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.
When I looked around the group during the lecture I saw obvious disappointment in many faces, but as we know now it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it may have seemed to be at first. Afterall, the Gymnaestrada was advertised to be a very green event and our job was to make it at least somewhat true.

I hope that those who chose not to keep our super thick work manuals recycled them right!

After that we had a lunch at Chapman and then we went to Helsinki to visit a small temporary sauna which was built into a twenty-foot shipping container. Despite the obvious lack of space in there, it was among the best sauna experiences. The small sauna room was unusually light, the shower only had cold water (which was a great disappointment to some and a great joy for others, including myself) and sometimes we just went to chill outside in our swimwear. Unfortunately, although the sauna was on a pier on the coast a little north from Katajanokka, we were not allowed to jump in the sea. After the sauna we had a nice walk around Helsinki, checking out some churches and doing a little shopping. I was in a really good mood the whole day (or the whole camp, actually) and at one point while we were walking in Helsinki, I started singing "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands!" and surprisingly enough, no one cared, except Xandra from Tanzania who started singing along.

The bell next to the Suomenlinna church was ringing when we were heading for lunch - a sight I had never seen before. The sound was actually caused by the relatively modern-looking piece of metal twitching against the bell, which I found a little surprising, since I have wondered about its purpose in the past. 

During the Helsinki tour we were all very happy to receive these, though I, for example, didn't use mine at all. There was one voucher for free entrance to the Military museum in Suomenlinna that Oskar and I wanted to use, alas we never found a good moment. 
A nice view...
.. or two
Helsinki Cathedral
The street musician I usually see on Aleksanterinkatu - this time some 100m away from his usual post. 
This recorder guy next to the Chapel of Silence got my pennies for playing Habanera
Inside Chapel of Silence
Inside Temppeliaukio church, which is built into a cliff.
After seeing this tram in service I was feeling a bit sad that we didn't need to go anywhere it could take us.
People on the Mariella spotted as we returned to Suomenlinna
As well as the rusty rust on her sides. Made me wonder, since it has been only a couple of months since her last docking.
And of course, what's a tour around Helsinki without some mandatory souvenir buying? I surely will need it in the upcoming Finnish winter!
After the walk in Helsinki we returned to Suomenlinna, where we had dinner and later some very relaxing yoga instructed by our lovely teacher Elina. Feeling super relaxed afterwards, I saw no other option but to call it a night.

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