Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Slow start to the season: Hahnenkamm

The season's first run on the Streif, the famous downhill run from the Hahnenkamm. Why first? Because it was partly on grass...

I was at in Kitzbühel for the opening weekend, and while there wasn't too many slopes open, they did make an effort, e.g., by having a wagon to transport us between the different open parts of the lift system. I stayed at the Cordial Golf & Wellness Hotel Kitzbühel, which turned out to have nice saunas and pools. Even in the middle of my hotel room living room...

But, the interesting bit was perhaps Der Streif, the famous Hahnenkamm downhill race track. I obviously skied it... despite it being closed and only maybe 40% covered by snow. The rest was skiable on grass, though. (And I'm sure the boys in Skiservice will fix my skis after this.)

I had not been to Kitzbühel before. They have the greatest ski lifts that I've seen, by the way. Super high tech and efficient. Eight seater chairlifts, detachable, with seats like in racing cars, and with amazing guide lights to direct where you should stand while the chair comes up behind you. Cool. Also, did I mention the chairs have protective bubbles. And heating! OMG



Der Streif;

It was the opening day!

The author:

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

Monday, November 26, 2018

Sauna in the middle of the living room

An infrared sauna in the middle of the living room? What an idea!

But it was actually nice. I was staying at the Cordial Golf & Wellness Hotel Kitzbühel, and they had a nice sauna & pool area "Römerbad" downstairs. But in addition there was a the infrared box in my room, and it was actually good to stay in there for 10 minutes after coming back from the slopes. Warms up your back...

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

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Ape Majava's Ski Fashion Lecture

Today I went to a fashion lecture... apparently.

Also, some really good stuff about ski route selection, and some great movies (including my second viewing of Antti Autti's "Closer"). Good stuff!

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Sauna at the Elite Hotel Stockholm Plaza

Today I'm staying at the Elite Hotel Stockholm Plaza. My usual hotel search includes the condition that it must have a sauna. Elite has one, too :-)

This sauna is reservation-only, so you get it entirely for yourself, and for free.

The sauna was pretty hot though, too hot I'd say. Maybe the issue was that there's only a tiny hole under the door, so there's very little cool air entering the sauna:

The hotel is otherwise very, very nice:

And my room is nice, though quite small one-person room. I think the company deal with this hotel specifies the smallest rooms. But that's fine, I'm quite comfortable here! If it weren't for the flu that I feel is coming on... and has attempted to come on for the last three weeks... sigh.

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. All photos of saunas and pools are taken when no other customers were present, when the facilities were closed, and with permission.


Walked through the Kunsträdgården underground station again today. While the "greek findings" in the station are fake, they are nice!

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


This week I'm working in Stockholm, and did not manage to get my usual cheap hotel near the office. Staying at the city center, I noticed a tunnel that I had not seen before: Brunkebergstunneln. A nice walkway from 1880s, 231 meters long.

It was also interesting to read about the construction of the tunnel from the Swedish wikipedia page. The construction was difficult due to soft ground materials. In the end they found a solution by using the freezing method of tunnel construction, freeze the ground in the tunnel during night, and then the day chip away a bit further and but concrete and steel to protect the tunnel from collapsing.

And it is a very convenient walkway for me to reach the metro stations.

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

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Leaking Tunnel of Pisa... Pispala

I've heard stories about the logging tunnel through Pispala, but today I finally got an opportunity to go see it myself.

There's actually two tunnels, the first and the second one... and both were failures, as they were never properly used for their original purpose. The second one, the later and bigger tunnel is used today as a biking and walking path through the Pispala esker, making the access from one side of the hill to another much shorter and easier.

However, despite signs promising the tunnel is open daily, it was not open today. Fortunately, we found a way. There is, however, no way to get inside the first tunnel. We were able to find only the south end of the first tunnel, does anyone know where the north end is, or has it been buried?

Interestingly, when we got into the second tunnel, we realized there's a leak. Water spraying in an arc. Not much to cause a flood, but clearly there's water behind the walls wanting to get in.

Location: The first tunnel south end is at N 61.50579 E 23.69724.  The second tunnel south end is at N 61.50607 E 23.69715 and the north end at N 61.50865 E 23.69796.

Entrance and exit and the second tunnel itself:

The first tunnel:



This article has also been published at TGR. All caving and urban exploration related articles can be found at planetcaver.net and theurbanexplorer.net. Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko and Ralf Strandell. All rights reserved.

Tampere Muumi Airport (TMP)

Today I flew to Tampere for the first time, and was happy to find out that they've decorated the airport with Moomin pictures. This makes total sense, given the world's only Moomin museum is in Tampere. Nice!

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

Friday, November 16, 2018

Underground Art Exhibition

I'm in Paris for a meeting, and on the way to the airport we visited the abandoned underground railroad line. What did we find? An art show and sculptures deep inside the tunnels! And also wonderful graffiti!

The underground railroad line is the Petite Ceinture, a 1850s circle line around Paris. It runs to a large extent underground, but was gradually abandoned in the 1930s as Paris metro started to draw the passengers. I had also visited Petite Ceinture last year.

This time I was with my friend Tapani, which was great -- I have to say it feels less lonely to walk dark tunnels with someone than doing it alone :-) Although funnily enough, in the middle of the tunnel on our 2 x 2km walk we run into some other two people walking there. We did what people normally do in those situations, said Bonjour, and continued our walk :-)

This time the access to Petite Ceinture was not as easy as last time. Some effort was needed to find a path. And some climbing:

Excellent graffiti:

A side tunnel with a top (locked) exit:

Nice cave forms starting to appear:

A bed half a kilometer from the tunnel entrance:

This article has also appeared on TGR. Tämä artikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. And of course, all my caving and urban exploration-related articles can be found from planetcaver.net and theurbanexplorer.net!

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

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bangkok Sauna

I also had to test the sauna at my meeting hotel, the Marriott Marquis Queen's Park Bangkok.

They had two pools, one on the 9th floor and another one on the 4th floor. On the 9th floor there was also a gym and changing rooms and saunas. There were two saunas, one Turkish and one traditional Finnish sauna. It wasn't too hot, but quite nice.

The 9th floor pool was also nice, looked very shallow, as it started shallow on the outsides, but was actually deep enough to properly swim in.

The sauna:

The pool at the 9th floor at night:

The pool at the 4th floor:

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. All pool and sauna photos have been taken with permission, when the facilities are closed, or when there were no guests in the facility.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pool on the 26th

I may have stayed too much inside, do I need some sunshine? My hotel in Bangkok, the Hilton Sukhumvit, had a nice pool and pool bar at the 26th floor.

I really liked the statues on the poolside.

I had a hard week ahead, working straight for 10+ days. But upon arrival... I needed one (non-alcoholic) drink and the warm evening air at the top of the building. Nice!

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. All pool photos have been taken with permission, when the facility is closed, or when are no guests in the facility.