Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Mannerheim Bunker

A small announcement in the newspaper -- Mannerheim's bunker to open for visitors. Of course I had to go...

It is a small bunker, underneath the Tamminiemi museum. There's an entrance from the seafront, through the exposed rock face. There are also stairs to the main house. Or were, the house side of this entrance has been closed, and the wooden stairs have collapsed a long time ago.

A damp place. In the recent rains it had flooded. And earlier before they started the renovation, it was half-filled with water. Due to damage, the internal (wooden?) roofs of the bunker rooms no longer exist.

Still, this small bunker manages to pack an interesting maze of small corridors and closets in a tiny space six meters under ground. And the corridor towards the stairs to the house was off-limits, I went inside, of course. But Jarmo went even further and saw the stairs. Photos of them brought to you here in this blog, not for viewing even on the rare official tour!

Worth a visit though. Googling for when they've opened it, the last time was in 2011, so every five or six years there seems to be a way to come and see this.

Photos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko and Jarmo Ruuth

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Santa Monica Beach

For some reason, one of my favourite places in the greater Los Angeles area is Santa Monica. Maybe it is because on my first trip I stayed there, various fun memories from all my time there. Or the beach.

In any case, Janne and I spent an evening walking on the beach and playing in the waves as the sun was setting. Fun!

We had not planned to do this, so we didn't have swimsuits, but it didn't matter - we went in with our city tour clothes, and it was even more fun that way :-)

Photos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko

Falcon 9 Booster

When Janne and I were in California, we made a pilgrimage to the SpaceX headquarters. In front the building stands a used Falcon 9 booster. Impressive feat of space technology!

Photos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko.

Space Shuttle Endeavour

Janne and I managed to see yet another space shuttle, the Endeavour at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. They also have the one remaining external fuel tank on display.

Interestingly, the museum is undergoing expansion, and their new building will house the shuttle, boosters, and the fuel tank fully stacked, in upright position. That will be amazing!

Photos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko. New building schematics originally downloaded from strxur.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Damn Foot

Getting tired with my foot hurting. Another re-occurrence of the problem in May. For the last two weeks its been hurting again, on several days I've been unable to walk and on others it has been at least disturbing. All tests and X-rays show nothing. So maybe it just hurts...

Photos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Vegas. Yuck.

Vegas. Glad we visited it briefly. Never been here before. But, all in all, and considering the breakfast options, I think it is time to move on.

And oh boy what they have done... Eiffel tower base that starts from a noisy gaming hall... too many people, hotel complexes that are on purpose difficult to navigate... noise... really glad we got away!

Photos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Santa Monica and Commercial Aviation's roots

I hadn't really known about this, but one of my favourite places in L.A., Santa Monica, played a large role in early commercial aviation. The Douglas Aircraft company was based here, for instance, and many iconic aircraft, DC-3 included, were designed here.

The Museum of Flying hosted near the airport is a good source to browse through this history. Among other things they have a DC-3, the nose part of a Boeing 727, Douglas board room round table, and a McDonnell-Douglas SST nose model. They also have staff that is eager to tell you various parts of the history, and show you around. Recommended!

Photos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko