Tuesday 10 May 2011

Tampere in Conde Nast Traveller

Hämeensilta, Tampere

I couldn't believe it when a friend today told me there was an article in the latest Conde Nast Traveller about my home town, Tampere. Had Manse, (as the locals call it) an industrial city in the centre of Finland, suddenly become trendy? Imagine if FT's How to Spend it recommended you'd take a long weekend in Doncaster. (Forgive me if it's your home town - I have nothing against Doncaster...)

I was even more bowled over when I saw it was a 4-page feature, lauding the allure of the old restored industrial factory buildings, where during the war my grandfather worked making anti-tank guns, or the Tammerkoski rapids, which I was afraid I'd fall into when I was little.

Next I found tears welling up in my eyes when the author, Jonathan Bastable, described the haunting frescos inside Tampere Cathedral. As a child I spent many a boring sermon staring at the image of Hugo Simberg's Wounded Angel wondering exactly how the creature had been hurt. Twenty years later it was at this same church that I married my Englishman.

The Wounded Angel by Hugo Simberg - picture Wikipedia

But the best part of this brilliant piece on Tampere was the last paragraph where Bastable spends a quiet moment eating 'surely the most delicious doughnuts in all Scandinavia' (YES!) by Pyynikki observation tower.

Pyynikki observation tower

'Through the tall straight trunks of trees I could glimpse the two vast lakes on which the town below has always depended on for its prosperity, Näsijärvi to the left of me, Pyhäjärvi to the right. For a moment I forgot I was in populous, post-industrial Manse, and felt instead that I was alone on a fir-covered islet, in the midst of a still northern sea.'


Sunset over Pyhäjärvi

I can't wait to visit Tampere again this summer. I must remember to go and have one of those excellent doughnuts and admire the view.


Unknown said...

I have been to Finland several times, but sadly never managed to get as far as Tampere. I really liked Finland and certainly the pastries and cakes are delicious!

Anonymous said...

Just love the painting of the Wounded Angel, so sad.

Metropolitan Mum said...

What a chilling image. So very sad...
PS: Am going to Sweden this weekend for a good doses of Scandinavia. And bullar of all sorts, of course :)

Toyin O. said...

I have never been to Finland, but it sounds like a fascinating place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanne Henriques said...

Wonderful post Helana and what a treat for you to discover it all over again in the CNT article. Hope you are still enjoying life in London!!

Jeanne xxx