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Exploring Herttoniemi

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When  I left the office today, the weather was a bit too sunny and I was feeling a little too jittery to go straight to home. Instead I decided to go and pick up a geocache a couple of kilometers away, near a Bronze Age burial site next to Itäväylä road.  Cycling there was very pleasant and the cache was in a fun place to find, although the GPS gave me some trouble. I’m mostly happy with the Garmin Colorado 300, but the electronic compass acts rather funky a bit too often. You have to recalibrate it quite regularily, plus for some reason even minor vibration (such as holding it in your hand that’s resting on a bicycle handlebar) makes it go wonky.

A Bronze Age burial site next to one of the busiest roads in Helsinki.

A Bronze Age burial site next to one of the busiest roads in Helsinki. The site is basically just a huge pile of rocks.

I also found someone's lodgings. Nobody seemed to be home, so I peeked in.

I also found someone's lodgings. Nobody seemed to be home, so I peeked in.

Pages from porn magazines, a couple of tent mattresses, an ashtray and empty boxes of ice-cream etc. Looked more like kids house than one of bums.

Pages from porn magazines, a couple of tent mattresses, an ashtray and empty boxes of ice-cream etc. Looked more like a shack built by kids than the lodgings of a bum.

When I found the cache, I was still feeling energetic and the next caches were only a bit over a kilometer away, so I went looking for them. A very nice thing about geocaching is that it takes you to places where you’d otherwise never go. Going for walks without a point bores me to tears and I rarely go cycling without any aim, but geocaches give you a good excuse to poke your nose into all kinds of places. I used to live in Herttoniemi, on the northern side, but Herttoniemenranta-area really surprised me. It was a completely different world from the area of Siilitie – clean houses, nice yards, lots of kids and a distinct smell of money.

I found one of the caches, the second one was inside a dog park, where I didn’t want to go and the third one was right next to a very busy road with a lot of people (it’s a really fucking cold day in hell before I start calling bystanders ‘muggles’). The people walking past made searching for the cache without revealing its spot pretty hard, so I left it for another time. 

Herttoniemenranta seaside has nice tallish cliffs, which I’ve been meaning to check for some time now. When I returned, I arrived handily right above them – on the other side there is a harbor, which is closed with fences and barbed wire. The cliffs were surprisingly clean. I was expecting a ton of old beer bottles and stuff like that after the summer, but either it had been cleaned or it didn’t attract that many people. From the top of the cliff I noticed some old rusty barges and to my surprise a smaller tug-like boat that was huddling quite close to the cliffs. 

The barges were rusty and massive. They were behind a serious looking fence, which I didnt want to try and cross in full daylight.

The barges were rusty and massive. They were behind a serious looking fence, which I didn't want to try and cross in full daylight.

It was full of clothes hung up to dry, boxes of plates and other dishes also set up to dry and so on. There was a gap in the fence on top of the cliff and I just had to go through and climb down to check the boat out. The it was anchored next to a concrete ledge on the bottom of the cliffs – surprisingly there didn’t seem to be any way to the ledge apart from going there by boat, unless there was a door on the cliffside. Somehow the boat with all the stuff and the ledge was the coziest thing I’ve seen in ages.

A view from the top of the cliffs.

A view from the top of the cliffs.

The boat was covered with laundry and all kinds of stuff.

The boat was covered with laundry and all kinds of stuff.

There was a barbeque, plants, more clothes and all kinds of small stuff on the ledge. It looked like like someones front yard.

There was a barbeque, plants, more clothes, ornaments like the small lighthouse, and all kinds of small stuff on the ledge. It looked like like someone's front yard.

When I was pedaling back towards home, I was feeling good and peaceful. I’ll have to get a few proper urban exploration trips done before the end of the summer – maybe a certain abandoned prison or a factory, or a Russian era ammo dump. Poking my nose into old ruins and often just poking my nose into places a bit off the beaten track always manages to put me in a strange but very good mood. It’s kind of peaceful, timeless and weird in the sense that I feel like I was remembering something very old. I can’t place the memory and strangely enough I remember feeling like that when I was a kid too. I wonder whose memories do I have.

Nevertheless, feeling good and peaceful. Now a bit of gaming, some food and then early to bed.

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