Friday, August 9, 2013


In the fading sunlight, having put on all of my warm clothes I was still shivering. The snow flakes were leisurely coming down from the skies as if they were tired from the long and boring journey from the top. With thin ice getting formed on the foot paths it was essentially a land mine to walk on them. It was April but the year had been particularly cold, so all the snow and ice, which should have packed its bags and should have had left was still lurking around. Temperatures were hovering in the lower single digits making my task of venturing out in the evenings that much more difficult.  Tampere, a laid back industrial town of Finland was beautiful in its shimmering white cloak of snow. Considered to be one of the wealthiest and happiest nations in the world and being home of Nokia, It felt good to be here. Being close to the north of the globe, Finland is known for its long and cold winters with temperatures hitting -35 degrees. I have to give it to the resilience of the Finnish people to flourish under such harsh weather conditions. 

Having come to a foreign land and it being a weekend, sight seeing was the most obvious thing to do and the trip advisor provided us the details. It was decided to walk to the Pynikki park and observation centre, situated on the banks of the Pynikki lake which was still frozen thick. Having a quick breakfast comprising of MTR packets we set out to the park. Passing by rectangular shaped wooden row houses, which had a dense crop of snow on their heads, we headed towards a forested area. Comprising of mainly pine trees, this park looked like the scenic spots usually seen in Bollywood movies. The lake next to the park was a vast expanse of white. We spotted some skiers also on the lake surface. Even though the lake looked solid ice, I just walked a couple of meters on the surface and headed back to safety. After the lake, the next point of visit was the observation tower which was on a hillock at the center of the park.  The top of the observation tower provided some excellent views of the lakes surrounding Tampere city, there was also a cafĂ© at the bottom of the tower which sold excellent doughnuts.  It looked to be a very popular place as many people had braved the chilly morning to come here to get a coffee and doughnut. 

The other outing that we had was to Finlayson factory and the spy museum which was present inside it. Considered to be the starting point of the city, the factories outer structure has been well preserved, whereas from the inside it is a complete mall. Searching for the spy museum inside the mall was probably the most exciting part of the excursion as there was nothing particularly interesting inside it. 
Food requirements were usually taken care of by MTR packets, but a couple of times I had gone out for dinner to the highly recommended Pizzeria Napoli which was very close to the Tampere station and also to my rented apartment. Nandadevi was another place that I had heard a lot about, but unfortunately the day I paid a visit, it was their weekly off. 

On the last day of my stay in Tampere, pumping my lungs to get in more oxygen, I trudged on because the task I had in my hand was that important. Joining a friend who was on a similar mission as that of mine, I entered a shopping mall called Sokos. With six floors, I think this was the biggest supermarket I had seen till now. From food, clothing to electronic goods everything was available. After a couple of hours of scampering around I finally managed to get my hands on what was supposed to be my visa back home which was a bright red ladies hand bag.