суббота, 30 июля 2016 г.

A glance from above (Helsinki, 9.07.16)

When I was thinking what to do once I come to Helsinki for the next time, I understood that in my three visits to the capital of Finland I had never looked at the city from above. It was time to fix it!

I heard about two places where you can see Helsinki spread out before you. One of them is the Olympic Stadium Tower. I decided not to go there because the Stadium was kinda out of the way. Luckily, I didn't waste my time for that because as I've just learned the arena is closed from the end of 2015 and until 2019 due to the renovation.

The other opportunity is Finnair SkyWheel, the large observation wheel near the Market square, i.e. in 5-10 minutes walk from the only station of the vintage tram.
I always thought that Ferris wheels perform smooth and slow non-stop rotation at a constant speed. However, here the situation was different. The wheel rotated faster and stopped from time to time for a couple of minutes. During these stops, passengers of four capsules (the lowest ones at the moment) left while new ones boarded the wheel. Your ride lasts four laps, neither more nor fewer. Therefore, don't board the wheel if your train departs soon, you'll spend there longer than you expect ;) The weird thing about the wheel was that the same person checked the tickets (which, by the way, have a lovely design),
opened/closed the capsules manually and started/paused the rotating mechanism. Why aren't doors of the capsules automatic? Why don't they hire more people or make it possible to start/stop the wheel distantly? It is hellish work for one person because there is no chance to have a break, even the shortest one.

The views were diverse. Half of the lap I enjoyed calm water sceneries,
the other half I viewed the dock and various buildings nearby. 

Unfortunately, the altitude was not enough to see the distant parts of the city. As a result, "to see Helsinki from above" is still on my long list of travel goals. If I visit the capital of Finland anytime after 2019, I will definitely climb the Olympic Stadium Tower!

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