Helsinki 2011

"Am I creating all this cold weather or am I just following the cold weather in the world?" was the topic of discussion over supper last night in Helsinki. Apparently people have been following my travels this year of the snow storms in New York, Arkansas, Daqingshan, etc. When I was in Reykjavik, Iceland last week, the local tour guide proudly told me that because of the warm ocean current, Iceland is not really a cold place. But when the plane landed, I thought we were in the arctic circle. I did not seen anything that was not white!My luggage was delayed at the airport and as a result, I came out almost 40 minutes late. Tomi, who is my host for the workshop in Helsinki, told me that the weather started to turn bad and there was a snow storm just at my scheduled arrival time. It was spring already prior to today, he assumed me. This assertion was supported by Hakki, who came for supper with us.Definitely I was not prepared to be dressed warm enough for this weather. Helsinki is right on the south of Finland on the ocean. It was supposed to be 3-7 below zero today but while walking to the Thai restaurant after the 8:00 pm finish tonight, I felt it was at least 20 below. Anyhow, here are some photos of the city I took today.Scandic Continental is the most affordable that could be found for this time of the year. It costs over 80 euros a day. I was told that summer is a better time for hotels. People usually leave the city to go to their country villas for travel abroad. Here are some photos of my hotel room. It is very nicely designed, almost like a mini suite. [nggallery id=98]

[nggallery id=96]

I gave Tomi, my host private lessons before the workshop. He took us to the sports center. It was a busy place with many activities. We found a fencing lane that was not used and practice there. Mainly I showed him the positive and negative circles. This helped him solidify many of the things he learned last year and over the internet. Here are some photos.
[nggallery id=99]