Published: March 10th 2009March 7th 2009
This isn't even a big jump. There's not enough Kossu on the planet to get me on that thing... Wait, that might be a lie ;)
A lot to report today! We didn't get the earliest start in the world, but not too bad considering it was a pretty late night last night. After breakfast at the hotel we loaded up the Prius and set sail for the Finnish Air Force Museum. Side note: This hotel had normal eggs. WTF!!! Get it right Holiday Inn.
Enroute we stopped at a ski resort, complete with downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, Finns playing American Football in the snow and ski jumping. I thought those ski jumps looked impressive on TV, but they're insane when you get up close. And I was informed that this wasn't even a big one! I have absolutely no desire to get on one of those things. Crazy! But it's fun to watch the young kids with no fear fling themselves down the slope and further on down the hill. I think they invented Kossu to build up the courage to do this.
After some sight-seeing at the ski resort we pressed on to the museum. It's dedicated to the Finnish Air Force and has quite a collection of aircraft. My only gripe is that the only American made aircraft is kept in the
A crashed Finnish Brewster, recovered and loaned to the museum by the US Naval Museum in Pensacola. Quite a history on this bird.
condition they found it, i.e. crashed. Bummer. Just kidding, it really is a good display.
The museum tracks the history of the Finnish Air Force very well and in addition to the aircraft collection includes many photographs and models. The Finnish Air Force (FIAF) is one of the oldest air forces in the world, founded in 1918 as an independent branch of the military. For comparison, the RAF was founded one month later in the same year. Another interesting tidbit is that the Swedish Count Eric von Rosen gave the FIAF one of its first aircraft. It had his personal good luck charm painted on its wings, a blue swastika. This became the symbol of the FIAF, not having anything to do with the Nazi use of the symbol. To this day "Kreivi von Rosen" is painted on one plane of every new type that the FIAF flies. The FIAF has an amazing history and this museum does an exceptional job of teaching you that history. Highly recommended, and it's much better and more accurate than my brief description.
Finished with the museum we started the trek back home to Tampere. This included a stop in Jämsä to
Kreivi von Rosen
Painted on one aircraft of each new type, for example this Gnat fighter.
drop off Emil at his house. While in Jämsä we decided to partake in the local cuisine for a late lunch. Emil recommended Vanha Mylly and it proved a good recommendation. It's in a small brick building building, formerly a mill, set on a lakeside. It's got that good, old building mustiness to it. We sat in the loft. I followed through on another recommendation that the traditional way to eat reindeer in Finland is poronkäristys (sauteed reindeer). It's thinly sliced reindeer, fried in fat and seasoned with salt, pepper and typically beer. Served on a bed of mashed potatoes with a side of cranberries. This is superbly tasty; I'd even venture to say rib-stickin'.
Now incredibly full I finished up the trip home, dropping off Emil and Sami as required. I landed back in my hotel room early evening time. Dumped all my stuff since I'd packed up to checkout for Friday night and just relaxed a bit. There was still plenty going on in Tampere so I pondered what to do next...
There's the World Championship Snow Tango, but I think I'd missed that since it was earlier in the day. Leave it up to the
Not everywhere I go qualifies as "fine dining". Is this lady DFD?
Finns to not only dance in freezing weather, but frozen, slippery surfaces. That on it's own would've been worth seeing. If you're curious, you can check it out here:
Also going on was the 39th Annual Tampere Film Festival. I'd missed most of the movies, but a documentary titled "Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison" caught my eye. It wasn't playing until 22:30 so I had plenty of time. To kill some time I stopped at a few places along the way to have a pint, then wandered into the theater and got my ticket. The theater is in the Finlayson area so, ticket in hand, I crossed over to the Speak Easy restaurant which I'd heard had good wings. After eating my huge portion of poronkaristys I wasn't too hungry, but I always have room for wings. The reviews are correct, good wings at the Speak Easy. Good ambience too as it's modeled to be an Al Capone style speak easy in the basement of an old abandoned building.
Full of wings and beer I waited crossed back to the theater to wait in line with other moviegoers. The stereotype of people you'd think are going to a film festival holds true in Finland too. It's too cold here though so I couldn't tell if the hippy girls had hairy hippy legs or not though.
Moving on... The movie proved good, if not all that informative. I'm sure it was informative to others who don't have my absurd knowledge base of classic country music. Lots of good music and video, with some interestingly interwoven animated scenes. Hard to explain, but it was good. The movie was a Swiss and American cooperation, with a Swiss director I believe. It's worth checking out if you can find it.
I was starting to get pretty tired by the end of the movie. Those of you who know me know that I must've been plum tuckered out if I was having trouble keeping my eyes open while Johnny Cash is playing. So I snow tangoed my ass back to the hotel and went to bed. Sorry no pix or video of that ;)