Friday, March 29, 2019

Communism and bunker tour

Lets say that the tour guide was not a big fan of communism.

The tour visited key sites of Czechoslovakian history, from the building of the secret police to the sites demonstrations for freedom.

We also got to visit the cold war bunker at the Parukarka park. What we found was a freak show of gas masks and protective gear for everyone, from soldiers to babies. Unexplained mannequins hiding in the darkness. Machine guns pointing to audience seats. Stalin heads on shelves. Very unpleasant imagery. But interesting.

The structure itself looks like this:

At the bottom of the main entrance, there's a bar of a club that used the bunker in the early days of the free Czech Republic. 

The tour runs every day twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The tour lasts 2 and 1/2 hours and can be booked here.

This article has also appeared in TGR. And all my caving and urban exploration articles can be found from, and of course blogspot and TGR!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Greetings from the Volvo repair guy

Greetings, a picture... and a doubled bill. Uh. More rust than expected.

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. By the way, all my stories can be found from!

R2-D2 bunker

A bunker. A ventilation shaft. R2-D2 mod. What's not to like?

I'm in Prague for work, and after the workshop had an half an hour of light left, so Tero and I went to see the R2-D2 in the Folimanka park, just a few kilometres from old town. Even if slightly vandalised, it was great.

I also didn't know about the bunker beforehand. There's apparently a large bunker underneath, and it is open to the public once a month. Sadly, not during my stay in Prague, as the next opening is on April 13, three weeks from now.

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. All my urban exploration and caving stories can of course be found from, and This article has also been published at TGR.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Technical stuff breakage day

My car is now left for good care for the next week and half while I'm on a business trip. They are fixing the rusted corner... crossing fingers that the budget won't be exceeded. Also, my dishwasher and oven broke, so there's a repair guy fixing them as well today. Luckily, same brand, so one repair guy only... sadly he didn't do cars though :-)

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

Building HEL

Building the future of HEL... yeah right. It is hellish right now, as the traffic to the airport and parking arrangements are pretty unbearable.

The airport authorities are complaining that people leave their cars on the road, blocking people to get to their flights, and that's very bad of course. But the setup with narrow passages and far away parking garages and walkways that are not maintained is also pretty bad. I think one might have been able to do this better. Why demolish P2, the main garage *and* have major works in the backup garage P4 as well? Or, at the very least, maintain the walking passages well so that people with luggage and skis can actually use their carts to get to the airport.

But yeah. This is survivable, just another first world problem... and the airport will be much better in the end. And also, I've been taking the train to the airport now some times, and unless I have luggage it works out pretty well!

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. More of my stories are available at and

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Rustic corner

Not a photo of my car, but of another Volvo in front of the repair shop. I'm here because rust in my car, only in one corner, but needs a fix to stay legal. Cost estimate: ~350-450€. Need to think though. What kind of car would I get for that money? Or, 100 train tickets...

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

Lidingö mountain range: Ekholmsnäsbacken

Another week, more work for me in Stockholm. But, I also got to visit another ski hill. My friend John also joined to try out Ekholmsnäsbacken in the small community in the Lidingö island.

Ekholmsnäsbacken is a bit smaller than Hammarbybacken, but seemed quite full with kids practising their skiing. And again, the hill in evening lights was quite nice. The added bonus was a view over the sea towards Stockholm.

I also learned from other friends that there's even more ski hills to try out. However, as the winter is quickly melting away and I have a long work trip coming up somewhere else, I suspect I won't be able to try them this year. However, Vasjöbacken and Brukets Skidbacke north of Stockholm and EkebyhovsbackenFlottsbro, Ragnhildsborgsbacken towards the south should be nice places to visit as well.

So at least five more ski hills to try! Everything is bigger in Sweden, including the number of small local hills near the capital region :-)

(There's also some hints about something in Farstanäs in the south, but I'm not sure there's an actual working ski hill.)

 Kids lining up on the ski lift:

Views towards Hammarbybacken:

Me and John:

This article is available at TGR. Tämä artikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. And all the Planetskier stories can of course be found from and!


Two crashes within few months have put the Boeing 737 MAX airplanes into doubt. I'm flying today, not on a MAX due to a world-wide grounding of the plane. I sometimes flew MAXes, as Norwegian flies them between Helsinki and Stockholm.

I'm sure the issues, whatever they are, will be discovered and corrected, and we can again continue enjoying modern, fuel-efficient planes. I'm very sorry that many people lost their lives to discover a problem, however.

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

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sauna magic experiments. Failed experiments.

I was inspired by this recipe for sauna scents, and wanted to try my own variants, one with juniper and another one with tar. But the experiments failed...

... more work needed. What I did with juniper was to take dried juniper berries and crush them, and then cook them a bit. Ok, microwave them for 30s in water :-) this experiment failed because there wasn't much juniper smell in the water left after I had sifted the result.

My second experiment was to mix a bit of tar syrup in the water that I would pour on the heater. But the syrup is mostly causing a burning smell. I need something more oily, cannot have anything that sticks to the heater's stones.

Stay tuned, experiments will continue :-)

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. All my sauna stories can be found from

Small caves in Hvitträsk

I had earlier visited Hvitträsk with Janne for the rock painting there's on a cliff. Back then we had also seen a small boulder cave. This time we returned with Jarmo, flew the drone for some video, and also found a total of seven small caves, three of which may be too small to enter but the others are clearly small caves.

Jarmo also made some photo processing to reveal more of the rock paintings. Incredible results!

I drew maps of the caves, available here.

Here's the video:

Cave 1 (N 60.18569 E 24.52215), the original boulder cave:

Cave 2 (N 60.18573 E 24.52159), tiny and probably too small to enter:

Cave 3 (N 60.18590 E 24.52133), 1.7 meters long and can be entered:

Cave 4 (N 60.18519 E 24.52191), what we called the "Jukka crack" which we believe might be possible to enter but only by cavers named Jukka :-) However, a tree may prevent entering even for the Jukkas...

Cave 5 (N 60.18476 E 24.52281) is a large boulder and easily entered, could probably have two people inside as well:

Cave 6 (N 60.18284 E 24.52196) is a horizontal crack, long but low, should be possible to enter:

Finally, cave 7 (N 60.18235 E 24.52108) is a large cliff with fractured boulders, making up a roof cave and some space between the boulders:

It was an icy day:

Jarmo's pictures of the paintings:

Views were great, too:

This article has also appeared in TGR. And all caving stories can of course be found from! Photos, videos, and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko and Jarmo Ruuth. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 9, 2019


It was great weather, and the evening lights actually made the weather less of an issue. But most importantly, it was even more fun because my friend Heidi happened to be in town and joined me on the trip. Very nice!

Hammarbybacken is run by the way by the same people who run Åre and a few other nordic ski areas. But Hammarbybacken is right in the middle of the city, it was fun to see the city buildings underneath from the ski slope. And despite the fog, the night lights made the visibility great.

Worth another trip some day. And maybe also visit the other ski hill in Stockholm, Ekholmsnäsbacken that Heidi told me about. That one would also be even closer to my office in Kista.

This article has also appeared in TGR. Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. And the Planetskier stories can of course be found from!