10th Anniversary Symposium of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project
Helsinki, September 7-11, 1995
June 19, 1995
This is an edited version of the third circular letter, sent to those of
you who are registered participants in the ASSYRIA, 1995 Symposium by
post and meant to help you plan your visit to Helsinki and get you
comfortably to the registration desk; more complete information on
Helsinki will be provided when you check in. In addition, we have some
questions concerning the preparation of the Symposium on which we need
information from you. Registered participants please remember to
complete the questionnaire included with your third circular and return
it to us by August 1 or use the form provided at the end of this notice
to send us the information on-line.
The five-day forecast (through Saturday, September 9) predicts daytime
temperatures of 16-17 °C (right around 60 °F), but with some
rain in the forecast. Bring an umbrella. Those planning to make the boat
excursion to Porvoo should have warm clothing as it is always chilly on
A check-in counter will be open for registration in the ground floor
lobby of the Porthania building (Hallituskatu 11, 5 minutes from the
central railway station) on Wednesday from 12:00-20:00 and on Thursday
from 9:00-15:00. Late arrivals can register Thursday afternoon and
Friday morning in the ground floor of the Department of Asian and
African Studies, Meritullinkatu 1 B. We regret that we have been obliged
to collect a conference fee of FIM 100 from all registered participants
(excluding accompanying persons). This fee will be paid at registration
and will entitle you to a free copy of the Symposium proceedings.
Getting into town
There is no train or metro service to the airport, nor is there direct
public transport from the airport to Viikki. Airport (Finnair) buses
leave at 20 minutes intervals from outside the international arrivals
hall for downtown Helsinki; the fare (FIM 20) is paid to the driver.
A regular taxi ride to the center or to Viikki costs about FIM 100-120.
You would save some money by taking an airport taxi/limousine, tickets
for which are sold at the exit from the arrivals hall. These taxis
take up to eight passengers; the fare per person varies between FIM
50 and 21 depending on the number of passengers with the same destination.
We suggest that you take an airport taxi or a regular taxi cab directly
to your place of accommodation and register at your leisure.
For those on a tight budget, the absolutely cheapest transport into town
is the public bus. The fare is FIM 15 (pay the driver) and the ticket is
also good on Helsinki trams, buses and the metro for one hour from the
time it is validated. The buses from the airport to the central railway
station (end of the line) are the 615 and 615Z (the
Z bus is an express). The ride takes a little longer than the airport bus,
but it lets you off at Rautatientori, about a hundred meters closer to
Porthania than the Airport Bus Terminal. To find the public bus terminal
at the airport, turn right as you leave the terminal building and walk to
the end of the building.
For those coming directly into town, the Railway Station Service opposite
the Airport Bus Terminal in the center of town has a large-luggage
deposit with lockers, just 50 meters from the metro station.
Beginning with the fall schedule that went into effect on 28 August, there
is now bus service between Cubile and the Metro on weekends.
On weekdays and Saturday take bus no. 79 (which has a
stop right at the hostel) eastwards to the Siilitie station (about 8
minutes) or the Hertoniemi station (end of the line; about 16 minutes),
and from there a westbound (länteen) metro to the Kaisaniemi
station (11 minutes) right at the corner of the Porthania building. There
are 2-4 busses an hour (depending on the time of the day),
and the same ticket is good for both the bus and metro. On Sunday there
is now a 79A bus that
runs between Cubile and the Siilitie Metro station.
On weekdays the last 79 bus leaves the Hertoniemi Metro station at 22:43
and you have to catch the Metro that leaves Kaisaniemi station at 22:30
to make the connection. After this, buses 74 and 76 from the
central railway station (Rautatientori) go to a stop about 500 meters
southwest of the hostel (Latokartano). The last 76 leaves at 1:15 and
the last 74 at 1:35.
Transportation from the harbor
The South Harbor, where the boats from Germany dock, is only half a
kilometer from the University, and two tramlines (2 and 4) and a busline
stops close to Porthania run past the boat terminal. There is also a
taxi station at the terminal.
Porthania, Hallituskatu 11
Department of Asian and African Studies, Meritullinkatu 1 B
University Guest House, Vironkatu 1 C, phone 135 6925
Kongressikoti, Snellmaninkatu 15 A, phone 135 6839
Hostel Cubile, Maakaari 1 A (Viikki), phone 148 3905
of Helsinki telephone numbers with
the 191- prefix now have an additional 2 before the last 4
digits. Our fax number is now +358-9-191 22094.
A single ticket for public transportation
or bus) within Helsinki costs FIM 9 and is good for unlimited transfers
for a period of one hour from the validation of the ticket; single
tickets can be bought from the driver on trams and buses. There are
also 10-ride tickets that save about 20% over the cost of single tickets.
Your best bet, if you are staying in Viikki, will be a 5-day tourist
ticket, which costs FIM 75 (the same price as a 10-ride ticket; children
under 16, half price) and is good for unlimited rides on all local
public transport (including the ferry to Suomenlinna) for 5 days from
the time it is first used. These as well as other types of tickets
can be bought in all R-kiosk newsstands found everywhere (including
the airport and railway station) displaying the yellow and black symbol
shown above, but they do not take credit cards.
Only single tickets can be purchased on the transport. Children under
the age of 7 ride free.
If you buy a single ticket, keep it until you
get where you are going. Not only is it valid for an hour from the time
it is stamped, but all passengers on public transport are subject to ticket
checks by personnel of the Helsinki City Transport service and there is a
stiff fine (FIM 250) for not having a valid ticket. Tickets have to be shown
to bus drivers, but not on trams or the metro. Be sure you have a valid
ticket before going onto the metro platform. Once on the platform you are
fair game for ticket checkers.
Taxis are expensive for short trips, but the drivers do not expect
tips. A taxi ride of a few blocks will cost FIM 40-50, but you can
go practically anywhere in Helsinki for less than FIM 100.
Cash and currency exchange
Local banks are open only weekdays from 9:15 to 16:15, but cash can
be obtained from bank automats all over the city, including the airport,
with a VISA card (other credit cards are not accepted at present).
Foreign currency exchange offices at the railway station and in several
locations in the city are open daily from 8:00 to 21:00 and generally
have better rates than the banks. The airport and the central railway
station also have machines for the conversion of foreign bills into
Finnish currency and Finnish bills into coins. Many banks also have
automats for currency exchange that are accessible outside banking
hours. Major credit cards are accepted by almost all stores and restaurants;
many taxis also take credit cards. The minimum credit card purchase is
CURRENT FIM EXCHANGE RATE
Glass of beer (0.5 liter) FIM 15-20, glass of wine FIM 20 or more; lunch at the
University mensa (Porthania) FIM 18-22, cup of coffee FIM 3, rolls
and sandwiches FIM 5-12; lunch in restaurant FIM 35-70, dinner dishes
FIM 50-70 or more.
Finding your way around Helsinki
This section is not in the circular letter but contains links to Helsinki for the
Virtual Traveller, a collection of maps and pictures to help you
familiarize yourself with the city and Helsinki City Transport
schedules. The fall schedules went into effect on August 28, so the
schedules now availble can be used to plan your visit. The schedules are
in Finnish, but the numbers will be understandable. For those who wish
to practice, a Finnish-English-Finnish Dictionary
Excursion to Porvoo, Dinner at Officers Club
We have three options for the boat to be hired for the Sunday excursion:
an old-time (1912) motorship (m/s Runeberg) taking up to 200
passengers, an old-time sailboat (schooner Marita) taking 55
passengers, and a modern motorship with restaurant taking about 100
passengers. Before we make the final reservation, we would like to
know how many of you are actually planning to participate in the outing
and which of the three options you would prefer. In order to complete
our reservation at the Officers Club, we also need to know how many
intend to participate in the dinner closing the Symposium on Monday.
Please indicate your preferences in the attached questionnaire.
Program and abstracts
The questionnaire in which workshops you plan to participate
(note: participation as a mere observer is also possible, but we need
to know the number of people wishing to participate in order to accommodate
No abstracts for any of the papers or lectures in the program will
Looking forward to a fruitful meeting and a great time with you in
[Nineveh 612 BC]
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