Sunday, December 25, 2022

The hood is fixed .. kind of

Fortunately, I was able to fix the Volvo's hood. It is not perfect, the hood itself was not changed so it has some damage that you can see if you look carefully. But the car's also otherwise clunky, so no problem. But unfortunately, the repair shop was unable to do anything with the root cause of the hood problem, my stupidity.

So, the car can now come back from its rest period under snow!

What happened? Covered here.

Read more car stories from the Planetskier blog series. Text and pictures (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.



I'm on idiot. There was a minor issue, a broken off air tube. Which is why I had my hood open, trying to figure out what was going on. And completely predictably, I forgot to close it properly in the excitement, and then, once I got on the highway, BAM. Hood resting on the windshield.

Fortunately I was able to steer to the side of the road. The hood is damaged, but closes, kind of. I'll be driving max 50 km/h until it gets repaired.

This is of course all my fault. I couldn't curse myself more than I did :-( But it also turned out that the wind hook that normally prevents this from happening even if the hood is locked in position was broken in my car. Like so many things... a missing spring made it possible for the hood to become loose in wind.

Here's the odd tube:

Hinge damage:

Read more car stories from the Planetskier blog series. Text and pictures (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

December snow at Vihti


While my car was broken again (long story...) I got a ride from a friend to visit Vihti ski center again. I started my Finnish ski season here in November, but it seems that I'm skiing here again in December. No complaints, it is a great place to ski in. And the snowmageddon in southern Finland has laid plenty of nice powdery stuff on the hill. 

The best snow was on closed slopes:

See also the video:

Map has snow all over it, too:

In the tube:

When the snow starts to resist opening your door, it is time to go skiing:

This is how Vista's trees looked like:

Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Sauna on a boat


My train trip through Europe also involved one boat ride, from Turku to Stockholm. A day boat... arriving just in time in Stockholm for the night train. But, more importantly, the boat had three nice things going for it: (1) a cabin included in the ridiculously low 30€ price, nice for conference calls and naps, (2) decent restaurants to eat at, and (3) a spa with several saunas and pools, all with views of the archipelago as we were sailing towards Marienhamn.

The boat I was on was Viking Line's Viking Glory, a brand new 2022 ship with energy efficient engines and spectacular insides. Not bad!

The spa visit cost only 24€ for two hours, and was well worth it. There was a hot Finnish sauna on both men's and women's side, a shared sauna with large windows, and a shared steam room. There were two large jacuzzis and one large pool with bed-like resting platforms, all right next to windows to at the front of the ship.

For more sauna and swimming stories, check out and websites! And of course the Planetcaver, and Planetskier blogs for other stories in Blogspot and TGR! The photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. I never take photos of other saunagoers or swimmers and visit when there is simply no one else or the facility has been closed or booked only for me.

Far, far away by train-bus-boat


Trying out the slow travel option for a conference in London, left yesterday from Kauniainen, now somewhere between Copenhagen and Hamburg. Trains, boat, couple of buses, walking … 16 legs. Two days, one night but still some opportunities for missed connections or train strikes 🙂 Pretty nice so far, sleeper cabin in the night train and some sauna relaxation on the boat. Noisy stations and choppy sea WiFi have disturbed some conference calls but still workable. Energy savings? Not sure. This is an experience or experiment though.

Update 1: On segment 11, train departed 50 mins late and predicting I will lose the connection and consequently the days last Eurostar … and then tomorrow is what, UK rail strike? Experiment seems to be producing results 🙂

Commenters were right, it is an adventure. Now the next train is even more late so I may make it. But obviously still miss the last under the channel train so … suggestions? Back to Finland and try again with the Volvo?

Update 2: Finally on segment 12 towards Brussels, resigned to not make to tonight’s channel crossing and rebooked it for the morning. But also, in addition missed the designated train to Brussels so waited an extra 90 mins for the sake of own stupidity. Oh well. Getting there eventually I hope.

Update 3: Finally able to admire the views on the channel crossing. Soon in London.

Update 4: Final 16th segment, walking to my hotel initially planned hotel. The trip was 56 hours - planned 46 - and 2200 km, 39 km/h on the average.

Summary: I made it! It was actually quite a lot of fun, despite some delays. I didn't lose luggage, get permanently stuck, or get sick. And was able to work and sleep and eat during the trip. Or even visit the sauna on the boat!

What about CO2 effects then? Using suspect and highly variable numbers as we unfortunately often do - my train trip saved around 76% of emissions but upped the trip length 8x. It also increased delay and infection risk.

Worth it? Yes definitely if one likes the trip and can work and can survive with some delays. Maybe easier and more realistic for slightly shorter trips.

Segment 1 - walking to the station (see above for a picture). Left 04:30 am from home on day 1.

Segment 2 - Kauniainen to Kirkkonummi by local train. Here are some nice lights in the Kirkkonummi station:

Segment 3 - Kirkkonummi to Turku Kupittaa by VR train, with a nice restaurant carriage, and some porridge breakfast:

Segment 4 - Kupittaa to Turku harbor, due to trains not running on this segment because of ongoing repair works:

Segment 5 - Viking Line day boat from Turku to Stockholm. What was nice was that this 32 € ferry ticket included my own cabin. And I was able to visit restaurants and a day spa with saunas (for a cost, but the costs were quite reasonable):

Segment 6 - bus from the ferry terminal to the Stockholm Centralstation:

Segment 7 - a three hour layover, which included 17 000 steps around the city center (with luggage in tow) and a nice restaurant dinner:

Segment 8 - sleeper train from Stockholm to Lund. Too short night, but nice to have my own cabin with a shower. And water... The trains were dated though.

Segment 9 - Lund to Kopenhavn C by local train:

Segment 10 - Kopenhavn C to Hamburg HBF. A nice train, but somewhat packed with people. WiFi works, carriage's are nice and modern.

Segment 11 - Hamburg HBF to Köln, but this is where the problems start. The train from Hamburg is several hours late. I have now lost the ability to connect to the last Eurostar of the day. In addition the first class train ticket I had puts me in a carriage which has no heating, no electricity, and we are told to move "somewhere else". Deutsche Bahn ...

Segment 12 - Köln to Brussels, by now there is even more delay. And the problems continue. Me and some other passengers lose even more time by missing the first train due to the unclear signage. I feel like an inexperienced tourist and want to kick myself. Not that it would help, or that this delay would matter, but still.

Segment 13 - we arrive hour plus after the last train to UK has left, so now I'm forced to camp out in a hotel in Brussels. I walk there.

Segment 14 - Finally, early next morning I manage to board the Eurostar. With a horribly expensive ticket though, as I had separate tickets for the Deutsche Bahn and Eurostar parts. I view the wonderful views from the under-crossing of the Channel :-) 

Segment 15 - tube to my hotel.

Segment 16 - walk half a kilometer to the hotel, still dragging my luggage :-)

Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko.

Tube from Whistle to Barking


This is all just so London... but all so funny as well. Or not. Perhaps you had to be there...

Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko.