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Travelog for: ZeeZee Zebra

School 50, Novosibirsk, Russia - 20th February 2014

By: Abdysh

All the time when I went to school with Dasha, I was a student. But today I tried my hand as a teacher :)


It was speacial Physics lesson for 7th grade (12-13 years kids) and the high school students showed them some interesting experiments.


Seems like a weird booze :D But we needed milk and alcohol for the experiments.


That's what we got after mixing milk with dyestuff and dropping detergent in it.


I told them about Trinidad and Tobago, about Japan and my friends ToyVoyahers. Many kids decided to join and release their little friends in big world too. :)


* Posted Feb 20, 2014, 7:03 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lenina square, Novosibirsk, Russia - 6th March 2014

By: Abdysh

Hello! Hello!
Sorry a lot for long silence.
FINALLY it's accomplished! Dasha took me to the center of the city as she promised a long long time ago.

That very building which I saw in the History book: the Opera and Ballet Theater :)


The Sochi-2014 countdown watches - they have been counting time down to the beginning of the games.


Walking near Lenina square.


* Posted Mar 8, 2014, 10:21 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Pervomayskiy sqaure, Novosibirsk, Russia - 6th March 2014

By: Abdysh

Then we went to the magical Pervomayskiy skver.


* Posted Mar 8, 2014, 10:40 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Ob' river, Novosibirsk, Russia - 6th March 2014

By: Abdysh

Then - down the Red avenue to the river Ob'.

The Alexander Nevskiy's Cathedral:


The bridge for trains


It was really cold and the fog you see is the steam on the water :)



* Posted Mar 8, 2014, 11:04 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Metro, Novosibirsk, Russia - 8th March 2014

By: Abdysh

From the river to my hosthome I got by subway. It's not very big in Novosibirsk, only two lines; but it has the longest subway bridge in the world :)


In russian subway you hear the words "Be careful, the doors are closing now, the next station is..." before the train leaves every station. We wonder if there is a voice saying it in another countries? x)



Most of stations are decorated with marble. This is one of the wall in the station "Sibirskaya".



Street musucians are often in the subway. This one played wonderful covers to SOAD on his flute :)


* Posted Mar 9, 2014, 9:44 pm Last edited Mar 12, 2014, 2:56 pm by Abdysh [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lenina square, Novosibirsk, Russia - 12th March 2014

By: Abdysh

Again the theater and the momunets of Lenin and the soldiers, but in daylight :)





* Posted Mar 12, 2014, 3:12 pm Last edited Mar 12, 2014, 3:14 pm by Abdysh [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Pobedy Boulevard, Novosibirsk, Russia - 14th March 2014

By: Abdysh

The real tanks of Second World War on the Square of Star on the Pobedy Boulevard (of Victory).


This is the house of my host on the background :)


* Posted Mar 14, 2014, 5:03 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Turku, Finland - 26th June 2014

By: jinxed


I arrived to Finland a couple of days ago. Just in time for the Medieval Market, which is held at the Old Great Square (Vanha Suurtori) on this weekend.

I met some toyvoyagers on the bank on Aurajoki (joki = river) near the Old Great Square. Hanne Hü, Qah and Mr. Moose invited me to join them and that's what I did.

The red building is Katedralskolan (Katedraalikoulu in Finnish, Cathedral School in English). It was the first school in Finland and was established by Catholic monks in the Middle Ages. Of course the building itself isn't that old, it was built after the Great Fire on 1827. In the Middle Ages Katedralskolan was mostly for educating priests, now it's upper secondary school for those who speak Swedish. (Finland is bilingual country with Finnish and Swedish as official languages.)


A quick view towards Aurajoki and the Handicrafts Market on the other side, before we went to explore the Medieval Market.


Here we are at the Old Great Square. Merchants are selling their "medieval" products - different handicrafts, paintings, ointments, food, etc. Then there are actors - mostly amateurs and hobbyists - dressed up as medieval people. They have a partly trained and partly improvised show going on for the duration of the market. Although the actors aren't the only ones who have dressed up, some regular market-goers and hobbyists do that too.


This building is the Brinkkala Mansion. It has a long history, beginning on the 16th century. The building was badly burnt on the Great Fire and then it was renovated to become the Town Hall. Now the Town Hall is located on the bank of Aurajoki near Auransilta and Brinkkala Mansion is best known for the traditional proclamation of Christmas peace, which is proclaimed from the balcony on Christmas Eve at noon.


Porthaninpuisto (Porthan park) is right next to the Old Great Square and the masters of medieval crafts are showing their skills there.



There were some sheep in the park, too.


Then it was time for a break. We went back to the river bank with some traditional confections and the program. Mr. Moose translated it for us, so we found out what's going on and where.


Then we went to explore the market again and watched a part of the show, too.






Later we went to watch a tournament by Rohan Stables. It was probably the most exciting part of the day.


After the tournament it was time to leave the Middle Ages and return to our own time.



* Posted Jan 22, 2015, 9:51 pm Last edited Jan 24, 2015, 7:45 pm by jinxed [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Turku, Finland - 28th June 2014

By: jinxed


Guess what? Our medieval adventure continues.

During the market weekend there's usually a medieval day at the castle too. Of course the castle is medieval all the time and you can go there whenever the museum is open, but the medieval day is a bit different. There's more activity and medieval people than usually and it's also possible to go to some places which are normally closed.


Turku Castle is one of the most notable historical buildings in Finland and it's also the oldest surviving medieval building in Finland. The castle was founded in the late 13th century and it's located near the mouth of Aurajoki and the Port of Turku. Originally the castle was built on an island, but the ground has ascended during the centuries so much that the island is fully connected to the mainland.

The castle has been through a lot during it's long history. It's been built, burnt, rebuilt and extended many times. The latest major damage was caused by an incendiary bomb that hit the Medieval keep on 1941, when Soviet Union was air raiding Turku during the Continuation War. After that the castle has been renovated and restored to its 16th century glory. Now the castle is one of the most popular museums in Finland. It's also a popular place for weddings.

The castle can be divided into two parts: the Renaissance bailey and the Medieval keep. This is the courtyard between those two parts - with a view of the eastern tower and the smaller entrance tower of the Medieval keep in the front of it.


First we went to the inner courtyard and found out that this door was open. Now we can see a room that's usually closed. It's the oldest room where people have lived in the castle.



After that we decided to enter the Medieval Keep. On a way there, we met the gatekeeper's bear.


Inside we sat down for a moment and admired the thick walls and big windows.


In the gatekeeper's chamber we saw paintings from the 16th century. There was also an old saddle, which seems to be quite small and possibly very uncomfortable.



In this room you can see scale models of the different building phases that the castle has gone through during it's long history.


This room is the Nun's Chapel. Katarzyna Jagiellonka - wife of Johan III, who lived in the castle on the 16th century when Johan was the Duke of Finland - used this room for her prayers.


This picture is from the scribe's chamber.


These stairs lead to the top of the western tower. The uppermost floor is usually closed, but not today. The stairs are very steep with high and worn steps, not the easiest thing to walk on.


Here we are, on the top of the western tower. We wanted to take a photo in the front of an open hatch because the view is beautiful, but there were too many people and we didn't want to risk falling down either. These hatches are built for cannons, so no window glass there.


Here we are on the Renaissance floor, it's the uppermost floor of the castle, if you ignore the towers. This floor was built on the 16th century for Johan III and Katarzyna Jagiellonka. The chambers where they lived are located here.


Then we continued the tour to the Renaissance Bailey. Here we are in the prison of Erik XIV. Erik was Johan's brother and the king of Sweden (at that time Finland was a part of Sweden, too). He was held as a prisoner here after he lost his sanity and Johan became the king.

It's said that Erik spent so much time watching out of the window that his elbows left marks on the windowsills. We're sitting around one of those marks on these photos.



The paintings on the wall show Erik XIV and probably his wife Karin Månsdotter.


Later the castle served as a prison too. The last convicts were moved out of the castle on 1891, when the building of Kakola was completed.





We had a great day in the castle.


* Posted Jan 24, 2015, 3:33 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lieto, Finland - 17th July 2014

By: jinxed


We spent a couple of weeks at the cottage enjoying the sunny, warm and lazy summer days on the countryside.



It was fun, quiet and very relaxing.

Best wishes,

* Posted Jan 24, 2015, 6:25 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

on the road, Finland - 18th July 2014

By: jinxed


After relaxing at the cottage it's time for a trip to eastern Finland. Our destination is Eno. It's a village in Pohjois-Karjala (North Karelia) that has been a part of the town of Joensuu since 2009.

Here we are on the road, somewhere near Pieksämäki.


In Finland the distances can be long and the roads are built in a way that you don't need to drive through towns and villages. So, it's possible to drive hours without seeing anything but forests, lakes and occasional farms.

These photos are taken at Ylämylly, when we had a short break at this lay-by. A beautiful place with a very popular beach.




* Posted Jan 24, 2015, 7:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Eno, Joensuu, Finland - 19th July 2014

By: jinxed


Today it was sunny and hot day, so we spent most of it in the garden. The kids here like us a lot and we played with them for a while, we even got a ride around the house on a kicksled. Kicksleds are usually used on winter, but it seemd to work well enough on grass, too.


Then we climbed on a blackcurrant bush...


... and sat on a huge rhubarb leaf.


Later we went to sauna. This is an old sauna. First you have to carry the water inside and then boil some in the big cauldron by burning wood under it. The sauna stove is heated by burning wood, too. There's no showers either. You're supposed to wash yourself in the sauna by mixing boiling and cold water in a wash basin. I think this kind of sauna is more atmospheric than the modern ones.

You can see a part of the sauna stove in the corner and a part of the big cauldron in the front of it.


Then we sang karaoke. It was fun.


After that it was time for us to go to sleep.

Good night,

* Posted Jan 24, 2015, 7:43 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Ilomantsi, Finland - 20th July 2014

By: jinxed


Today we drove about 50 kilometers to Ilomantsi. Just for fun and a little sightseeing, too. We saw lots of forests again.

Ilomantsi is the easternmost municipality in Finland and also the continental part of European Union. So you can't go much further east without crossing the border to Russia.

First we went to the water tower, which is now known as Hermannin viinitorni (Hermanni's Winetower). There's a coffee bar at the top, where you can also get some local wines.



Beautiful views from the top of the tower. I wonder if we could see all the way to Russia, too.






Then we ate apple pie with vanilla sauce and juice. It was yummy.



After we left the tower, we went to see the Orthodox church. This Prophet Elijah's Church is the largest Orthodox church in Finland. It's very beautiful, too.





* Posted Jan 24, 2015, 8:25 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Eno, Joensuu, Finland - 21st July 2014

By: jinxed


After a hot and sunny day spent shopping in Joensuu, we went to the beach.

Pielinen is the biggest lake of Pohjois-Karjala and this body of water here is Pielisjoki, a river that begins at the southern end of Pielinen and flows through Eno and all the way to Joensuu. Joensuu actually means river mouth, a logical name for a town that's located at the mouth of Pielisjoki.


We noticed something interesting nearby. These huge stones are a part of Suomen Salpa (Finland's Bolt) which is also known as Salpalinja (Salpa Line, Bolt-line).


Salpalinja is 1200 kilometers long bunker line that goes from the Gulf of Finland to Petsamo in northern Finland, although Petsamo is now known as Pechenga and it belongs to Russia. Salpalinja is also one of the most notable fortifications of the World War II. Now it's possible to do some sightseeing along Salpalinja and there are several museums on the way.


Salpalinja was built on the eastern border of Finland during the Interim Peace between the Winter and Continuation Wars. It was meant to be a defence line against the Soviet Union and these huge stones were meant to stop tanks. In the end the Soviet Army was stopped before it reached Salpalinja.


Anyway, it was a beautiful evening and we really enjoyed our time at the beach.



* Posted Jan 26, 2015, 9:40 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

on the road, Finland - 21st July 2014

By: jinxed


Today it was time to travel back to Turku.

This time we had a short break in Central Finland, more precisely in Vaajakoski, which is a part of Jyväskylä. We chose to stop there because of Panda, which is a candy factory that produces licorice and chocolate. They have a factory outlet there and that's where we went.

The mascot is kinda cute, so we wanted to pose with it.



About 600 kilometers and 7-8 hours in car on a hot summer day... We were very tired and happy, when we finally reached Turku.


* Posted Jan 26, 2015, 10:10 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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