Thursday, December 29

It's time again to fly back again

That was it again, 2 weeks passed too fast! And it's always the same when coming home...For each time I come home I wanna stay here longer, am I finally getting homesick? Before I always wanted to go back but now something keeps me here. Getting older? Maybe.
There has been the worse storm in 30 years here in Finland. thousands of people are still without water and electricity after many days already. Luckily it's a warm winter so they don't need to freeze but who wants to be without electricity and water for many days...When I was jogging in the morning there was another tree lying on the electric wire. Must say these wires are extremely durable. Some guys from the power-company came to cut it down while I was passing.
Now that was some strong wind to break those roots
Went with Hede to NJK to fill in some contracts about a boat. NJK is the oldest Yacht Club in Finland started as early as 1861. Even the Norwegian King is a member here :) Sun was setting and it was great to take a few shots.
Different flags for different boats and occasions
"Yepp yepp, let's walk over the ice and see who breaks it first"
Some weight to hold down the boat hootch
Woods area @ harbour
Another great Xmas holiday spent! Thanks Mom, Dad, Bro, Family & Friends + Shuo for making this Christmas as good as it was. You are the reason I come back twice a year. And Hede it was great to pass Horde, Campaign AND Beast in COG-3!!! Weathers been so weird here this December. Worse storm in 30 years, warmest winter in 60 years and most rain in decades. Climate change or apocalypse @ 2012 like the movie predicted? :)

Will miss the clear skies and fresh air!!

Tuesday, December 27

Christmas eve

Time goes so fast, feels like I just came to Finland and had tons of things to do. Now it's only 2 days left until I go back and Christmas eve already went by. Was really nice to be see all family members and friends. The Christmas tree was about 5 meters tall this year.
Food's also been amazing, one of the things I'm missing most are the awesome supermarkets that China don't have. And the one's that are awesome in China are twice or 3 times more expensive than here. Stockmann is by far the best grocery store in Helsinki.

Friday, December 23

Ancient Grave @ Soukka

Some snow came and it looks something of a winter now. Found a high hill in Soukka and there happens to be a ancient viking grave. Just a few hundred meters from our house. Been living next to it for the last 10 years but this is the first time I've seen it...

Visiting the cemetery of Malm

At Christmas we always go the the cemetery to put candles and so does many other people as well. By the night if 24th the whole cemetery will be lit up by thousands of candles. This is the church of Malm.

For people with relatives in other cities candles can be put

Thursday, December 22

Sibelius monument

Last summer when I was in Finland I was sick, had a really bad cough and could not do any sports. This time no China flu and I've been able to go jogging every morning. One of the things I cannot do back in China because it's just a big concrete jungle with dirty air and too much traffic. The first day's with jet-lag I woke up at 4.30 am and went out for a 5 km run, damn I love the fresh air!
Run like the wind...
Alko is the "Finnish governmental monopoly alcoholic store", in other words the only place where they are allowed to sell any alcoholic drinks above 4,7% and other special beers/ciders. Now they started selling Chinese Zhujiang beer, never seen this beer in China but we have it in Finland now...I read an article that China will start promoting exclusive Chinese products abroad but not IN China...Guess that would not even work there since so many scandals about fake products, poisonous food etc.
It's been raining almost everyday until yday. Day was sunny but evening was snowy. In the night a snowstorm hit town.
One of the few attractions points is the Sibelius monument in Helsinki. There just happened to be a beautiful sunset when I came by! Jean Sibelius was the composer of our national song and many other symphonies, some also internationally known.

Mr. Jean...
...and the monument he designed
The setting Xmas sun

Tuesday, December 20

Helsinki Xmas Shopping

Nice to walk around town at Christmastime when the streets are decorated and lit. The weather has been horrible here, just rain everyday and cloudy. Haven't seen a crappy winter like this for a long time. Last year at this time there was 2 meters of snow and over -20 degrees cold. Now only rain and +2, big applause to global warming.
Some main attraction points in Helsinki: Main Cathedral, Muikkuja (small fish), Old sailing boat made into a restaurant.

Muikku in Finnish is also same a "cheese" in English while taking a photograph. Useful knowledge. Hope u liked it Shuo!
In the evening my uncle had a concert called "Manifestum" in the old church of Helsinki. Was sold out and there were about 700 people packed into the somewhat small church. Cozy and great acoustics.
After the consert home to sauna and fireplace to just sit and watch the flames dance. This stuff I really miss in China, no fireplace @ home.

Sunday, December 18

Back in Finland and a traditional cruise to Estonia!

After about 17 hours of in flight/waiting finally arrive in Finland after midnight. Plane was about 30 mins AND they lost my bag. Let's see when/if it will be back.

Each time I come home we go on a cruise to Estonia with Eckerö Line. The boat takes 4 hours to arrive in Estonia from Helsinki.

We started the morning with a Champagne brunch and it was awesome. Santa Claus also showed up many times at the cruise giving out candy and reduced ticket prices.
It's great to walk around downtown in this 900 year old town. They had a big Christmas market in the middle of downtown and some live music.

City gates, goes way back in time
Found a place to shoot bows. Stefan Hede 1-0
The stage with music
Orthodox church outside and inside
Peppersack - Old castle renovated into a restaurant
Evenings look beautiful
Nice try :)