Our Trip to Europe
April 29 - June 26 2005
Lynda Edris and Pete Grant

Page 27 - Visiting Relatives in Tampere, etc.

On Friday, June 10th we took a train from Helsinki to Tampere where my cousin Erkki and his family live.  We took the train as we had Scanrail passes giving us unlimited rail transportation all over Scandinavia and Finland.
 
On our first evening in Tampere we took an after dinner walk through a couple of Tampere's beautiful parks.  Lynda, being an avid flower photo bug was in seventh heaven snapping pictures left and right of the many flowers there (far right and below).

Right:  We stopped for a "ride" on one of the first wood carvings that Erkki had made working for the city park.

Hilkka, Erkki, Pete
'gator riding.
One of the many flowers
(Calla Lily, I think)
 
Daisies?  Not quite. Flowers
 
?? Tulips. A single tulip bulb.
 
Rhododendron. Tulip? Hey, a duckie!

We also went by Erkki's workplace where we saw another one of his wood carvings.  Quite a talented guy, that cousin Erkki.  His wood carvings are on display in many parks in Tampere.

After a good night's sleep and delicious breakfast, we piled the five of us, plus two dogs, into Erkki's car and took off on a three hour ride to a place near Hämeenlinna (Lusi ??) on the shores of Vanajavesi lake.  Our goal was to visit Marja Karola and the weekend home of Jukka and Liisa Malianen.  (Marja and Liisa are my cousins.)  

Many Finlanders own two homes; their "regular" home in the city where they work, and a summer home in the country, more often than nots along a lake shore.  We were invited to stay in the spare cottage for the night, while Erkki, Hilkka, Anneli, and the dogs slept in a tent.

We took several photos of Jukka's and Liisa's summer cottage using Lynda's 35mm camera which, unknown to us at the time, was malfunctioning.  Good thing the digital worked ok.

Marja had made lunch for us at her and Veikko's (Marja's husband's) home and we stuffed our bellies full of goodies.  Not only the food, but Marja had also made a batch of sahti, a Finnish home brewed beer-like beverage.  I remember having had that beverage before, but I don't remember where; most likely in the USA since it is alcoholic and I was only 12 when my family moved to the States.
 
One of the first things we did after arrival -- and lunch -- was to take Jukka's kayak out of the cottage where we were to sleep that night.  Having paddled a whitewater kayak twenty years ago, I decided to try a flatwater vessel just for the fun of it.  Jukka warned me that the kayak was very unstable (tippy) so I took out my wallet and left it with Lynda.  Good thing since I got no farther than 15 feet from the dock when I lost my balance and down I went, clothes and all (left).  Jukka said I wasn't the first person to take a dunking in that boat.

 

 
Left to right:  Hilkka, Anneli, Lynda, Jukka, Marja, Liisa, and Erkki.
 
The day before we arrived (or was it the morning of our arrival?) Jukka had put out nine fishing nets in the lake.  Towards the evening Jukka, Erkki, the dogs, and I went to retrieve the nets and whatever was caught in them.  In addition, we trolled lures behind the boat -- just in case the fish were in a biting mood.

Luck was not with us that weekend as all we caught were small minnows not suitable for cooking (below right).  Oh well, next time!

 
 
After our failed(?) fishing expedition, Pauli and his wife (name?) arrived and we again posed for pictures in front of Jukka's and Liisa's summer cottage (right).

Then, before dinner, Erkki and I went into the sauna, followed by a dip in the lake (far right).  Lynda made me modify the photo with the inisertion of those gray rectangles :-( 

L->R: Pete, Liisa, Pauli, Marja, Erkki. After-sauna dip
in the lake.
 
Sunday morning Jukka and Erkki wanted to reinstall the fishing nets back into the lake.  Lynda decided to go along for the ride.  The dogs came along too, complete with life vests -- aren't they cute?
 

The "gang" in Marja's and Veikko's front yard.
  Anneli.
 
Sunday brunch in Veikko's and Marja's house. We also visited my aunt Iines in a rest home in Hämeenlinna.
 
While some of us were visiting aunt Iines, some decided to take advantage of the quiet and take a nap.  Lynda tried to sneak up on Hilkka to take a picture of her and the cat napping, but Lynda must not have been quiet enough.  Hilkka opened her eyes just as the shutter clicked.

This visit to see my relatives was a great experience; certainly the highlight of our trip.  Many thanks to everybody, especially Erkki and Hilkka for everything.  We hope to come again some day.

 

And now... I'VE GOT TO GO!!

 

 
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