S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Information

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S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Information

Postby eddydevries » Thu May 22, 2014 4:37 pm

See the current schedule for the meeting


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In this topic, you will find more information about the International Summer meeting in Turku :flag-fi: (1-3 August 2014) like scedules, prizes.
For posting if you're coming and/or where you'll staying, there will be opened new topics.

The information down here comes from the post of "candidating". As soon as the organizing team become moderators, they can edit this post and write down the newest information.




Background
Turku is the oldest city in Finland, founded gradually at the end of the 13th century. As the oldest and biggest city of the time, Turku used to be the capital of Finland until 1812, when the capital was moved to Helsinki. The first Finnish university was founded in Turku in 1640, until it was moved to Helsinki in 1828. One reason for the move was that some 3/4 of Turku had burned down the previous year. The city was essentially rebuilt after the disastrous fire.

Turku Castle is the largest surviving medieval building in Finland. A characteristic feature of Turku is the river flowing through Turku, the Aura river. Turku Castle is located by the river near the harbour of Turku. Another medieval building by the Aura river is the Turku Cathedral. Turku Cathedral is still the seat of the Archbishop of Turku and Finland.

Turku has long traditions of culture. The first Finnish newspaper was started in Turku already in 1771, although it was actually written in Swedish. Obviously the Finnish-speaking residents of Turku wanted their own newspaper as well, so a Finnish language newspaper was started only a few years later in 1775. The oldest still functioning Finnish association, the Musical Association of Turku, was founded in 1790. Turku and Tallinn were the European Capitals of Culture in 2011.

As Turku is a coastal city, the shipbuilding industry has traditionally been an important part of Turku. Many of the largest cruise ships in the world have been built at the dockyards of Turku.

Schedule
The meeting will be held on the first weekend of August, 1.-3.8.

We will be posting a more detailed schedule of the event later on. The official part of the meeting will start on Friday afternoon and will end at around noon on Sunday. There is a possibility that we'll arrange some sort of a pre-meeting, possibly not even in Turku. Therefore we advise you to NOT make any hotel reservations or flight bookings yet, as the location of the pre-meeting (if there is any) might affect your travel plans.

There will be a tour of the city and we’ll have a table reservation from some suitable restaurant on Friday and Saturday evening. The city tour will likely be tasked to a professional city guide. This will increase the costs a bit, but on the other hand, he/she can most probably give you a better presentation of Turku than any of us organizers.

As this is somewhat of an ‘ad hoc’ meeting, arranged because there were no other candidates for the summer meeting, the schedule of the meeting won’t be particularly diverse. We will of course try our best to fulfill the promises we make.

How to get here
For most of you, the easiest way to come to Turku is via Helsinki-Vantaa airport (HEL, EFHK). From there you can either take a direct bus to Turku (Helsinki-Vantaa - Turku, this will take some 2,5 hours), or take the regional bus to central Helsinki, get a few notes from there and then hop on the train to Turku. The bus trip (line 615) from the airport to the central railway station is some 40 minutes, and the train trip from Helsinki to Turku is about two hours. The trains have free WiFi, so taking the train would get my preference.

Turku has its own international airport (TKU, EFTU), but unfortunately flights to/from other Eurozone countries to/from that airport are rare. You can check the flights to Turku, but chances are that you won’t find a suitable flight via that airport.

If you want to take a slightly more adventurous and most probably more memorable approach, you can fly (or drive through Denmark and Sweden if you’re so inclined) to Stockholm (Arlanda airport) and then take a ferry to Turku. These ferries are not your average ferries, but they’re actually very large hotels with much partying going on, especially during the weekends. They also have various restaurants and usually also their own (small) swimming pool and a sauna. See Tallink Silja Line and Viking Line for some background. For bonus points (or dots), you can make a short stopover on the autonomous Åland islands and the regional capital, Maarianhamina.

Meeting Program
* Friday, 01/08
- at 18h00, meeting on Viikinkiravintola Harald (Restaurant)
* Saturday, 02/08
- at 18h00, meeting on Hiili (Restaurant)

Finland in general
Finland is a bilingual country, with Finnish and Swedish being the two official languages. Finnish does not have a close relation to other languages, except perhaps for Estonian. Swedish has some similarities to Dutch and German, so if you know those languages, you might guess the meaning of some Swedish words. However, you do not need to learn Finnish or Swedish to travel to Finland, because most Finns can speak enough English to discuss with foreigners. This is especially true for the younger generation of Finns. English is considered to be the unofficial third language of Finland.

Finland is not a particularly cheap country. Some things might cost more than in your home country. This includes items such as food, alcohol, gasoline etc.

Organizers
The main organizer (as in, the one who will be held responsible if something does not work as expected, and the person who will get to tell other assistant organizers what to do) is myself, avij. I have participated in all the international EBTMs so far, so I guess I know a thing or two about international meetings. Some of you may have met tiura in some previous EBTM. He will be assisting us with all things Turku, as he’s a resident of Turku. He has also organized a recent Finnish EBT meeting in Turku. As quite a lot of preparations can be done over email, phone, web etc, we also have a large group of people who have organized Finnish EBTMs in the past in our roster. These additional organizers will be assisting you with whatever questions you may have, either prior or during the meeting.

More info
Please note that this is preliminary information, hopefully sufficient that Turku will be chosen as the host city for the summer EBTM. If our application is accepted, we will provide more detailed information about the schedule, transportation options, hotels, ATMs etc.
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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby MDeen » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:56 am

It is 6 weeks before the meeting starts and still no information. :roll: Come on!

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Crazy Bob » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:42 am

Just one month to go, and still nothing but silence. The longer we wait, the shorter the list of attendees will be...
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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby googlejaps » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:42 pm

There's going to be a meeting, people have made hotel reservations, but the activities we will be doing will be a big surprise :|

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Asiamaniac » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:53 pm

As stated previously, we did not want to wait until (affordable) seats in the airplane or beds become scarce, so we have made our arrangements already weeks ago. We will arrive in Turku on friday afternoon. We look forward to see you again respectively to get to know some other trackers.

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Asiamaniac » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:55 pm

Ah, and for people who have not been to Finland yet and who might worry about the language: During my trips to Finland it was really easy to get along with English.

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby maarsy » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:09 pm

how about banks , do u need to be a costumer to exchange note , or have a national bank branch around where they dont give u funny looks if u ask for 1000 :note-5:

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Asiamaniac » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:52 pm

In downtown Helsinki, I had found it easy to exchange bills (but I never had more than maybe 80 - 100 fivers that I gave or demanded). But of course, there are differences but I do not remember anymore, which ones these were, and it is nine years ago that I did my tracking in Helsinki. Porvoo, a nice place near Helsinki, was easy to track as well.

Nordea banks are (or were) an issue, also mentioned in the forum some ten years ago, if I remember well. What I know is that the branch in Helsinki's Alexanderinkatu was very helpful, while the Nordea near the central railway station only was ready to exchange (in :note-10: , not in :note-5: ) against a fee. I paid that fee (don't remember the sum anymore) because I hoped that those ten brand new :note-10: might bring me an international hit after release at home. (It did not. :( )

That was back during EBTM 2005 in Helsinki - we all know that during the time situations change sometimes, and it also may depend of the person behind the desk if they are EBT-friendly or not.

December 2011: The branch of Nordea Bank in Rovaniemi (Kovakatu - a street in downtown) informed me that they only do this service for their own clients. But with a smile and much politeness I could convince the lady to make an exception - my home bank is thousands of kilometers further south and I needed the fivers. (I do not remember in detail the sweet-talks but in the end, it had worked - "but only this one time, Sir!")

Hey, people, especially you from Finland, what can you tell us? Can we maybe say that Nordea might be stricter than other banks in your country? (I remember these contributions years ago) Which bank chains do you think are generally easy to handle and where can we save our and the clerk's time?

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Nomen Nescio » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:24 pm

Regarding different branches of banks, a lot of branches have cashier services available only to 1 pm. Several branches have ceased to offer cashier services completely nowadays, but I don't know what's the situation in Turku, ain't my hunting grounds ;) Then there are branches that are open 10 am to 4.30 pm, for example Nordea at Alexanterinkatu and Mannerheimintie in Helsinki to mention a few examples. S-pankki ( generally found at Prisma supermarkets and Sokos warehouses ) is working with the same opening hours as the stores where they are found, but I suspect you need to pull off some some sweet talking as a foreign tourist to be able to exchange notes there, depends as always on the person behind the counter.

If you arrive by air at HEL, then one option might be to take busline 61 ( timetables etc: http://www.hsl.fi ) from the airport to Tikkurila railwaystation, where you might be able to exchange some notes at the local branches ( Aktia is the nearest bank to the railwaystation ) and by train you'll reach the Helsinki main railwaystation.

The rule of thumb seems to be that branches in rural areas are a lot more easygoing compared to branches in our "big" cities. The local variation on how you are treated when visiting different banks varies a lot, my own experience is that Osuuspankki in the "big" cities can be a pain in a-place-where-the-sun-seldom-shines, while it is usually nice to drop by a rural Osuuspankki. Nordea varies, the same thing goes for Aktia, usually small town and rural Nordeas and Aktias are pleasant to drop by at, but this varies too. It might be my prejudice, but Danske generally s***s.

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby maarsy » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:08 am

:lol: in other words all depends on when the cashier is in a good mood

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby googlejaps » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:50 pm

I have a very practical question. And since the organisation is fairly quiet, maybe some other Finnish users can answer.

We have planned to travel to Helsinki Airport, and then to Turku by train (as described in the opening post). My question: Is it mandatory to book train seats (online) and pay beforehand, or can I just go to a ticket machine/window and buy tickets when I get there?

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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Cinnamon » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:13 am

googlejaps wrote:I have a very practical question. And since the organisation is fairly quiet, maybe some other Finnish users can answer.

We have planned to travel to Helsinki Airport, and then to Turku by train (as described in the opening post). My question: Is it mandatory to book train seats (online) and pay beforehand, or can I just go to a ticket machine/window and buy tickets when I get there?

There is no need to book anything online. You can buy tickets from station when you know which train you will take. Although Advance ticket is a little bit cheaper and buing from the ticket office costs one euro more. So use ticket vending machine they accept payments by common credit cards and American Express cards. And don't choose a connection where you need to change train. It takes double time and money!
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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Aatos99 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:22 pm

I have now sent reservation for restaurant Harald (for friday, 1st of August.) I hope that they accept the reservation and we can eat there at six o´clock in the first meeting day. I will inform you more as soon as possible, so you don't have to worry about the meeting (I (or someone else) will inform you more about the other restaurants for saturday and sunday.) Here is the website of the meeting restaurant: http://www.ravintolaharald.fi/?lang=en
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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Aatos99 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:52 pm

So, restaurant Harald will be our meeting place on Friday 1st of August, 18.00. :D It's located in Aurakatu, just in the central Turku. And now it seems that I'm one of the organizers, which is fine by me. I'm going to make a reservation for some other restaurant tomorrow, so I will inform you more. It's nice that this meeting is soon and the organizing finally goes on. Eddydevries can update the restaurant(s) to the first post. And by the way, there might be a chance to dot hunting trip to Naantali on Saturday. I can tell you more about that later. It's nice to see you all! :D
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Re: S-EBTM2014 Turku (01-03 August 2014) - General Informati

Postby Asiamaniac » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:02 pm

Yes, we look forward to see you all, too. And thank you for your efforts and updates. Please let us know when you get to know more.

See you in two weeks!


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