Tampere. It is a very cool city. And like the title says, it is the biggest inland city in Scandinavia, which I thought was very cool. So on wednesday the 10 of August the entire language camp took a trip to Tampere, since it was very near to the camp, Karkku, which is near the town Sastamala. We left Karkku at like 12, right after lunch. It was probably about a 20-30 minute bus ride to the city. The bus ride gave me a little bit of a stomach/headache so I just stared out the window the whole way there. I love the scenery here. It is similar to Norway, and similar to Hawaii (in that everything is very green) but it is also unique in its own way.
On the bus (Canada and Chicago)
So then when the bus drove into the main part of the city and we picked up our tour guide. Then we drove around in the bus some more with our tour guide, and she told is about the parts of the city that we passed. It was a very nice tour, I thought that it was very informative. The city is very historical even though it is not a really old city. It is as old as the United States. But what I thought was very interesting was that it used to be a town with many factories, so they have a lot of abandoned factories, that now have been refurbished and made into apartment buildings and such. Which I thought was very cool. I would love to live in an old factory. It was very cool, and there were many old factories in the city. We also visited a cathedral in the city that was old, and it was very interesting because in like 1906 there were tons of painting in it that were very controversial at the time, and they make the church very unique. It was painted almost everywhere in the church. My favorite painting was the one of the ceiling which had the snake and the apple from genesis. It was very cool, and because it was on the ceiling it was even cooler.
A church in Tampere
The girl from Chicago and I in front of one of the lakes of Tampere
The view from the top of a hill of one of the lakes of Tampere
This house was overlooking the same view, it also was the home of a famous finnish writer that lived a long time ago and now it is the home of some other writers.
This was the Cathedral from the outside
In front of the Cathedral
Right in the Entrance
Inside the Cathedral
Inside again, you can see one of the paintings
You can see the second floor, and there is the painting with several naked boys all carrying a vine, and each of the boys represented a different person from the bible, and you would be able to tell which is which by their face expression, if you were familiar with the bible. The weirdest thing is that one of them looked like a kid that was in my spanish class back in the US
The ceiling, with the serpent of paradise
Kind of a blurry picture of the serpent, but the lighting was terrible inside
The picture that was in the center of the room, though I don't think that it was the most famous picture in there
So Tampere is also the 3rd largest city in Finland. The First is Helsinki, the second is the Helsinki-Espoo area (I think). But when we were in the city and driving around, it didn't strike me as a huge city, for one thing, there were too many trees, so it made it feel like there was less of a city feeling because you couldn't see much. So it didn't have the city feeling that I have gotten from cities like Denver, Vegas, San Fran, or L.A. It didn't even have a similar feeling to the one that I get when I go to Norway and I stay in the "city" of Stavanger. It doesn't feel the same because you can't look around and see many building that are big and tall.
Nordic Walking!!!!! Yes, I took a picture of some old guy just because he was nordic walking...
After the tour was over we drove back to the city center and got off, while there we had several hours of free time in the city, we could've gone as far as we wanted as long as we could get back to the city square at the designated time. It was nice, I have not been used to that kinda of freedom, they basically just let s go and told us to be back at 5:45. So, I went with three other friends that I was sitting with on the bus. The other girl from my home district in Colorado, a girl from Chicago, and a guy from Canada. We all walked around near the city plaza, and down near a harbor of one of the lakes that is near Tampere. We first when to Hesburger, which is like finnish Mcdonalds, except they have Mcdonalds here, so it is not the same, it was pretty good, and I would say that it is better than Mcdonald's but Mcdonalds is basically in it's own category of taste, both bad and good. Also when we got off the bus and inside Hesburger we met a lot of the Australians that have been here since January, they are called Oldies and then they will leave in December and then in January new Australians will come and we will be their oldies. I met my Turku oldies too, a girl from Australia and a girl from South Africa, because all of the southern hemisphere (not counting south america) leaves in January.
Inside the Hesburger
Finnish Fast food
It says Kiitos in finnish! (thank you)
Then, when we were down by the harbor we bought some mansikkat (strawberries) from a vendor there, and we split it between the 4 of us. Then I also found a vendor there that was selling scarves for cheap, only 3 euros each, which I thought was very good for Europe. So I bought two. Then I also bought some Ice Cream from a vendor there and it was very good. I also ordered it in Finnish! Even though it was only two words that I actually spoke I just said "Yksi Softis" and then she said something really fast but I recognized the word for Chocolate so I said "Vanilija" knowing that she was asking for the flavor, so it was so great. Then we walked around some more and went into a bunch of different stores and we tried pronoucing and speaking Finnish as much as we can. It was great to be around those kids who wanted to speak finnish just as much as I did, so we were all very motivated and it was very fun to go out and take our newly learned vocabulary and try to test it out. It was very fun. Different than anything else that I have ever done. But very great. So then after we had wandered around for several hours we went back to the bus and eventually drove home to Karkku. After a dinner at the camp we went to a church that was pretty close to the camp and at the church we hung out for a little while and a some people read poems and sung songs, it was pretty cool, and the church was huge. Then we came home and maybe stayed up for a while longer then went to bed.
The other church
This post is kinda late because I am already at my host family's home and we went there on wednesday, so I will post again soon about my new home. Hopefully before school starts on Tuesday!