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Sun 17/08/2003, 23:41 CEST
Well, after Ruisrock I went to visit K in Tampere, or actually the humble little town known as Pirkkala.

M and me were sitting in the car, listening to music on the radio and just chatting the time away. The surrounding area was just great. Long stretch of road, trees on either side, rolling hills, open patches with a farm house or barn.... sometimes grain fields, but everything bordered by trees. Aah, such amazing beauty. I wonder what it looks like in winter. Must be very peacefull then, with all the snow.

So, after a 2 hour drive, which was a bit longer than we anticipated, we arrived at the trainstation of Tampere. K was already waiting there for some time with her sister L and cousin J. After a brief introduction, we set of to Särkänniemi. Finland's biggest entertainment park (so I've been told). It's a pretty cool place. Nice attractions (WOWA, the Half Pipe just owns!! I usually don't get too dizzy or sick from rollercoasters, but wow, this was a whole different experience). Was great fun smile There was also this wild water river thingie with those logs, called Tukkijoki.. Yeah! M and me were thinking: Must sit in front, more weight, more splash.. and all the water will go over us and wet the girls! But the girls beat us to it. They sat in front.... sigh, so M and me just sat in the middle, there was no-one sitting behind us.. hehehe, so the log was very deep in front and high in the back. Which actually got us stuck in the track at one point. Hahaha, we were like "oh, maybe we're going to fast and they're holding us back it this point", when all of a sudden the loudspeaker close to us started to ramble a bit.. "Oh, we're stuck! haha, ok, let's redistribute some weight to get unstuck...... yes, ok, back to original positions!!". So, when finally the last stretch came with the splashdown, M and me pulled everyone backwords, all the weight in front...... HUUUUUUUGE splash. J wasn't too happy about that huge grin Her mascara started running a bit. Ahem, but hey, it was fun clown

After the Tornado M had to leave because he had a date in Tampere, but J, K, L and me stayed till 8pm. Actually, L left early too, so round 8, I was starting to feel a bit bad because of all the rides, the heat and not enough to eat.. bit of an empty stomach. Sniff, party pooper I am. (oh yeah, I also got 2 huge soda cups from Särkänniemi huge grin)

We went into Tampere and got some Italian food. I kinda had too much fastfood and pizza already, so some pasta was a welcome change. The food was really great and K, thanks for the dinner! After dinner we brought J back home, really HUGE house. and Blue.. very blue smile Nice lake in the backyard.. ah, too bad I just missed out on the sauna that day, but after mentioning that J and her parents invited me over for sauna the next day. Wow, such friendliness! Was very nice to stay at "Muumitalo" as it is nicknamed, because of the blue color and well, you must have been to Muumimaailma to understand. They were all so very interested into my opinion of Finland. Well, unfortunately my opinion is very biased because of my past experiences... and it's all very very positive. They were a bit amazed. Grin, but hey, can't a guy love Finland?

Anyways, next day K took me into Tampere for some sight seeing. We went to Pyynikki and Pyynikin Näkötorni. Great lookout point. Great view across the two lakes, Pikkujärvi on one side, and Näsijärvi on the other. In the morning though, before I forget.... she took me to Tammelantori for some mustamakkara with puolukka hilo. A local speciality. Blacksausage, made out of horseblood and barley, looks like shit, but tastes suprisingly good, especially in combination with the puolukkahilo, lingonberryjam.

After the sausage we went to do some short shopping.. in Antilla I bought the cd of Don Johnsen Big Band, really great stuff. Then we went to the Amurin Työläismuseo, the Amuri Museum of Workers housing. Very interesting tour through Tampere during the ages. One of the oldest parts in town, kept for posterity. Then it started getting close to 4pm, when we had to be at J's house again for the sauna appointment. After getting there, J's father and her cousin M just came from sauna, J just got home and we were waiting for her twin brother J to accompany me in the sauna. Ah, was so good the sauna and then jump into the relatively cool lake. Afterwards we had some grillimakkara with mustard, jummy, and plenty of pulla.

Then they tried to teach me some more Finnish, especially the pronounciation of the rrrrrrrolling finnish R. Wow, that one is hard to pronounce! But I'm practicing everyday on the bike, haha, but back then, my throat starting hurting because of trying to get the sound right all the time. Pffrt, so hard, so hard. But it was fun! Hehe "say this, say that, try that one, what's that?". Then it got time for me to say goodbye to J and J and their parents. Shook hands, hugged and then got back to K's home. Brought me to the trainstation next day. It was almost like a sauna in that train, so darn hot.

Well, so much for Tampere huge grin On friday I went to Helsinki and during the weekend I was hanging out in Tallinn, as I reported earlier...

Now I'm going to bed, have to think about some more adventures to write about tomorrow huge grin

Hyvää yötä!

-- cavey



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