WRC rally in Finland coming weekend

.. And to celebrate the fact, Neste Oil, the main sponsor of Rally Finland did a publicity stunt and brought the rally cars to the city of Helsinki. The idea was to build a nice small street track (c.850m) on which current rally drivers and older legends would drive upon. The legends being guys like Kankkunen, Mäkinen, Grönholm etc. and of course current drivers include guys like Mads Östberg, Sebastian Ogier and Finns Latvala and Hirvonen.

Mads Östberg, a young and very talented Norwegian driver. A very potential future champion.

The weather was totally perfect for the event and there was quite a large crowd following the happenings. Almost +30Celsius was a bit demanding as there was not enough places with shade to watch from. A lot of water to keep hydrated was the only thing to do.

grönholmMarcus Grönholm, a retired double world champion. He drove for Peugeot and Ford amongst others. One of all time greats.

I had a dual purpose for this day. First to see some of my favorite drivers doing what they can do so well. As a Finn I grew up listening  of and seeing the bravery of guys like Kankkunen, Vatanen, Alen as well as Henri Toivonen. To see those guys drive is always a great pleasure. Secondly as  a photographer, this was a fun day to try to capture some of the speed of the day and improve my panning technique as well.

hirvonenMikko Hirvonen, still currently driving in the WRC, has been a works driver for both Citroen and Ford.

The photos above are to me OK, but not totally great. Unfortunately the amount of people meant that I could not get into a nice place to shoot so I was limited in many ways. I also found the cars to be really fast and thus hard to keep tracking and focusing upon. But anyways a lovely event, a great day. The weekend will show who is the fastest driver this year in Neste Oil Rally of Finland. I am hoping for it to be either VW driver Jari-Matti Latvala of Mikko Hirvonen. Last year the winner was ruling world-champ Sebastian Ogier from France (driving the VW).

Sri Lankan food – in Helsinki

It has been a while since my last restaurant /food review.  Sorry about that, I have been eating more home-cooking and less outside.

Anyway,  today I had the chance to test Restaurant Hansini in Aurinkolahti (Vuosaari district of Helsinki). I have been aware of this place for a while but I believed it to be your regular pizza/kebab place of which there is no shortage in Helsinki.

However I was thinking about a pizza so I stumbled upon their menu. Which had Sri Lankan food on it as well. No, this is not your average run of the mill neighborhood pizzeria/kebab place.


Hansini is located right beside a canal in Aurinkolahti, on the eastern side of the district.

The place was really hot inside as we are enjoying a very warm spell at the moment.  Spur of the moment: they do take-away portions at  the same price, so a couple of dishes and a lemonade and to the side of the canal to eat. Running water and shade. What more could you possibly want on a very hot day?


As you can see, a nice spot to sit down on some terraced concrete and enjoy a taste of a cuisine I really love. If you have been reading my blog you will know I love Sri Lanka and have been there a few times and was there last autumn. So it was great to see if I can get some proper Sri Lankan food.


The dishes from left to right: vegetable with rice and curry. Chicken with rice and spices.

The food was to be expected, a little toned down for Finnish taste. Spicy, but not so hot as the dishes I have enjoyed in Sri Lanka. The restaurant will however upon request do the full-blown hot stuff as well.. Next time I think. Anyway, the veggie dish was very nice and not too spicy with a lot of nice tasting parts in it. The chicken had a bit more bite in it but not too much. All in all, a very very positive a experience. Highly recommended.

to their homepage from here: Hansini


Beauty of Nature

I am by no means a landscape photographer, but I do love to try to capture some of those nice moments I come upon. Usually I dont have my tripod along with me so this means I need to work hand-held which in turn makes great landscape shots a pain to get right.

Photograph Sunset by Jere Ketola on 500px

The plant in this photo is a real nuisance (Sosnowskys hogweed), it has no place in Finland, but has gradually moved as the weather changes from Russia. However even though the species is not nice, it formed a great compositional dimension to have some depth to the sun setting.

Photograph Vuosaari by Jere Ketola on 500px
The sun had already set when I came upon this view with my bicycle. Nature is so beautiful, is she not?

Evening birds

Photograph The Queen and the prince by Jere Ketola on 500px

A mother and youngling, straying about, learning to live. 

Have I ever talked about how much I love the sea. And how much I love the fact that Helsinki is on the shore of the sea. Thus sea is always at hand. Alongside that, as the city has a lot of beaches, nature reserves etc. there is always a shore close-by that you may visit. Along those shores you never know what or who you will see.

Photograph In His Kingdom by Jere Ketola on 500px


This second photo was taken on the shore of one of those nature reserves. A Oyster catcher sat on a rock and the light was beautiful. A great moment. Oyster catchers are some of my favorite birds, as they are somehow comically beautiful.

Red-backed Shrike

One of the more beautiful, yet very shy small bird species. A male and female, photographed about 100m apart, both alone.

Photograph Lonesome by Jere Ketola on 500px


The male was less cautious so I could get a little bit closer than the next photo.

Photograph Lonesome 2 by Jere Ketola on 500px


As you can see, not a very large bird, sitting on a straw like that. For enhanced difficulty between me and the bird a lot of marshland that coul potentially have vipers in it. Not something I wanted to step upon in normal walking shoes.