Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Finland and Rainbow 01.06.08

O je, it was time to get back to Finland again. -This time mainly because of my graduation from Theater Academy, but there was other reasons too.

I was strolling by the lake the other day and I realised that it's been nearly exactly two years since I took this same picture for my closing chapter for my Asian blog. This time the return was only different, only for a short while. So much has happened in my life since that entry in June 2006. Little did I know what life would bring! But I'm happy that it has turned out this way!
Remake of the old photo, looks pretty much the same.

Idyllic scenery.

Early summer is really blooming in Parola.

Okay, back to reality and present day... One of the other reasons to come to Finland just now was "Sateenkaari 2008" -the Rainbow Party in Riihimäki, organised by my very dear friend Pikku-Markku. I guess everybody knows what a "rainbow party" is about -if not, lets say, it's about tolerance and open-mindedness originally promoted by gay-people. This time the theme was not so strong or pushed, it was more like just one Sunday afternoon, when people can come together and spend some time conversating with each other and enjoying various performances on stage. There was approximately 180 people altogether and everybody, both old and young, seemed to really catch the mood and the idea.

Local florist sponsored the event with loads of roses,
-some of them dyed to the theme.

Some of the audience.

Dragqueen 2007 Nicola delivering a killer act!!

Energetic singer Anita Hirvonen making the audience go wild.

In the end there was some dance music by the band "La Strada".
And Pikku-Markku and Saara really spinning it.

Vienna and Berlin 10.-19.05.08

I decided to tag along when Mitch needed to go for work to Vienna and Berlin. He was supposed to load and drive two trucks with containers from Austria to Germany fro Markthaler project "Platzmangel". I have never really been to Austria before, just driving through.

Mitch had lousy night-shift for dismantling and loading the set to containers, so he pretty much slept the following day and I went to explore Vienna on my own. First I decided to go see this church near Museum Quartier, which had triggered my interest the day before.

Square Karlsplatz / Karlskirche

Schloss Shönbrunn

Since it was such a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, I continued my journey to Schloss Shönbrunn, the palace I got to know already in my childhood from the New Year's Concert programs. I had heard that the gardens are really worth visiting. The palace itself didn't interest me so much, but the gardens really delivered what was promised. Everything was blossoming and blooming and colors were so fresh. The only downfall of this was that there was lots of other enthusiasts on the same mission as I.

Sign suggests that you shouln't go under the old trees in stormy weather.
One of the many statues of the gardens.

Fairly exotic duck on one of the fountains.

And cute ducklings, o springtime!

Corridor of vines.
In the evening we went together to Prater, the old amusement park of Vienna. we managed to spend there quite some time admiring all the gadgets. There was lots of new blinky and sparkly new stuff, but also many old-fashioned attractions. Some of the scenes were fairly kitschy, but in a way cute too.
Rainbow-wall of children's attraction.

Old rides.

Very old wooden slide-thing, now under renovation.

Some of the decorations were designed in a relatively "not just for kids"-way. Like this damsell in distress on the wall of one of the spooky ghost trains.
Save the lady?
After just one day off, we headed towards Prague and Berlin with the first truck. On our way there it was amazing to see all the fields blazing yellow with turnip rape -something that you expect to see in Finland only after midsummer, two months later.
Surprising to me was also the realisation that I had missed the lakes so much! In Switzerland there is not so much open water as I'm used to in Finland and when I saw the sunlight dancing on the waves somewhere in southern Czech, it just hit me.
Cinderella castle not so far from Danube Island, Vienna.
A snapshot from the truck-window.

Somewhere in Southern Czech.
I had an excellent week in Berlin. Mitch was again working for the most of the time, so I had perfect chance to meet my friends in the city. this was my second time there and I realised that I probaly know as many people over there by now as I do in Helsinki. Cool, I think that if I was to move in another city, it could easilly be Berlin. Kreuzberg suits my character....
I met my friend Rahel over dinner, Julia and Johanna to go to see a play "The next level Parzival" by Theater Basel in Hau 2. With J+J I also did some bar-hopping and checking out the city in general. Great! I have to get to Berlin soon again.
With Mitch we went to check out some fleamarkets and invested way too much money on old lp's.
Weather was also still pretty okay, so I also spent quite some time just hanging out by the channel in Kreuzberg, catching the sun and reading my book (the Swarm by Frank Schatzing). It's quite lively over there, lots of people doing exactly the same hanging out as I was, some Spaniards playing guitars and flutes, swans grooming themselves less than two meters away. Easy going atmosphere.
I dig Berlin!!!