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.