Friday, 31 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 11 - Final goodbyes and homecoming

The very final day started with a half asleep goodbye hug to Carolina and Lucia who were leaving to catch their flight, and then after some more sleep and plenty of time to rise and shine we had the final lunch at Chapman at midday. Despite having been seriously overfed during the camp, I ate a lot because the food was unusually delicious.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 10 - Wrapping up the Gymnaestrada

When we took our last 9:40 morning ferry to Helsinki, I was still quite unsure of where I would be working. I was supposed to go to Messukeskus but I was much  more willing to go to Get Together Area instead, and fortunately, just minutes before the said groups split, I was able to exchange with Atoumata and thus I got what I wanted. This time the shift was especially easy - a few patrols, cleaning up a cliff, a tea break, a few more patrols with Oskar, a lunch, and as we were having lunch Elina and Helena came up to us and said that we've been doing some g'job, and released us as a reward. Once again it was me, Oskar and a few hours of free time in Helsinki, which we chose to spend looking around in stores, as usually. After the free time we all gathered at Get Together Area to go watch the Gymnaestrada closing ceremony.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 9 - Going on an adventure or two

As it turned out, the permission to wake up and go to work an hour later than before was permanent, so we had to be out in time for the 9:40 ferry again. Our hostel was near the harbour and the walk wasn't long, however during our stay they seemed to be in the middle of some works with most likely rain water gutters, so there was something resembling a small moat surrounding the building. So on day 9, just about time, I tripped into it as we were on our way out, hit my right knee and got a lovely bruise to add to the carpet burn from the gymnastics day I already had on the same foot. Nevertheless, it didn't bother me much and we carried on to the boat and our workplaces.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 8 - Nothing special, keep scrolling

A week had passed since our arrival when we were all very happy to wake up a whole hour later and catch the ferry at 9:40. Therefore we arrived at our areas, mine still in Töölö, a whole hour later and our shift was shorter.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 7 - Midnight Sun

The first half of the 7th day was quite the usual, except for the fact that our usual 8:40 ferry departure was served by Tor instead of the usual Suokki; to me it was the first and so far the last time on board. I was working in Töölö once again, however since every single corner of all the areas was in tip top condition it meant there really wasn't anything at all to do.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 6 - Doing our own gymnastics

Following the usual somewhat difficult wakeup and rush to the 8:40 ferry, we were divided into three groups, because the Töölö practice fields had been put into use and the presence of the environmental team was now required there as well. I was, in fact, initially placed there and only spent the first two days in Messukeskus because the area was not in use. So this time I went along with the Get Together Area group, since both the areas are next to the Olympic Stadium.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 5 - Knee deep in cream sauce

On the 2nd workday we had to wake up even more brutally early and make it to the ferry that left at 8:40. Otherwise everything was much like on the day before - we were divided in two groups once again, one heading to Get Together Area and the other, including me, to Messukeskus. The 2nd day was slightly easier because many people remembered the order of things and there was much less hassle. However the participants' lunch that day included some really creamy sauce, which meant that the few times I had to deal with the biowaste bins made some terrible stains on my working uniform.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 4 - Gymnaestrada!

Finally, after we had already been there several days, got to know each other well and adapted to the lifestyle, it was time to get to work. The wakeup was super early on my scale, with the optional breakfast at 8 and the ferry leaving at 9:10. On the first two days only two of the three areas were in use, therefore we were divided in two groups and we headed off to our areas.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 3 - Expanding our range

The third day was the first brutally early wakeup and breakfast, after which were given even more details about our voluntary work. We were a part of the environmental team, which would probably be the politically correct way to call the trash team. We were divided between three working areas, and our main task was to make sure that people do the recycling right and that the areas are clean and tidy.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 2 - The Suomenlinna day

The 2nd day started with a guided tour in Suomenlinna. After the tour we were given a first introduction to our voluntary work and we also received our uniforms, which of course called for a group photo. After that we were given some free time which I spent walking with Sonja from Finland and Oskar from Poland, as well as watching Gabriella sail in from Tallinn.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 1 - Arrival and settling down

Recently I had the honour to volunteer at the World Gymnaestrada, which is a major gymnastics event organized every 4 years. This time it was in Helsinki. To be more precise, I participated in a special international camp organized by the Finnish Summer High School Association (Kesälukioseura), which included volunteering at the event, among many other fun activities.

The 10 days at the camp were most likely the most fun I've ever had in my entire life. Considering that I got there because I came 2nd at the Finnish olympiad for Estonian high school students in spring and a Kesälukioseura scholarship was one of the prizes, I felt quite over-rewarded. We lived in Suomenlinna the entire time, which means that during the camp I got a nice dose of everything I love - international and lively environment, ships, Helsinki, busy schedules, gymnastics and so on. I will be publishing one post per day for every day spent there for the next 11 days, adding one song for each day.

Day 1, 09. July

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Experience: Nightwish-cruise on the Baltic Princess (8-9.06.2015)

Nearly a month ago the ticker I had on the side of the blog ticked to zero as we packed our stuff, drove to Turku, met up with two more friends and cabinmates and headed to the Silja Line terminal. Arriving there well before the boarding time, we did the check-in and went to a nearby bar to wait.

We returned to the terminal and boarded as soon as it was possible and right after boarding headed to the buffet to claim our booked dinner. While we were standing in the line the ship departed, giving me a wonderful view of the Viking Grace.

Boarding a sold out cruise
Boarding II
These Nightwish & Silja Line balloons were all over the place
Leaving the Viking Grace behind
Bye Bye Beautiful
The selection was huge at the buffet and we spent hours eating all we could. I remember especially enjoying the sushi and the ice cream and having a hard time fitting everything I wanted into me.
After the dinner the men went to the cabin while Riikka and I went to grab spots at the Starlight palace for the gig. As the palace got crowded, I had to sneak out a few times to poke the men to come along, because otherwise they would have never squeezed through to get to us. Fortunately in the end I succeeded and soon enough after they joined us, the gig started. I can't complain about the setlist, it had everything I wanted. Afterall, the moment I was most looking forward to of the whole cruise was screaming "WE WERE HERE" at the end of The Greatest Show On Earth. At some point I tried to snap some photos of the band members and when nearing the good part of the mentioned song, I climbed on Matti's shoulders. It was a minute of almost constant eye contact with Marco Hietala, until I was put down again - apparently because a security guard told Matti to put me down.

And since I mentioned my own photos, here's the very best I got - it really wasn't easy to get a clear photo. 

If my memory's not failing me, this one was taken by Matti using my camera.

After the gig the party went on until very late hours when the Starlight palace was closed. Us girls then went to sleep, the men carried on partying in others' cabin parties. Subsequently we girls woke up for the Nightwish-quiz and Bingo the next morning. Alas, we didn't win a meet and greet for our cabin (The quiz was so easy, but there was a few tricky questions such as the amount of words in Ever Dream, and a question about the original singer of Over the Hills and Far Away caused a minor conflict), so we chose to have some fun at the Karaoke instead, after some hard but successful attempts to wake up the men. To my great disappointment there was only 8 Nightwish songs available in the karaoke list, as I had wanted to sing either Ever Dream of the Phantom of the Opera, yet neither were available. So I sang I wish I had an Angel instead. I also remember an outstanding performance of Slaying the Dreamer by a young girl. She did the screaming so well that it's a pity I can't find it on Youtube. 

Later on Marco, Troy and Floor performed an acoustic gig including the first ever live performance of Edema Ruh. Of our gang only Riikka attended it, the rest of us discouraged by the big crowds. Instead, we went shopping, rested some more and chilled in the Piano Bar. 

Afterwards, before our arrival to Turku I took a few photos of the ship and we went to chill on the sundeck, where I bumped into my friend Kalle Id ( who greeted me with the words "So, we did end up on the same cruise!".

Mandatory staircase photo
Quite a pleasant sight on a sold-out cruise
Finnclipper in the Turku archipelago
Mandatory funnel photo

After disembarking I was a bit bummed to discover that I still did not have a single one of those Tallinksilja & Nightwish balloons in my possession. Finally after asking some random people of the whereabouts of the balloon giver, they offered to give me one of theirs. You'll probably never read this, random strangers, but thanks a lot, you made me very happy!
Coincidentally, the cruise marked exactly two years since my previous Nightwish gig in Tampere, where I got the bag signed.