Fryderyk Chopin, Helsinki

From Oulu we travelled south to Jyvaskyla in central Finland. Bridget is running very smoothly. The town of Jyvaskyla is not really a tourist centre and although pleasant enough I couldn’t in all honesty recommend it as a place to visit.

The following morning we continued south to Helsinki, the Capital City of Finland.

As Capital Cities go Helsinki is definitely one of the better ones, with cleaner air than usual, wide boulevards and relatively little traffic. The architecture, on first glance, looks interesting. Bridget and I arrived to a tumultuous welcome, but unfortunately it was not for us, but for the participants of the Tall Ships Racing. Helsinki is 2013 host for this annual event which is organised by the Sail Training International.

As we have several days in Helsinki, I have decided to give Bridget a good rest. As we arrived I couldn’t help noticing the oil pressure was fairly low. So much so that I checked that we hadn’t lost any, but that was OK. Currently I am thinking it has something to do with the grade of oil being 5/50!

Anyway, as the weather was sunny this morning, I decided I am going to spend the whole day around the Tall Ships and the associated entertainment that is organised by the Helsinki City authorities. There is a constant line-up of music and entertainment on three different stages around the area where the Tall Ships are moored.

I have photographed many of the contestants, boats not crew, and spoken with one or two of the crew.

Research tells me there are four classes that the ships fall into, ‘D’ being the equivalent of the MGF and TF. Class ‘C’ would equate to the MGA, Midget and MGB, although most of the ships in the ‘D’ and ‘C’ classes appeared to have been produced in the 1980’s and 90’s. Class ‘B’ would be the equivalent of the MG ‘T’ types and the ships which I mentally think of, when I hear a reference to the Tall Ships, are in class ‘A’. Their beams are over forty metres and they equate to the MG’s of the 1930’s.

It appears to me that there are many other similarities between the Tall Ships and MGs. Few of the ships could enter a Concours contest, and many are not at all what they appear. The Pelican of London’s hull, for instance, is just about all that remains of the original ship. She is a square rigger that is based in the town I was brought up in, Weymouth in Dorset. The Russians have entered a ship that is a replica of a 1703 Frigate.

As the day has worn on I have returned from the harbour area to the entertainment, most of which does what it is intended to do. I can confirm however that ‘Rap’ does not get any better in Finnish! During most of the morning it has been warm and sunny, which was not forecast, nevertheless following lunch it clouded over and eventually started to rain. I had no alternative but to head for the beer tent to shelter and take the opportunity to write this report.

It has now been raining for over two hours and I am still sheltering whilst the entertainment is continuing ceasloss seaslessly unabated. Unfortunately I have been unable to get a supply of good English beer and so have had to settle for the rather weaker, Finnish lager. I have decided not to eat until this evening as lunch has a tendency to make me sloppy sleepy.

As time passes I have to say this larger is stranger than I taut. The music is gatting butter the moor they ply. I’ll jost have anudder for the rod and then go beck to the hotell. It’s getting lather rate….Zzzzzz

Uhh what, oh cluck the shave baton quick!

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