Archive for August, 2006

August 28th, 2006

Travelling ex tempore

We visited Polvijärvi during the weekend. The decision was made on Thursday evening and timetable was settled with my parents. On Friday, we cancelled the trip as Sanna was feeling a bit ill, but got better and finally we decided to go… We left late and arrived just before the midnight.

Saturday was a splendid day! The weather forecast was full of rain and thunderstorms, but the actual weather was really nice. Not hot, but warm enough to enjoy being outdoors. See yourself from the picture below.

Enjoying nice weather in Polvijärvi
We didn’t do too much. Aapo was pampered by the grandparents, and he helped them in the garden and in the house. There was also sauna, and Aapo enjoyed every bit — he mimicked me and grandpa in throwing water to the stones, and threw about five liters to the walls…

On Sunday, we left early to catch some work back home. The journey took a little less than five hours, a record timing since Aapo was born. The rest of the evening went doing the chores and reading through newspaper and email backlogs.

Defense masterpiece

The Tallinn old town wall used to be one of the most formidable defense installment in the Norther Europe on 16th century. The wall was three meters thick and 16 meters high. There were 46 defense towers, and the lenght of the wall about four kilometers.

Tallinn old town wall
Currently, there is about two kilometers and 26 towers left. There are several good spots to admire the wall, such as near Toompea hill, near the railway station and of course next to the city center — the Viru gate is one of the main entrance to the old town. Some of the towers are open to the public. Check out the Tallinn tourist info for details.

The picture was taken near the Danish King’s gardens, on our way to Toompea and Alexander Nevsky cathedral.

Tallinn old town walls, Tallinn, Estonia

Medieval church

The church of the Holy Spirit is the only church built on 14th century that has stayed intact from the beginning. Both the interior and the exterior look the same as in medieval times. The exterior has the oldest public clock in Tallinn, and the interior has splendid gothic woodcarvings. Also, the church was the first that had Estonian language masses.

The church is centrally located in the Tallinn old town, only a few dozen steps from Raekoja plats. It is easy to pass by, as there is only a small door leading to the church. Once inside, the dimly lit church has a special atmoshpere, probably also dating back the 14th century. Note that the church is still in use, so please be considerate during your visit.

The church of the Holy Spirit, Pühavaimu 2, Tallinn, Estonia

August 24th, 2006

The night of the arts

Tonight is the annual night of the arts in Helsinki. The whole city is filled with happenings of all kinds, ranging from high art to street art to kitsch.

We have had a tradition of visiting art galleries on Lumottu tie (”The Enchanted Way”), and this year we’ll again browse a few of them. As Aapo is coming with us, the route will be somewhat shorter, as his attention span is not very long yet — and we may become tired being always cautious of him running among pieces of art…

The other tradition is visiting the Academic Bookstore that has 20% off all pocket and art books. It seems that my book backlog is never empty…

Orthodox cathedral

The cathedral of Alexander Nevsky sits on a formidable hill in Toompea, in the Tallinn old town. Built by Russian in year 1900 when the Russian empire actively increased Russian influences on its outer edges. The cathedral is impressive both inside and outside. If you have not yet visited an Orthodox cathedral, I suggest you go here — the grandeur of the inside is something that you need to experience yourself.

The cathedral of Alexander Nevsky in Tallinn, Estonia
The church is still in active use, so do follow their regulations posted on the doors — that’s why I do not have a photo of the interiors — no photos, no loud talking and so forth. Wear enough clothes and remember to take your hat off.

Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky, Lossi plats 1 (on Toompea hill), Tallinn, Estonia

Royal spot

Danish King’s Garden is a miniscule park just next to Toompea in the Tallinn old town. According to the legend, Danish got their red white flag from the sky on July 15th, 1219 — they were loosing in a battle, and the flag helped them to win it. Danish ruled Tallinn and northern Estonia for over a hundred years after the victory.

Danish King’s Garden in Tallinn, Estonia
Nowadays the garden is really nice and quiet spot in the old town. It has magnificent views towards the city, and the garden itself is quite a sight. The trees cast shadows, so the garden is refreshingly cool place during hot summer months.

Note that the garden is accessible by foot only.

Danish King’s Garden, Lühike Jalg, Tallinn, Estonia

August 18th, 2006

Blog review article

The latest Tietokone magazine has a blog review article written by truly yours. I compared four popular blogging software, WordPress, MovableType, TextPattern and Blogger, and tried to find sweet spots for each solution.

The article was written in early summer, so Vox was not available back then. If I’d write the review now, it would be a good contender in the hosted blogging category.

Once the highest building in the world

Olaviste church in Tallinn old town has been the highest building in the whole world until end of 19th century. The first mention of this medieval church dates back to 1267, and the tower reached height of 159 meters on 16th century.

Oleviste church in Tallinn old town
The current tower is not that high anymore, but it still is formidable sight in Tallinn cityscape. The church is open to public, and you can also climb to the tower (there is no elevator) with a nominal fee. As the church is several hundreds years old, do not expect an easy climbing. The staircase is very narrow and dimly lit, there is no handrail — just a rope — and the steps are steep. If you have any doubts about your condition or you have heart related health problems, do not go there. Also claustrophobic people should stay out.

When you have managed to climb the staircase, the views from the tower are magnificent to all directions. The viewing platform is about 60 meters from the street level, well above all other buildings in the old town.

www.oleviste.ee, Lai 50, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 645 7900