Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tampere and tourism
Chris had a Fulbright function in Tampere this weekend so Sophia and I decided to visit Tampere as tourists.
I have been contemplating tourism and the state of mind/act of being a tourist. My friend, Mari, teaches at a school where students study to enter the tourist industry and she asked me to speak to her class. While the students were wiping the tears of boredom from their faces, I was enjoying musing on tourism in Finland and the United States.
I am a "biggest ball of string" tourist. I think kitsch tourism is bigger in the US than Finland. In New Hampshire I have visited America's Stonehenge and the world's longest candy counter. In Georgia you can find a more recent Stonehenge and the double barreled cannon.
Finnish kitsch is elusive. Chris does own a Jussipaita, but we have not found an ad inviting us to visit the world's largest Jussipaita. While in Saariselkä we did sled on the world's longest sledding hill. Maybe the Finnish equivalent of kitsch tourism is the odd events that are popular in Finland. I have posted about wife carrying and air guitar. There is also the world championship cell phone throwing competition if you have to miss the other two festivals.
Mari's family had suggestions for our visit to Tampere and they fell into my other favorite catagories of tourism: food tourism and literary tourism.
For food tourism Sophia and I visited Pyynikin Näkötornin for the world famous cardamom munkki. For literary tourism we headed to Muumilaaksso to see the wonderful dioramas of scenes from the Moomin books.
Sophia loved the tower. We hiked around in the park and climbed up to see the view of the two lakes. I enjoyed Muumilaakso. We were there two years ago. It is quiet and dark and relaxing. The art work, both Jansson's drawings and the dioramas, are lovely.
Before catching the train home we went to Museum Centre Vapprikki. We went to the exhibitions on the city and the civil war and then to the special exhibition on the bear. This museum is wonderful and if you are anywhere near Tampere you should make an effort to go to the bear exhibit.