Day 145 | Saturday August 6
My hosts invited me to stay a night more and as I’m sticking around Helsinki until I receive my visa for Russia on Friday that sounded like a good plan. We went to see Suomenlinna, it is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands and you only can get to by ferry and is on the UNESCO world heritage list. It was builded from 1748, when Finland was still part of the Swedish kingdom, as protection against the expansion of the Russians.
Day 146 | Sunday August 7
I decided to go out of Helsinki, mainly because I wanted to see the Jari Litmanen statue in Lahti. I went Hausjarvi were Petri offered me a place to stay, 60km from Helsinki, about 60 from Lahti. Petri left a note on my website that he would offer me 20 euros for my Russia visa if I would help him with cutting wood.
He lives on the countryside and we took his rowing boat for some sightseeing. Later we picked up his oldest son and went for a swim. When we returned home he introduced me to his wife, his other son and two daughters, pretty big family. His oldest son wants to be an architect and is making his own boat from wood, he showed me some 3D models and I thought it was impressive. Like every other Fin they got a sauna and he he collects wood from damaged trees in the forrest around his house to heat it up. With a big axe I cut it all in smaller pieces. Nice to do some active work and get paid for it as well 😉
Day 147 | Monday August 8
Today I got to the destination of my mini-mission: Lahti. The hometown of Kuningas, The King, The man of glas, Diego, Kuningas, NR 10, my childhood hero… Jari Litmanen! His statue is placed at the stadium of FC Lahti. I was there around 11 in the morning and some players just finished their training. I asked them if it was okay to move my car into the stadium so I could take a picture with the statue and that was not a problem. One guy even approached me and said he tried to call Jari but he didn’t answer the phone, what a bad news! Apparently he was here only a week ago and he doesn’t come here that often anymore. He moved to Estonia where he lives with his wife… It was still nice to take this picture and see a bit of history of this legend.
Then it was time to get back to Helsinki. In Norway on the Preikestolen cliff I met 2 Finish girls, Trine and Maria. We stayed in touch and now they invited me to come over. They are 2 students, Trine is studying for Paramedic. The paramedic study in Finland is one of the best in the world, the training takes 4 years where in France for example it’s only a 3 month course. Maria studies marketing and wants to do something else when she finishes.
This is the first time I wrote a blog covering 3 days. Besides writing blogs I’m having a bug amount of work with making all the arrangements for Russia, finding interesting projects to visit and doing some mental preparation 😉
Pictures of these days