10th Anniversary Symposium of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project
Helsinki, September 7-11, 1995
Additional Information
June 19, 1995

General Comments
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.
Weather NEW
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 the water.

Click here for the current weather

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.

Transportation between Viikki and Porthania NEW


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 (13) with stops close to Porthania run past the boat terminal. There is also a taxi station at the terminal.

Key addresses and phone numbers
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
Uni Hostel Cubile, Maakaari 1 A (Viikki), phone 148 3905

Please note: All University 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.

Public transportation
A single ticket for public transportation (metro, tram, local train 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 FIM 30.


Sample prices
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 is available.
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 everybody).

No abstracts for any of the papers or lectures in the program will be necessary.

Looking forward to a fruitful meeting and a great time with you in Helsinki.


[Symposium Program] [“Nineveh 612 BC”] [Beginning of File]

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