Tampere to JyvaskylaSeptember 24, 2016 in Finland ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C
Today is Courtney's birthday. Happy [INSERT NUMBER] Birthday Courtney.
The day began with a traditional Scandinavian breakfast buffet. This featured two particular items, that Courtney would not stop talking about for the rest of the day. The first was egg butter, which looks similar to scrambled eggs, but is much richer. The second was frozen yoghurt, available in unlimited quantity. If Courtney only had these two things for her breakfast for the remainder of her life, I think that she would be more than happy.
After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel, and picked up an unexpected companion. Teemu the bear is an avid fan of the Finnish Olympic Team, and quite amazingly, is also travelling to New Zealand. He didn't have any plans for the next three months, so on the spur of the moment, decided to join us on our travels. He is apparently going to pay for his share of the travel costs, but he is so small, and travels so light, that we really don't mind if he does or he doesn't.
The first stop on Courtney's birthday tour, was th Pynikki Observation Tower in Tampere, to give a beautiful view across the surrounding region. There were donuts and coffee available, to add the experience, which Courtney declined in favour of a diet Fanta. Teemu, didn't have anything - there was no honey.
On the way to our next destination, we had to make quick pit stop, and a motorway layby. With all the excitement leading up her birthday, Courtney was up all night dreaming of adventures and emails from people, and was getting pretty tired. After flirting with the idea of having a powernap, it was agreed that the best thing would be for us to do some road side exercise to wake up. And so it came to pass that Jamie and Courtney did press ups, lunges and starjumps, as the rest of Finland drove passed them wondering what was going on. Teemu didn't join in - he is pretty lazy.
The next proper stop on our trip was a UNESCO World Hertiage site, that is in fact a trig station. It was part of a network of trig stations built in the 1800's, and was used to confirm that the Earth is squashed, in that it isn't as long North to South, as it is East to West. It was a short walk up a reasonably steep trail (20mins up, 40 mins down) - Teemu described it as an adventure. It was a challenge on Courtney's bung ankle, but we got there, and had the place to ourselves. Just us, and a very beautiful view. Despite all this beauty, Teemu didn't have anything to say - he is pretty simple.
Then it was on to Jyvaskyla for the night. After parkng the car and checking in, we were looking for something to do. before dinner. Teemu, recommended an art installation or inflatable rabbits. Apparently, one of his friends is a rabbit, and recommended the art installation as pretty awesome. I think Teemu ate the wrong forest mushrooms myself.
And then it was on to dinner, sans Teemu, to a rather fancy, fine dining establishment. The food consisted of deliciously done, Finnish delicacies, and the wine was a rather tasty bottle of prosecco. Top tip for tourists heading to Finland, if you want to travel on the cheap through Finland, do not go to a fine dining establishment. For Courtney's birthday it was well worth it though, but it wasn't the end of our culinary adventure.
Fuelled by proscco, and a rather strong, if sweet aperitif, we headed to the closest purveyor of cold dessert treats. We happened on a place really popular with the local youth, called McDonalds, which is a funny name for a food place in Finland. At this restaurant we had some McNuggets, which are like chicken nuggets, and two delicious ice-cream treats called McFlurries, with Oreos. We saw Teemu at McDonalds too, with a tonne of food around him - he is gluttonous it would seem.
FYI - they actually mix the McFlurries properly here, none of this drop the oreos on top and pretend like we actually did something business.
And then Courtney's birthday was over. We both had a lot of fun, and were definitely looking forward to a good night's sleep.
On another topic entirely, Teemu reminds me of another bear that we met somewhere. We can't quite remember where yet, but we'll work it out.Read more