Monday, May 21, 2018

Replica Cave


While in France, I happened to get a number of brochures for tourist caves. One of these brochures was about the Chauvet Cave, the cave with earliest known paintings from 30 000+ years ago. But, that cave is off limits to visitors, so they built a replica of the cave nearby!

The replica is called Caverne Pont d'Arc and is the largest cave replicate to date. Would be interesting to visit... even if not the real thing.

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko (of brochures by Caverne Pont d'Arc).

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Baume Obscure Cave



I was on my way to Marseille for a conference. And on the way observing other interesting things... like caves.

I visited the Baume Obscure Cave, 50 km from Nice. A bumpy and surprisingly wet dirt road leads to this place, and you'll find a few shacks for ticket sales. But, if you buy a ticket you'll get to visit an interesting cave.

You'll get to walk on your own pace through the cave. If you want, you can stop at various spots to follow a (French speaking) introduction to that spot and light shows. These are worth your time, waterfalls light in lights, colour lights painting the cave walls, etc.

I was positively surprised by the length of the walk. This isn't a small room like most of the caves I've  been used to in Finland. It also wasn't too commercial either, not one of those we-will-guide-you-by-hand things.

The most interesting parts were the places where water was dripping, or pooling, and where light shows were set up.






This blog is also available on TGR. Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Video editing on and sounds licensed from Apple iMovie. See http://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-4201.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Grotte de Saint Cézaire



Wow, that was a nice tour. Another brief cave visit while driving to my conference, but this time with a specialist guide, Eric, who has been exploring the depths of this cave.

We also got plenty of remarkable shows, like music played on stalactites... or fluorescent water flowing over cave forms.

The cave only goes 200 meter further than the tourist tour, but dye experiments have shown that it might continue for 5 more kilometres and 300 meters down. I guess they continue the dye experiment just for the tourists...

Speaking of down, I also learned that in the French language, cave means a horizontal cave and that aven stands for pit caves, and that they are considered very different. Interesting!

Finally, here are some good links to go search for caves in Cote d'Azur and Provence: Nice caves, Marseille caves. Plenty to see, plus all the non-tourist caves... but I didn't have so much time. Would be wonderful to explore some more.





And here's a nice closet from my French hotel:


This blog is also available on TGR. Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Santasport



45 minutes before I need to be at the airport. But I'm sweaty. Is there a sauna that I could visit? Yes there is. Santa's sauna.

I visited the Santasport facility on the Ounasvaara hill in Rovaniemi, right after hiking and skiing Ounasvaara ski hill.

Santasport is a sports university, community swimming pool, children's play facility, sports arena for many sports, and a hotel all turned into one. Nice concept!

Entrance fee for the swimming for 8.5€, quite affordable. There's one big and quite nice sauna, and a number of different pools:

  • Kiddie pool
  • Main 25 meter pool
  • Water jet pool
  • Warm pool (34C)
  • Cold pool (5C)
  • Jacuzzi (32C)

Recommended!



Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Ounasvaara



While in Rovaniemi, of course I needed to stop at Ounasvaara, the local and legendary ski hill. They were also equally obviously no longer open, but obviously I hiked up.

Nice. Soft snow, beautiful views over the lakes and rivers in front... not bad at all!

Ounasvaara consists of two separate ski areas, you can transfer to the other on skis, but they are apart from each other, have different parking lots, etc. Not exactly knowing where to go, I stopped at the first one, Ounashissit which has a vertical difference of 110 m. The other part, Tottohissit has a FIS-certified race run and 140 m vertical.

Either way, a nice ski area, definitely worth a day if you're in the neighbourhood. And what a wonderful thing to have right in the city, just a few kms from Rovaniemi city center.






Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Arktikum



Coming back from Pyhä and Ruka, we had a day to spend in Rovaniemi. So we visited among other things the Arktikum museum. Complete with a northern lights simulator!

The building itself is also quite interesting, a long and partially underground (and under a road) hall.


The museum has a number of exhibitions. One of these had to do with the history of Petsamo. One of the displays told the story of Engineer Monk Parmen, who was able to repair anything... the guy kind of reminds me of some people I know :-)


Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Ski software update


Will software update be enough or should I stop at the repair shop?

Photo (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.