Wednesday, January 17, 2018

EuroSpeleo!


After some prodding from friends in the Finnish Caving Society, I finally decided that I should travel to my first caving conference, the EuroSpeleo!

This will be happening in Ebensee, Austria, August 23-26, 2018. Registration is now open!

Screen captures (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. Material from the EuroSpeleo website.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Einstein Museum



Einstein museum! I did not know there was one in the world. As we were returning from Interlaken with Janne, stopping at the museum in Bern was easy.

We saw Einstein's passport and found out many things about Einstein that at least I didn't know, about his family, his support of refugees (as a refugee himself). Something to think about for today...



Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Obviously, museum artefacts and posters are museum's.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Siuntio Östersolberg


Another guest blog entry from Jarmo:

I have done some Bunker hunting with kids during the last few weeks. In December I did a walk in the forest with Eino. First we visited a natural cairn that was in a list of prehistoric sites maintained by National Board of Antiquities (Museovirasto). It was a rather large (70 x 20 meters) flat pile of rocks. The site is located at N 60.15126045868919 E 24.441075770066867. From there we continued to a Soviet rental period bunker that was listed in Kirkkonummi orienteering club Lynx database. The bunker was in a relatively good shape although the gun hole at the top was blasted and filled. It was a standard small size bunker and easy to enter through a long entrance corridor. The bunker is located at N 60.1523370923527 E 24.439182130502353. We parked the car at Dalkullantie road and it was a very nice forest walk from there.

Next trip was early January with Eetu. This time we went to a city of Siuntio which is not that well covered in Lynx database. We got the coordinates from a book ‘Pekka Silvast, 1991. Porkkala 1944–1956 - Neuvostoliiton merisotilaallinen tukikohta. Tutkimusraportti, Sotamuseo 1/1991’. It has some maps that show potential bunker locations. We went to check four sites east of Solberg, Siuntio. The first site we checked was  just next to a Knapantie but we did not see any sign of a bunker (at N 60.11358185466233 E 24.137855058724238). The second site was not far at the edge of a farming field and this time we did find a bunker (at N 60.11477465670625 E 24.129049366528346). It was fully covered and only the gun hole at the top was slightly visible. No way to enter it so we moved on to the next stop further west (at N 60.113831778668214 E 24.12245113235171). Again no bunker there even though we did find a piece of concrete slab that could be from a bunker. By the way, the whole forest area just next to a farming field seem to have an old trench that runs for hundreds of meters.

We kind of thought that we are done and we could not find a decent bunker to enter. But then we checked the last bunker site of the day and found a really big one. It is one of the biggest that we have found so far. Unfortunately I did not make any measurements but it is visible in Google satellite image and from there I measured that it could be as big as 20 x 20 meters. In the center it has a big filled round hole which is likely a gun hole. On the side it has an entrance corridor that was only partly filled and easy to enter. The inside of the bunker was blasted pretty badly but it used to have two floors. This big bunker is located at N 60.11332858748937 E 24.121198540741755. This time we did not get a nice forest walk because forest logging was done just recently. We ended up walking next to a farming field which was also pretty nice.

In addition to those trips I did a quick walk in Kirkkonummi very close to Espoo. I managed to find one bunker that was filled and barely visible (at N 60.149212554762876 E 24.581357983754764). It was not possible to enter the bunker.

Pictures from the big bunker:







Covered bunker in Östersolberg:


Broken/destroyed bunker in Östersolberg:


Cairn:


Bunker in Dalkulla:




Covered bunker near the Sarvvik highway intersection:


Text and photos (c) 2017-2018 by Jarmo Ruuth. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Barry, the dog


Janne and I were in Switzerland, and we met Barry, the famous St. Bernard dog.

Or at least, Barry after he was processed by the taxidermist in 1814... his body is preserved in the Bern Museum of Natural History.

What a wonderful dog. The prototype for what became the famous brand; and he must have been a welcome sight for lost mountain travellers.



Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved; though of course the photos are of signs and displays at the Bern Natural History Museum.

Cosy Bunker


For sale: cosy apartment with flower decorations, strongly built, safe and in the middle of nature. In good condition. Also largely underground and abandoned 100 years ago.

A bunker. A concrete fortress.

I was once again in Stockholm for work. I had originally planned to take my skis for some evening visit to a local ski area, but it turned out that all the Stockholm area ski areas were closed. ("Snow depth: 0 cm Avalanche danger: 1/5"). So I threw in a headlamp and hiking boots to my bag before heading out to the airport, just in case I'd be able to find some bunkering or small cave exploration to my trip.

But once again I didn't have much time. But I had had a late conference call one night, so I felt like I could show up at work a bit later the next morning and explore a bit while it was still daylight. However, I didn't have more than half an hour for the exploration. The clock was ticking, and I was not finding what I was looking for, the Lugnetfortet bunker in the Korvlinjen, near Arninge and Täby, north of Stockholm.

I did find trenches. And I found a pile of sewer pipes abandoned in the forest. But no bunker. And the trench had clearly been placed in the most defendable place at the top of the hill, defending against threat from north. Yet, nowhere nearby I could see the bunker.

I was already resigned to go back to the car, when I realised that the bunker was in fact towards the defence direction from the trench, and on a lower-laying area. Odd, but I had found the bunker. Compared to the other Korvlinjen bunkers, this one was more overtaken by nature, almost invisible even close by.

But inside, pristine concrete from 100 years ago, smooth lines. And painted, with graffiti.... and with flowers. Most of the Korvlinjken bunkers form a T structure, with the main defence/gun positions at the two ends of the top of the T. Here as well. But the gun window of the right side end had been partially masoned closed. Originally or as a later modification? I don't know, but to me it looked like somebody might have been living in this room in recent years. Now empty, but the walls were painted well, there was a heave door that could be closed...

The trenches are at N 59.45668968 E 18.13571178  and the bunker itself is at N 59.45757424 E 18.13680672. This is nearby the two bunkers I had previously been looking for in Arninge (and only one of which I found; I have yet to find the Östra Arningefortet.)









Outside picture:


Here are the trenches and sewer tubes:



Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. This article has also been published at TGR. Tämä artikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. Video editing and sounds are from Apple iMovie. For copyright of the music, see discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-4201.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Järva Sauna


I thought I was being smart, staying at a cheap hotel, at a Stockholm suburb I've never been to before, Järva. But there were surprises...

The first surprise was negative. At this in-the-middle-of-nowhere you suddenly had to pay 15€ for parking. WTF. Plus getting to and out of the garage was a pain, several different pin codes to give, not right next to the hotel, etc.

Fortunately, the second surprise was positive! I had thought there was no sauna, but there was one after all. Excellent.

Pretty basic, a part of the gym, but quite hot & very Finnish-like sauna. Nice.

The Saunablogger.cool site rates various saunas we visit on a scale of 1 to 10. This one is a 7. Very good sauna, but obviously no pool, not separate from the gym, somewhat inconvenient to get to the changing rooms afterwards, etc. But for a small hotel sauna, this is a good result!

The hotel had also interesting signage, pointing (quite correctly) that certain rooms can be reached across multiple paths. Equal-cost multipath routing in action!

Overall, Ibis Style hotel in Järva was a decent experience.




Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. As usual, pictures from saunas, gyms, or pools have been taken when the facilities were closed and/or there was no one else.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Oak Road Bunker


Eve of the eve... not much time, heavy rain, slush on the road... but I wanted to get out and about. And visit another bunker.

According to the Lynx database of the remains from the Soviet occupation of Porkkala, there's a bunker at the end of Tammitie (the Oak Road) near Humaljärvi lake in Kirkkonummi

Just that the road was slippery ice, barely wide enough to fit my car, ditches on both sides, and no way to turn back. And now I was stuck, unable to continue. Or rather, if I would continue I'd not be able to get back. So I backed up two hundred meters and found a more reasonable parking spot.

And I found the bunker, too, it was visible far from the road actually.

The bunker turned too to be the standard smaller Soviet bunker mode that we've already seen many times. Long entrance tunnel, beautiful green moss on the top entrance, and collapsed/blown up gun hole. But not all standard bunkers seem to have had a wall in the middle of the main room. Here they did, like the in bunker in Lindal as well.

Most of this bunker was quite untouched, main entrance would still have been crawable, the small side room and the entrance tunnel were intact, but again a few stones had been dropped on the top entrance, and the gun hole side of the bunker was partially blown up.

I had my drone with me, but it was raining too heavily for the drone to be flown.

Coordinates: N 60.147405 E 24.397086.

Going in:


Video:



Pictures from inside:







This blog article is also available on TGR. Tämä blogiartikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. Photos and videos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Music and sound effects from Apple iMovie. See discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-4201.