We stayed in a hotel as there were so many of us. I chose a place close to the centre, the Sokos Ilves Hotel which was also recommended in the Conde Nast article I wrote about here. It's a multistory building, ugly to look at, but the views across Kehräsaari and the two new bridges across Pyhäjärvi from the (pleasant enough) rooms were stunning.
|The view from our 18th floor rooms|
In Tampere we decided to live according to the sun, and sleep as little as possible, so off we went in the evening to find a watering hole. Surprise, surprise, there were quite a few like-minded people out on the town...(OK, two....)
|A pigeon had settled on the head of one of the imposing statues on Hämeensilta bridge|
|My grandmother had her business on the top floor of Tempon Talo (Tempo House). Isn't it a beautiful building?|
|The bar was by the water's edge.|
We walked along the water, past the men fishing (in the centre of a Tampere!) to the Cathedral where I, more than 25 years ago now, married the Englishman. That day was a similarly hot and sunny one.
This church means so much to me I have to go and visit it every time I'm in Tampere. It has wonderful frescos painted by Hugo Simberg, a pupil of Akseli Gallen-Kallela.
'Interesting medium,' said the Daughter and peered at one of the pictures depicting skulls and dead gardens. I thought how fleeting life is when one's youngest can say such grown-up things. (The other day she started a sentence 'I remember when I was a teenager...' What the????)
When I was a child we'd come to Tampere Cathedral every Christmas Eve. Sitting on the balcony next to my sister, full of anticipation of the imminent visit of Father Christmas, I'd look at the haunting images and wonder what kind of awful lives these children must have had. I wrote a short story about one of the images, the Wounded Angel, during my MA in Creative Writing a few years ago. Unfortunately during various moves and changes in computers, I've lost it. The image still haunts me, though, as does this city.
|The balcony was closed for renovations (I presume) so I could only photograph the painting of the Wounded Angel from afar.|
|Here is my favourite fresco in all its glory.|