Tuesday, 9th July – Tampere

Whilst the weather had improved overnight it was not a sunny day by any stretch and still a bit cool. Not a bad outcome really as it was quite comfortable to spend the day walking around and exploring Tampere.

There was some serious road work being completed outside our hotel. We were happy that our room was on the other side of the building and it had not impacted our stay. The screens used to contain the dust and noise of the works were amusing.

The city of Tampere is located between two lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. The difference in altitude between these two create a channel of rapids known as the Tammerkoski Rapids. The banks of the Tammerkoski are among the oldest industrial areas in Finland.

Our hotel is located not far from the Northern side of the Tammerkoski. The first picture below shows on the left, the former Finlayson textile mill. On the right, the former metal and textile factory Tampella.

It was a relaxing walk into the main part of the city through lovely park land, home to ‘Virvatulet’, a striking sculpture which is a memorial to Finnish Soldiers.

One of the highlights of our walking tour was the Tampere Cathedral. Built between 1902-1907 it’s definitely not the oldest church we’ve seen but it is home to some stunning stained glass windows.

The numerous stain glass windows depicting biblical themes were incredible.

We really loved walking through Tampere, it’s such an interesting city with such a big personality, cool unexpected artwork and just so clean, no litter and hardly any graffiti. This is not by accident. Tampere has a huge focus on sustainable event planning and have even installed legal graffiti walls, called art triangles, which can be found around the city and close to social areas such as skate parks.

 

As we made our way back to the hotel we came across a local produce market. It was a perfect opportunity to have a coffee and a sweet treat.

Over coffee we discussed the Vapriikki Museum Centre we’d seen on our walk . The current special exhibition unveiled vampire-related superstitions. Highlighting vampires in films, literature and pop culture, not forgetting the most iconic bloodsucker of all time, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Whilst Bec wasn’t interested in the exhibition, Keith was keen to take a look so he returned to the museum and Bec enjoyed an afternoon nap.

On the way out to dinner we came across an interesting exhibition. A Finish artist Juhana Nyrhinen had created a collection of fully functional guitars and kantele zithers (a traditional Finish string instrument) out of skateboards.

We’d enjoyed exploring Tampere and were feeling refreshed ready for our journey tomorrow to Turku.

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