This summer, Lumi joined the HXRC team as a summer trainee. She headed out to capture and preserve the attractions of the historic King’s Road on a 360 camera.
Text and photos by Lumi-Emilia Kallionpää
Hi, I’m Lumi, and this summer I have been a trainee at the Helsinki XR Center, working on the King’s Road: Renascence project! I am just finishing off my third year in cultural management studies at Metropolia. I’ve been loving this career path that I chose to walk down, especially because of the huge variety of projects you get to be a part of. The summer at the XR center has exceeded my expectations and I’ve never felt more excited about working, haha! I am forever grateful that I was so trusted to make decisions on my own, as it gave me more confidence in myself.
During these three months I’ve had time to dive deep down into the King’s Road history, as well as its present. King’s Road is an old road spanning all the way from Norway to Russia. It used to serve as a postal route, and is nowadays filled with historical attractions mixed with modern services.
The history and the present
My work days mostly consisted of mapping out these King’s Road attractions, and learning about the old stories the road has to tell. I also spent a lot of time on Teams meetings with different people related to the project. I got to connect with some amazing people and learn more through them!
Perhaps the most exciting part of this project was the trip down the King’s Road itself. In June our other trainee, Laura, joined the project and together we agreed on the filming schedule for the 360 degree videos we were supposed to do. I had carefully picked nine different locations to display on the final platform. So one sunny day, Laura and I took off to King’s Road along its Finnish stretch, and visited these fantastic places. I had never been to any of these destinations before and it was definitely a memorable experience.
Heading out to the King’s Road
First we visited Porvoo, where we found ourselves surrounded by idyllic red houses by the Postimäki outdoor museum. The 360 degree camera did all the work for us inside these tiny cottages, as we enjoyed the sunrays and fresh country air. I could have stayed longer admiring the beautiful scenery, but six more attractions were still waiting for us so we decided to hit the road again. Soon we arrived at a beautiful medieval Pernaja church where we had a friendly summer guide greeting us. It was nice and chilly inside the church and it felt like time had stopped inside those walls. I listened as the guide told me fascinating stories about the church, and I even got to surprise myself with childlike enthusiasm about the church’s history.
The other destinations were just as breathtakingly beautiful as the first ones. In summer every town in Finland gets to call themselves a nice summer town and for a good reason – Hamina, Loviisa and Kotka looked as pretty as ever in the bright June sun. We spent the night at Strömfors ironworks which was packed with exciting places to explore.
After finishing the filming, we managed to have a little tumble and break a piece off the DSL camera we had with us. I felt a drop in my stomach, and anxiously messaged our colleague Kira once we returned to the office. Thankfully they ensured us that everything was fine and that the only thing that mattered was that we didn’t get hurt.
All in all, I can say I’ve had the best summer for years, and the nicest summer job in town. 🌞