It’s time to travel to Finland for starting a proper preparation with the local companies and community. First we will stay 2 days in Helsinki, we’re we visit our Finnish colleagues of Aalto University. They’re very interested and have the intention to participate with several students. Their students will help us with the structural engineering of the bridge. Lauri Salokangas showed us their campus and took us for a mini excursion through Helsinki, which was very nice.
On June 4th we arranged a meeting at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Finland. In the center of Helsinki, in the Embassy’s beautiful residence, several representatives of companies and institutes, settled in Helsinki, attended our presentation. It is good to see that everyone is again willing to cooperate. After the meeting we went to Tulikivi’s headquarter in Helsinki. There we also presented our new ambitious plans for next winter. Because we’re building on Tulikivi area it was very positive to hear that they are also glad with the idea of building world’s largest bridge in ice.
After the long car drive to Juuka it was time to meet the board of the Structural Ice Association to inform them about our plans. There are some struggles we have to solve, but we think we have enough expertise and ambition to realize our plans. Together with the local support it will be another successful ice-project.
On Friday afternoon we visited the big factory of Stora Enso in Uimarharju. Stora Enso was supporting us with a lot of wooden fibers last year. This year we hope they also can help us with gathering enough cellulose.
After that we traveled further to Joensuu for a meeting with representatives of Karelia University and some entrepreneurs from Joensuu. Evaluating last projects stimulation of the local economy turned out to be very positive. It’s good to see that everyone is full of ambition to make next years project another great success.
On Saturday we were invited to present our plans on the gorgeous island of Paalasmaa, lying in lake Pielinen. Had some interesting chats with local visitors. Everyone promised to follow us again next winter.
After the market on Paalasmaa we gave a presentation for interested people from Juuka and Nunnanlahti at Tulikivi Stone Center. We answered their questions and tried to prove the benefits of having such projects in Juuka. Special thanks to Tuula for translating our presentation to Finnish.
Monday we had an important meeting with the technical working group. We walked along the building site with the technical people from the government and fire department to investigate how everything can be realized and positioned next winter. With the Ice-Track around the Tulikivi quarry (with some beautiful frozen waterfalls) to Da Vinci’s Bridge in Ice and the Candela Pavilion there will be a huge ice-event next winter!
We left Juuka for heading to Kuopio. Here we had a meeting with Scantarp, a Finnish manufacturer of coated fabrics, which supported us last year with the textile for producing the inflatable molds. Let’s hope if they can provide us some textile for this year.
During the last day of our trip we visited the University of Jyvaskyla, hoping that they also can enthuse some students for our ice-project. Together with Juhani Lillberg, President of the International Association for Snow and Ice Sculptures, we gave a presentation about building with ice.
The trip was very useful and productive and we’re looking forward to see our plans getting more detailed and promising!