Posted by: virtualnothingness | November 16, 2014

Cycling around Jersey (2009)

Having somehow neglected to update this blog for five years, I decided to start writing again by publishing a post about Jersey, the biggest of the British Channel Islands, a place that I visited in the summer of 2009. This sort of as a warm-up for writing about upcoming travels.

Jersey is by no means a big travel destination, and I’ve heard very different opinions about it as a travel destination depending on whom I talk to. For me it was a really positive experience and a lot of the good memories came through exploring the island by bike. That is a much better option than renting a car, you don’t get the feel of the small country roads driving and the island is so small that you probably feel like having seen it all really fast behind the wheel.

Maybe the best way of presenting my view on what kind of people probably would enjoy people and what not is through a list:

FIVE REASONS TO VISIT

  1. If you are interested in history, you can see the traces of the WWII German occupation everywhere
  2. The Durrell Wildlife Park, one of the finest I’ve ever visited
  3. The ethnic mix of Jersey / British / Portuguese / French
  4. Wonderful island to explore by bike. Hilly, beautiful, no challenge to ride around the island in a day
  5. If you watched Bergerac

FIVE REASONS TO MAYBE SKIP IT

  1. Children will love the Wildlife park and maybe a beach. A week at Jersey could prove challenging.
  2. If you don’t want to be reminded of WWII in every corner (the island is really fortified)
  3. If you want to do long hikes without meeting people
  4. If you want to party party
  5. If you hated Bergerac
Flying dog

This dog knows how to levitate, but the owners aren’t impressed!

Fish Farm Bunker

Way’s of reusing the German bunkers part I: make it a Fish Farm

Bunker restaurant


Ways of reusing the German bunkers part II: Make it a cafeteria & restaurant

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German range-finding tower, strangely not re-used. Too much bother to tear down.

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German range-finding tower rebuilt first as a Maritime Traffic Control Tower but nowadays actually rented out as a very exotic hotel room.

Scooby Doo

Locals dressed up traditionally for a night out ūüôā

Gorey Castle

Grouville Bay and Gorey Castle (“surprisingly” with German lookout-towers camouflaged on the roof)

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The cycling blogger happy after the first lap around Jersey

Elisabeth Castle

Elisabeth Castle outside of the main town St Helier can be accessed by foot on low tide

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The lazy way to get to Elisabeth Castle is to take the vehicle that fits all tides. Goes on wheels or as a boat.

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And what is this? Well, it is of course a snuff box, used by the good Officer’s at Elisabeth Castle. A must for every gentleman’s home.

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The Germans had made some range-finding listings for the coastal gun at the harbor entrance. It was never needed, Jersey was liberated only at the end of the war without fighting.

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This was what the islanders had to face after the bloodless occupation. Occupying some British territory was of course seen as very valuable propaganda.

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La Corbière is the famous lighthouse at the south-west tip of Jersey. Again reachable by low tide, but when the tide warning siren goes, you really have to walk back. It was amazing to witness how fast it again became surrounded by the sea.

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A happy lighthouse fanatic having seen yet another of his favorite lighthouses.

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Here comes the tide. A lighthouse keeper once drowned trying to save a tourist, who was to late walking back and caught by the tide.

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Some coastal gun saved from the sea and returned to the original position.

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Batman in Durrell Wildlife Foundation

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Mongoose guards at the Durrell Wildlife Foundation

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Gorilla feeding time coming up.

Celebes Crested Macaques

These nice creatures are Celebes Crested Macaques and it took me a while of searching to learn that fact.

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Nice chilling position for an Orangutang

Jersey War Tunnels

The Jersey War Tunnels is a huge underground WWII military hospital now turned into a museum

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All historical sites in Jersey are (thankfully) not connected to WWII. There are many 4-6000 year old Neolithic dolmens at the island. This one is La Pouquelaye de Faldouet in the Parish of St Martin.

Gorey Castle

Sunset at Gorey Castle

Jersey shoreline

Coastline on in the north close to Bonne Nuit Bay

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Posted by: virtualnothingness | September 15, 2010

Big “bird” at Helsinki-Vantaa

I couldn’t resist going to have a look at the Lufthansa Airbus A380 visiting Helsinki-Vantaa. An impressive sight, never seen one start before. Took a few pics of other planes at the same time.

Posted by: virtualnothingness | June 17, 2010

Derelict Keimola Motor Stadium

Located about 20 kilometers north of Helsinki, surrounded by thirty years growth of trees and bushes, is a motor stadium that saw its glory days in the end of the sixties and beginning of seventies. It hosted many Formula two races, with legends like Graham Hill, Jack Brabham and Jochen Rindt.

The stadium was abandoned in 1978, and no new development has taken place in the area. The track profile can still clearly be seen in satellite pictures: Google Maps satellite view of Keimola.

Visiting the place gives a cheap World without experience. No amount of asphalt and concrete is enough to keep nature from reconquering the area.

Posted by: virtualnothingness | April 25, 2010

Tram at the end of the road

When cycling around in Helsinki, this tram, that seems to be stripped for spare parts, caught my attention.

The nice thing about the Internet is the ease to find additional information about nearly anything. This tram was built in 1956 and has the previous few years been used for charter rides. It was pulled from service in October last year. Now looking at the empty seats and the signs from twenty years ago telling about the FIM 110 penalty fare for riding without a ticket (the fare for that this day is 80 euros, equaling nearly FIM 500) makes you think how time flies by.

There are still a few of these fifties trams in museum and charter traffic, hope this gives some good spares for them. It has done a long service, probably I rode it as a kid too.

There is a picture of the tram in happier days at http://www.raitio.org/ratikat/helsinki/hkimuseo/muskuvat/hkl332_505.jpg

I took the pics with my Nokia E75 mobile phone. I think the quality is ok for being mobile pics.

Posted by: virtualnothingness | January 27, 2010

Winter in Helsinki and Imatra

So this year we got a Real winter here in Finland. The temperatures have been between -10 and -20 c for most of the last month. That has given nice white landscapes, but on the other hand a bit limited the outdoor activities.

Last weekend we however got ourselves on the train to Imatra, that is situated a few kilometers from the border to Russia and enjoyed a weekend at the classical Valtionhotelli and it’s new neigbouring spa. Below a few pictures from winter in Helsinki and Imatra.

Posted by: virtualnothingness | June 24, 2009

Faith No More in Helsinki

A wonderful warm summer night with sunshine and one of my favourite bands performing.

Very difficult conditions to get any good pictures, especially since I didn’t dare to take the big camera. Enjoyed it a lot, Mike Patton rules.

It really is worth seeing these guys

It really is worth seeing these guys

A satisfied audience

A satisfied audience

...of course the screen was better to capture Patton

…of course the screen was better to capture Patton

The best I could do in the light conditions...

The best I could do in the light conditions…

Ellie and me

Ellie and me

Posted by: virtualnothingness | May 5, 2009

8 years and 40085 km

In 2001 I started to keep track of my cycling kilometers in Excel, and today marked the first lap around the globe (the equatorial circumference is 40075 km).

It took 1464 days with cycling, averaging 27.4 km a day, to finish the first lap. The yearly average is around 5000, which is all I can do with work and social life taking it’s share and the Finnish winter months keeping me off the bike a few months every year.

If every kilometer on the bike burns 20 calories, it has been about 150 kg of chocolate burned away.

Hope next lap is faster.

Posted by: virtualnothingness | January 11, 2009

Active Helsinki weekend

This weekend was a good example of how much fun it is possible to have in only 2.5 days time.

On Friday we had a great Indian dinner at Asna’s place, on Saturday the Zoological Museum with my father and Jarkko’s birthday dinner at Raku Ya. Sunday crowned it all with smoke sauna and ice swimming in Kuusij√§rvi with CS friends. Here’s some photographic evidence.

Jarkko and Ellie at Raku Ya

Jarkko and Ellie at Raku Ya

Ellie and me at the barbeque

Ellie and me at the barbeque

CS people cooling off at the smoke sauna porch

CS people cooling off at the smoke sauna porch

Asna and Ellie

Asna and Ellie

Kuusijärvi was icy and cold

Kuusijärvi was icy and cold

Ellie and Martin

Ellie and Martin

Martin starting the swimming season

Martin starting the swimming season

Ellie starting the swimming season

Ellie starting the swimming season

Drinks with Jonna, Jarkko & friends at Groteski

Drinks with Jonna, Jarkko & friends at Groteski

Ellie and my father at the Zoological Museum

Ellie and my father at the Zoological Museum

Indian dinner with Asna

Indian dinner with Asna

Posted by: virtualnothingness | January 8, 2009

Out and around Oslo

We did other things than partying during this visit to Oslo too. A nice winter walk from Frognerseteren via Ullevålseter to Sognsvann was one of the highlights. Pics, pics and more pics.

Posted by: virtualnothingness | January 8, 2009

CouchSurfing New Year in Oslo

So, for the second year in a row it was time for a CouchSurfing new year at Aarvoll in Oslo. The party was, if possible, even better than the previous year, much thanks to the fantastic arrangements. Here’s the best captures from my camera.

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