Monday, December 31, 2018

Länsimetro, finally

Given that I like underground places, it was surprising that it took me a year to visit Länsimetro, the new subway towards west from Helsinki. The new stations are spectacular and modern.

(Albeit also functionally deficient; they mistakenly made them too short, forcing the entire subway system in Helsinki to use shorter trains which then leads to capacity issues... the trains are packed.)

But, for the moment I'm admiring the underground architecture and art.

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

Oodi - a library

The new central library in Helsinki opened a few weeks ago. Today I had a chance to visit this widely acclaimed piece of architecture. It is wonderful!

Great that there's 3D printers, laser-cutting machines, stairs with ease sitting places to work on, coffee shops... and very nice architecture indeed. I particularly liked the huge, open third floor with gradually rising ends. You feel like you're in a ship, and covered by a beautiful canvas on top. Or white concrete ceiling, rather. It is impressive.

But it is a bit loud environment at the moment, with all corners of the building packed with visitors like me. Lets see how it runs further down the line.

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

Grani Tree Stump Art

There's a guy in Kauniainen that makes art out of cut tree stumps. They are all over town... and they are wonderful. This stork is wonderful!

Photos and text (c) 2018-2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

No car, no skilift, no problem

No car, no skilift, no problem! My car is broken, but fortunately, since I live in the world's happiest town, I can walk to the ski hill, ski down to the bus stop, take the public transport to the public swimming pool, and lock my skis in the bike rack. And return by train.

Cost of the day's adventures: €4.20 for the transport and €5.50 for the swim and sauna. Not expensive, and I think I got more exercise than going by car to a commercial ski area and just going up and down.

The ski hill I was at the GrIFK Alpine's community ski hill, Granibacken. And the swimming pool I visited was Keski-Espoon Uimahalli.

Photos and text (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. This article has also appeared at TGR. Tämä artikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. And all my skiing articles can be found at, all sauna articles at, and all swimming articles at

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Fail... but a saviour drives by

It turns out that warning lights may actually mean something :-) I got left by the roadside. Again. But by miracle my friend Lars happened to drive by and notice my car, and me, already on a cold, long walk home. He picked me up from the darkness, so I got home :-) thank you!

Looks like the generator may have failed. Again, I only got maybe 15 kilometres after the warning lights came on.

I think I've gotten the generator replaced couple of times per year on part manufacturer's warranty for the last two years. I wish their warranty would cover getting some other manufacturer's generator ;-)

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

Christmas Tree Mode

Now with all warning lights on. Still runs though, at least at the moment. Christmas tree mode? #volvo

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

Kittelberget roof cave

Kirkkonummi is a gift that keeps on giving! Near the caves that we had investigated in Kauhala there's a very interesting roof cave on the cliffs surrounding Kittelberget. We set out again to hike the area with Jarmo, and found more interesting things, again :-)

Here's the map:

A more high-resolution PDF of the map is also available here.

The cave is at coordinates N 60.23255 E 24.48078. There's also a couple of smaller roof caves at coordinates N 60.23318 E 24.48753, N 60.23207 E 24.48447, and N 60.23316 E 24.48164, though it is not clear if they should be counted as caves.

Beautiful moss:

This article has also appeared at TGR. Tämä artikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. And all caving articles can be found from! Photos, text, and the map (c) 2018 by Jarmo Ruuth and Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Kauniainen Swimming Hall

I often go to various exotic saunas and swimming pools (or holes in ice), but I have to lift up also my home town swimming hall in Kauniainen. Small, old, and not particularly fancy. But, a very nice place to put in some laps.

Also a very easy place to get to, maybe 500 meters from home by walking. Good for those days when the car is not working :-)

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

Friday, December 14, 2018

What now?

What now? #Volvo

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

Weather dried up, car works again

Weather dried up, car works again. In possibly unrelated news, the repair shop changed more parts (two sensors) for 290€.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Fortifications in Laajalahti

I recently blogged about a possible new cave in Laajalahti. But I didn't go there to look for a cave, I wanted to see the fortifications from before World War I, built by the Russians. I found many, including many small bunkers that one can easily visit.

The fortifications around Helsinki are the so called Krepost Sveaborg. The 10,000 men construction force was from Russia, but also partially consisted of paid Finnish labour, compulsory enlistment in Finland, and thousands of Chinese prisoners of war.

Quite interestingly, the Wikipedia article states that some of the Finns paid clerks to list them working on multiple sites simultaneously, to gather more income. The poor Chinese on the other hand were not dressed for the winter, which led to some of them attempting to escape work, as well as confrontations with the police forces.

The locations of the bunkers that I could find are:

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. All caving and urban exploration related articles can of course be found from the and sites!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Visiting the patient at the car hospital

Visited the patient today at the car hospital. First operation failed, but the doctors are hopeful.

Picked also up a loaner for the meanwhile.

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

Caves + glacier holes + volcano craters equals, surprisingly, danger!

I follow the Caving Podcast when it appears every month. Usually the stories are pretty local to US and Indiana, where the podcast is made. But this time the story they told was very interesting for everyone.

Everyone knows that one shouldn't go underground because it is dangerous, similarly one should never go into the holes inside a glacier because it is dangerous, volcano craters are always dangerous, and we should all stay away from places where volcanic gases are being emitted, because it is dangerous.

Christian Stenner broke all these rules -- at the same time -- in this podcast episode:
Caving Podcast Christian Stenner episode.
Text and photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Exploring another cave in Kirkkonummi!

This isn't really an unknown place as such -- the geocachers and climbers regularly visit these cracks and the cliff. But it hasn't been noted in any of the usual places where Finnish caves are listed. Jarmo found this place on his hike in November, and we've been exploring it on several trips since then.

And now I drew also a map of the cave system. The location is near the Kauhala village in northern Kirkkonummi, maybe a kilometer from the Kakarberget roof caves that we've visited previously. The area is part of the Kauhala outdoors area, on the stream valley that is noted as a very nice hiking area.

So, another addition to my "Underground Kirkkonummi" list!

The main cave consists of three crack systems. They aren't particularly long -- I was able to get in one meter into the first one, six into the second, and eight meters the third :-) but they all include nice climbing and nice very tight spaces. Plus the side wall of the first crack is a huge, high slice of rock that is at places only 20cm thick.

Coordinates for the main crack caves are N 60.235603 E 24.488854. The two side caves (boulder caves) are at N 60.23636 E 24.48916 and the yet to be explored small crack side cave is at N 60.23492 E 24.48953. I also found a tiny roof cave (enough for one person to be out of rain) to the south at N 60.233182 E 24.487535. There's another larger roof cave to the north that Jarmo has been to, but we don't yet have coordinates for it.

Here some more photos of the area; most of the photos are by Jarmo, a few by me and Olli. This was a beautiful sunset as seen from the front of the caves:

The map (much more information in PDF though):

First crack:

Second crack:

This is the end of the first crack, around 22cm high. I did not go...

Third crack:

There were also two side boulder caves:

And one small side crack cave that we didn't attempt to enter yet, as it was difficult to climb to:

Photos (c) 2018 by Jarmo Ruuth, Olli Arkko, and Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. This article has also been published at TGR. All caving-related articles can be found from! Tämä artikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Cave in Laajalahti? ... or not?

Espoo. While looking for the remains of fortifications in Laajalahti, I came across a possible small roof cave. Small, but maybe worth documenting since there are really very few caves in Espoo. But the question is, is this a natural cave or remains of fortifications or quarry operations in the area?

The place looks a bit like piled stone blocks, but the roof block and the ones supporting it are massive, not sure they would have been moved just for the fortifications. The question is perhaps if the space underneath is a natural phenomena or the result of quarrying taking away large rock blocks? Perhaps, perhaps not, but at least some the surfaces under the roof are clearly natural. Sloping rock, for instance.

It is of course possible that blocks of rock previously occupying the cave were cracked by human activity and then carried away. Jarmo and I looked for signs of drill holes or other tool marks, but were unable to find any in this particular spot. There are a couple of marks that could otherwise be human made, but seem either too sharp for repeated tool use or not straight enough for a drill. Maybe they are cracks.

Another possibility is that when building the fortifications, this cave was created by explosions that cracked and lifted the biggest pieces of rock.

There's an odd passageway also under the blocks to the trench 3-4 meters away on the other side of the big rock roof. It could be natural crack, or the result of explosions when dealing with the rock. But it most likely isn't intentional passageway, because it is tiny, around 21cm at the widest point. We didn't think soldiers would have been able to use that, at least not with gear or in a hurry...

Anybody with expertise in geology or history want to come and have a look?

By the way, other Espoo caves that I know of are Sikalammen Luola, Meerlammen Luola and Hiidenpesän Luola in Nuuksio, Nepperin Luola north of Pitkäjärvi, possibly some space underneath a boulder in Suomenoja, and the odd hole in Saunalahti. The book "Suomen Luolat" also lists Solvallan Luolat and holes under boulders in Kattilajärvi and Perälä (all in Nuuksio).

Map (also in PDF):

Front of the cave:


The very small continuation:

Rock in the roof, and the small marks or cracks:

Photos, map, and text (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko and Jarmo Ruuth. All rights reserved. Tämä blogi löytyy muuten myös suomeksi Relaasta. And all caving articles are at!