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.

Nevertheless the shift went fast as always. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to have a few cookies and some tea in the volunteers' room which I often used to replace the missed breakfast, being the type who wakes up on the last minute. We were also given lunch tickets every day and while working in Messukeskus, it was possible to use them at a nearby restaurant which had quite a decent buffet menu.

The bow of Suokki, the smaller Suomenlinna ferry, while underway. 
13th of July, the day of glory when Helsinki had a very rare and unique visitor, the Azores. Built in 1948 and therefore among the oldest cruise ships still in service, she visited once last year and once this year. I wrote a more detailed post about her history here
I really dig that stern sponson. In fact when I googled "stern sponson" the very first image result was this ship.
(Stern sponson being the neat duck-tail like structure on the back of the ship, added there for extra stability) 
Silver Cloud
Mariella coming in from Stockholm in the early morning
Gymnastics fair at Messukeskus
The beautiful stains on my jacket sleeve
What else is there to do after finishing work if not take selfies with people sporting interesting hats

After the work we were initially supposed to just go back to Suomenlinna and spend the evening there with some activities, but Diego, our teacher from Spain and the leader of the Messukeskus team proposed going to see the Swiss national show instead. We did go back to Suomenlinna at first though, and after getting there we had a vote with quite obvious results, as well as our usual dinner at Chapman's.

We took a train from Pasila back to the city center, meaning that I finally got to try out the Finnish version of the same train model that's used in Estonia. The seats were a little different, that's all. 

Nautica had arrived in the meanwhile
Our ferry was surrounded by seagulls as always, and a french group of gymnasts had some fun with them

Mariella also sailed in from Tallinn
And so did Merilin
In addition to the dinner and meeting we had a little time to change and get ready and then we took the ferry back to Helsinki and headed for the Ice Hall, where the Swiss national evening was taking place. I will once again let the pictures talk. 

While walking towards the Ice Hall we just happened to walk alongside the same people again. This time, Atoumata from our French group also joined in for a picture. 
The Helsinki Ice Hall, the same place where I first saw my favourite band Nightwish live in early 2012. I immediately noticed the place has been renovated ever since. 
Got something to keep as well

After the show we headed straight back to Suomenlinna, where we were free for the night. Oskar and I used that time to go for a walk. Suomenlinna, despite being an old sea fortress, has quite a lot of nature. In addition to the obvious greenery we saw several hares and toads. There was also very, very many barnacle geese everywhere and in a short time we understood why our hostel had a rule that everyone entering had to leave their shoes at the door, which is not a very common rule in public places in Finland. Almost the whole island, every single grassy patch or not very often walked area was much like a minefield, almost covered in droppings from the said birds. In many places it was difficult to walk without stepping into any, and most of the time we were too busy to watch out. 

A toad, much like the many other toads we saw during the camp. Alas, I didn't get any decent hare photos.
We also met someone's super friendly kitty who chose to stick around and adventure with us for a little time. 

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