I would presume that during the making, some rascal wanted to make his mark to the following generations.

Cathedral isn´t very big, surprisingly small in fact. But it´s nice inside. I prefer churches that look like churches, not the modern ones. Even though Olari Church is nice, full of light and most importantly MY CHURCH, these old churches and cathedrals have a history that binds them in the history of Christianity.

Virtual tour in the cathedral.


Viimeisiä päiviä viedään ennenkuin loma loppuu ja maanantaina palaan töihin. Suomalais-saksalainen ripari odottaa...

Mutta vielä ehtii tehdä kaikenlaista. Oltiin muutama päivä sitten Lintsillä ja tänäänkin reissattiin ihan Espoossa. Lapset oli kuulleet tarinan, että Espoon tuomiokirkossa on kissan ja pojan jäljet jossain vanhassa tiilessä tai seinässä. Päätettiin lähteä ottamaan selvää onko tarina tosi.

Espoon tuomiokirkko on Espoon vanhin rakennus ja edelleen jokapäiväisessä käytössä. Se on rakennettu keskiajalla1480-luvun lopulla. Muutama vuosikymmen tätä ennen katsotaan Espoon perustetun, seurakunnan ja siitä alkaen myös kunnan. Espoon seurakuntayhtymän sivuilta löytyy paljon tietoa kirkosta.

Kysyimme oppaalta näistä jäljistä. Hän kertoi, että kaikki kirkon tiilet on tehty käsin, joten on hyvin mahdollista, että kun tiiliä on kuivatettu ulkon, niin niistä voi löytyä kaikenlaisia raapustuksia ja merkkejä. Kissan tassun jäljen löysimme helposti, mutta selkeää pojan käden jälkeä emme. Voin kyllä hyvin kuvitella, että joku poika on aikanaan käynyt merkkaamassa tiilen.

Tuomiokirkko on ei ole kovin suuri, yllättävän pieni itseasiassa. Itse pidän kirkoista, jotka ovat kirkkojen näköisiä myös sisältä ja ulkoa. Moderneissa kirkoissa ei ehkä ole ihan sitä samaa "fiilistä" (vaikka fiilistä ei kirkosta kai ole tarkoitus hakea). Vaikka Olarin kirkko on valoisa ja hieno omalla laillaan, niin ehkä silti pidän vanhoista kirkoista enemmän. Ja vaikka Olarin kirkko on se mulle kaikkein läheisin kirkko. Vanhoissa kirkoissa on vain kirkkohistorian tuntua ja se koskettaa.

lauantai 18. heinäkuuta 2009

Good music

I´m quite excited about Spotify. I´ve found many good forgotten-by-me songs there and made a playlist of them. They are not necessary the most played songs of the albums but great music anyway.

Here are some of my findings:

  • Depeche Mode: Waiting for the night
  • A-ha: Soft rains of April
  • DC Talk: Red letters
  • Klaus Doldinger: Das Boot
  • Manic Street Preachers: Ready for drowning
  • Rich Mullins: Awesome God
  • Mike Oldfield: See the light
  • Paul McCartney. No more lonely nights
  • Michael Card: Why
  • Dire Straits: Romeo and Juliet
  • Eric Clapton: Let it grow
  • Eurythmics: I saved the world today
  • The Scorpions: Holiday
  • Ofra Haza: Shaday
  • Runrig: Èirinn
  • U2: Van Diemen´s land
  • Whiteheart: Independence day
  • The Bangles: Make a play for her now
And there´s plenty of more...


Olen aika innostunut tuosta ruotsalaisesta Spotify:sta. Monta vanhaa ja mulle jo unohtunutta kappaletta on sitä kautta löytynyt uudelleen. Yllä niistä pieni valikoima.Nämä eivät välttämättä ole albumiensa hittibiisejä ja muutenkin yleensä levyiltä löytyy parempia biisejä kuin se "ykköshitti". Spotifyssa saa tehtyä soittolistoja ja näitä löytöjä kelpaa kuunnella.

Koko ajan löytyy lisää...

perjantai 10. heinäkuuta 2009

Last day in Rovaniemi, Rocktaurant and driving in the rain

Thursday came and that was the day our time in the cottage ended. So it was time for tidying up the place and leave before 12.00. Last looks around and after the phone call to the owner, we drove away. And again: Reindeer beside the road, we were lucky to notice it before anything dangerous happened.

A small visit to Ounasvaara sleigh ride was mandatory, our children were promised one ride. Then we bought the last souveniers from the Lordi´s Square. And went to eat before a long drive to Isokyrö.




The Rocktaurant. Lordi´s place to eat. Horror galleries and food, valuable music artifacts and Eighties hardrock. All there. The rest of our family ordered food, I did it quickly, perhaps it was kebab or something. They waited but I wandered all around the restaurant.


It´s not very easy to describe the place. If you don´t like -80's music and horror movies from the same time, you don't understand the concept of Rocktaurant, or even the whole Lordi phenomenon. Some examples what was in there:


  • Billy Gibbons guitar from the first ZZ Top album

  • Original sketches and drawings of Mr Lordi, when he started to create the monsters

  • The wings from Hard Rock Hallelujah Eurovision victory

  • Cover artworks of Lordi albums

  • Much of Kiss merchandise

  • Tuomas Holopainen´s hat and synthesizer

  • Ozzy Osbourne´s, U.D.O's, Twisted Sisters etc drumsticks and much more music equipment

  • Original masks of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface and Freddy Krueger

  • Paintings, creatures, plastic dummies, skeletons, -80's jukebox, chains

If you are visiting Rovaniemi, don't miss this place. Even if you hate horror movies, visit this restaurant because it´s simply so original that you don´t see the same kind of place anywhere in the world. The menu is basic but good (no horror stuff there). I´ll add some pictures from there when back home.

Then started the loooong drive back home. Before Oulu traffic was exhausting. Imagine driving behind three truck tens of kilometres, because there´s no opportunities to overtake. Traffic was dense, why was everyone driving with us? Well, we were on holiday and not in a hurry.

We drove to Oulu marketplace, had a pause of 30min, attended some kind of food festival. Our youngest daughter wanted to have a picture of her and the statue of Market Police. She has read it from the schoolbook in spring and it was very important for her to see the Oulu landmark.

Then there was a coastal drive to Isokyrö. This time there was not so much traffic, but heavy rain. It rained. It rained hard about 100 kilometres. We took it easy and finally came to Isokyrö vicarage to my parent´s place.

The Rovaniemi trip was over. Time for deeper thoughts was in the future.

torstai 9. heinäkuuta 2009

W for Wet Wednesday

The rain woke us and kept us inside the cottage almost all day.

Fortunately we had planned to stay in the cottage that day, so no damage there. It was nice to sleep late and eat breakfast at 10.30. Then it was time to play a good boardgame Modern Art. Our family likes that game very much, enough speculation etc. The idea is to buy and sell art and make money by investing in the right artist.

There was a tiipii-like Lapland hut in the forest not very far away and we decided to visit there. We knew that the path would cross a swamp (there are a lot a swamps in that area) and used only sandals and socks. That was a right decision, because almost instantly our feet were wet. And socks as well. After 10 minutes we knew we had make a mistake. We forgot the mosquito spray. Tens and tens and tens of those flying, biting creatures were all over us, but we wanted to be heroes and see the hut. Crossing the swamp was a wet experience too.

The hut was about 7 metres high and inside was a fireplace, some reindeer skulls and horns, hides and fur. So it was not so earthshaking for us. And inside was more mosquitos. So we quickly decide to go back to the cottage, wash our feet, socks and sandals.

Our daughters love to go rowing on a rowing-boat. In the middle of normal rain and thunderstorm we rowed a while in the pond.

Thunderstorm cut the electricity for a half an hour, luckily not any longer. The storm was quite heavy and sky fell dark very quickly. But after the storm the air was remarkably clear and fresh. I spent time outside just drinking coffee and enjoying the air.

keskiviikko 8. heinäkuuta 2009

Mining - Franklin

Tuesday started as a cloudy, a little rain now and then. We decided to proceed our original plan, got into our car and started the drive towards Luosto and Pyhä, two arctic mountains of Lapland. (I searched sanakirja.org to found out the exact translation to TUNTURI, fjeld was one but I'm not sure of it's the correct one...) The distance was from Rovaniemi 100 and some kilometres.

There was an accurate traffic sign after turning towards Kemijärvi: the whole 60 kilometres was a high risk road in meeting reindeer. On our way there I noticed a truck slowing rapidly and I hit the brakes too. Yes, a small reindeer just entering the road. No danger there, but our insticts were on alert every kilometre from that on.

We have studied the maps and tourist infos beforehand so we head straight to Pyhä fjeld. Our aim was a reindeer park, so that was not a long stop. It must be filled with downhill skiers in wintertime. Then after half an hour drive we found The Kopara Reindeer Park.

That place was a jackpot, one of the highlights of our Lapland trip! For a small fee, we entered a huge corral area where lived about 20 reindeer. Tamed and eager to make friends with us. After five minutes we were feeding 4-5 reindeer with food pellets from the boxes available. And more was coming towards us. They were not frightening at all and easy to feed. There were even some reindeer outside the corral just wandering here and there. We fell in love with one of them, we named it Franklin. It must have a stomach filled after our meeting. This hour there was very memorable and will be remembered for a long time. Highly recommendend!!

The other Tuesday target was an amethyst mine at Lampijärvi. It's located in the fjeld nearby Luosto. Some driving and we entered the parkplace of the mine. Ahead was a walk in the forest, 2,4km. Not a long way and there was a decent car-forbidden route to walk on. Miraculously, almost no flying and biting insects during the walk!

We entered the construction site. There was a small barrack vhere a heavy metal guy was baking buns and stuff in a very small kitchen. Hilarious! We bought the tickets to the mine from him. After some months there will be nice log houses. But now it's filled with construction engines, trash etc.

We climbed the narrow steps up to the fjeld. 150 and more steps. The view during that and up on the fjeld was absolutely stunning. I could have watched the scenery for a very long time. We told our children to look carefully and print the images in their minds, it can never be captured in the photos. Cherish this in the memory bank of your mind.

The guide told us and the other family the history of the mine. The company's (Arctic Amethyst) basic income comes from tourism, not the amethysts of the mine. The people will dig up the gems and can keep some of their findings, children can keep all. We all dug up many amethysts and I even dug a real gemstone, very small and not the pure one but still a small piece of real and genuine gem. Not very worthy in money still. The guide showed us the fist- sized amethyst that's worth of 500€. The Queen of England has an amethyst in the sceptre and Pope has one in the ring which the Catholics often kiss. The visit in the mine was a very nice one too, it was great to look our children hitting the rocky stony ground in their small pickaxes. And we adults enjoyed too. The other family with us at the tour was from Rauma and their father found a rare, so-called Shaman's Gem, three different gemstones together.

While driving back towards Kemijärvi, the anticipated happened: luckily I drove slowly, because ahead of us was about 25 wild reindeer herd beside and in the road. These animals were just relaxing and eating grass. Some males even strolled over the road. No hurry to go anywhere. There was nothing to be done, we just waited and enjoyed the herd's activities. Males have huge and magnificent horns! Finally I started the car and accelerated to a slow speed and we said bye to the nice creatures. I blinked my headlights to cars as a warning.

We ate at Kemijärvi and back to the reindeer-danger route. And we saw two more reindeer beside the road. So the traffic-sign was for real! There must be many accidents in that route.

Our herd was very tired, and after the sauna, sleep was very welcome.

Another memorable day!

tiistai 7. heinäkuuta 2009

Santa Claus and other monsters

Monday we visited the many official Santa Claus attractions in the Arctic Circle. The amount of Christmas and Lapland souveniers was huge. I bought myself a fleece jacket. Christmas & Finnish Lapland belong together, whoever claims differently, is simply wrong.

Santa's Main office (or home) was a exhitions where children are asked beforehand names, ages etc. At the same time parents are given the gift list what presents can Santa later give. Then the youngest is the leader, who leads the family through Lapland exhibition and finally to the Santa's doorstep. When we were at that point there was some 45min queue. Then we met Santa who asked many questions and gave some advice to our daughters how to behave before Christmas. Actually that was very funny moments, I expected rather lame visit, but this guy surprised us very positively by his "acting". We bought 5 postcards, us and Santa together.

Last episode of the day was a drive to the top of Ounasvaara which is a large hill almost in the heart of Rovaniemi. View over the city was amazing, we even took a lift down and up again. That "scenery lift" was actually a slalom lift but called differently in summer. Children took a sleigh ride down and came up with the lift.

After eating in Rovaniemi and some strolling in the city centre (Lordi's Square rocks!!) we drove back to the cottage.

After wood-heated sauna it was time to turn on Urheilukanava (Sport Channel) to enjoy FC Honka- TPS -match. But noooooo! The channel was completely black! No football for me, so I relied on the Futisforum website to read about the happenings in Espoo. The game was a draw 0-0.

Not a single reindeer in sight, anywhere...

Great day!!

maanantai 6. heinäkuuta 2009

Drive

Our children are visiting a husky dog park, so here's some quick words:

The drive through the western coast of Finland was a little monotonic. We didn't see as much of the coast as we expected. There were a lot of traffic until Kemi, but then almost non-existent. After a few wrong turns in Rovaniemi, we found our way to Kivitaipale and to our cottage.

More will follow...

Our cottage at Kivitaipale, Rovaniemi

http://www.lomarengas.fi/ServiceInfo.action?id=1839

lauantai 4. heinäkuuta 2009

Places in Isokyrö

The Isokyrö old church (built 1304) and the vicarage of Isokyrö parish (architect C.L. Engel). My parents have lived in the vicarage since the seventies.

Isokyrö

Lacuna Coil: Within me

torstai 2. heinäkuuta 2009

Summer tour

Tomorrow our family starts our summer holiday tour. We´ll pack our stuff in the morning, leave our cats to my wife´s sister for a week and drive to Isokyrö, countryside. That´s where my parents live. Estimated time of arrival 20.00.

Second leg is the drive from Isokyrö to Rovaniemi. We have rented a cottage there. It´s the first time for our children to travel to Northern Finland. Estimated arrival in 20.00

Expectations:
  • Hot sunny drive tomorrow, fortunately with air-conditioning
  • Stops in the gas stations to buy ice-cream
  • Lengthy audio books
  • Hopefully wild reindeer
  • Sea scenery in the northwestern coastal route to Oulu
  • Grilled food
  • Lots of photos
  • Arctic Circle
  • The Rocktaurant
  • Santa Claus in the summer
  • Good time and experience together, to be remembered for a long time
  • Monday´s match in TV, FC Honka-TPS

U2: In God´s country