Blogs from Pirkanmaa, Finland, Europe - page 5


Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 25th 2009

Happy Hump Day! A saavy reader helped me translate the moose warning sign that you may remember from last Thursday. Well, it seems that 1 km actually refers to the fact that there may be 1,000 moose ahead, i.e. 1 kilomoose. Who knew? Another thing I learned today is that there will be no more warming up the Prius :( At least not legally. A Finnish colleague informed me that it is illegal to leave your car running unattended for over 2 minutes. This ups to 4 minutes if it's colder than -15 C. Too bad the engine doesn't turn on when you start the Prius and the heated seats don't work. I am not sure a car has ever blown more than the Prius blows! How did such a worthless hunk of shit become the ... read more

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 24th 2009

Today was Matti Day in Finland (technically Mattias). In English we call it Name Day, but it's not commonly practiced. According to Wikipedia: A name day is a tradition in many countries in Europe and Latin America of celebrating on a particular day of the year associated with the one's given name. The custom originated with the Catholic and Orthodox calendar of saints, where believers, named after a particular saint, would celebrate that saint's feast day. In many countries, however, there is no longer any explicit connection to Christianity… Today Finns celebrate their name days (or nimipäivä) according to their given name on the date given by the calendar published by the University of Helsinki Almanac Office (Almanakkatoimisto). Every day except New Year's Day, Christmas Day, and February 29 is a name day. For each day ... read more

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 23rd 2009

I have a pretty severe case of the Mondays so not much to report. Some notes on dinner though... Mini Chicken Wings: Went to Capt Hook's, a little hole in the wall wing joint. Yes, chicken wings, American style! Very good flavor and prepared without any fancy presentation or exceptional freshness. You see, pretty much everything we've eaten here seems to be prepared by a chef, i.e. fresh garnishes, perfectly cooked meats and vegetables and carefully made sauces… You can just tell there's a serious culinary touch involved in the food. Finally though we had wings that were simply fried, doused in sauce and chucked into a paper lined basket without so much as a bit of chive to garnish. Just sloppy American style food :) The only catch… The wings are tiny. According to Dave ... read more

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 22nd 2009

Ah, another lazy Sunday. I had breakfast at the hotel, skipped the eggs though. I still need to experiment with them in the microwave. Other option is that the table where Dave and I usually sit has an electrical outlet near it so I could buy a hotplate and a skillet and just make my own eggs there. I did find out that the eggs are baked. They just crack a bunch of eggs into a big pan, add a little milk, salt and pepper and then throw them in the oven for not near long enough. I'm told it's very standard fare for Finnish hotel breakfasts, but not necessarily elsewhere. Liz says she loves these kind of eggs; more power to you! They're all you can eat so have your fill when you come visit ... read more
Chicken Basket

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 21st 2009

I lounged around this morning. Just drank coffee, watched TV and surfed the net. Eventually called Dave a little after noon to see if he wanted to get breakfast. We decided to venture to the American Diner so Dave could have his fix for real eggs. I think he was just as happy to have something familiar as I was. After breakfast we found a media museum nearby. It was very interesting. It tracked the history of media technology from the first written forms of language to digital and HD TV. A large section of the museum was dedicated to journalism. In this section I spotted some photos of President Bill Clinton's trip to Tampere, who knew? I know exactly where he was too, I've been there myself. And get this... He was waving at young ... read more
Plevna Brewery
Exploring Tampere

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 20th 2009

Another uneventful day at work. Fridays are pretty relaxed here. After work Dave and I tried a new restaurant, Piazza, on the ground floor of the Scandic hotel. At first there was some minor confusion since we wanted to sit at the bar. It seems Finns don't sit at the bar, I'm not sure why. Every place I've been to has a decent length bar with barstools, just no row of fools on that row of stools. (Note: Jim Ed Brown reference, not Alan Jackson). Anyway, both Dave and I find it bizzare that nobody sits at the bar, be it to just drink or eat too. So if you're ever bummed that you can't find a seat at the bar just come to Finland, they're all open. So... We're now seated at the bar, completing ... read more
Bad Cigar

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 19th 2009

It's Pea Soup Day again in Finland. This time Dave tried it and loved it. I'm tellin' ya, it's good stuff! I added the pancakes today. That's the tradition: Pea Soup, pancakes and jam. The pancakes are a somewhat chewy, baked sort of thing. Quite tasty, and today was strawberry jam. All in all a good lunch. After a drive, sans moose, I met a friend for dinner. I'm starting to like this having company besides Dave thing, haha. Ate at the Ravintola Astor which I'd been too before. It was just as good as last time, although the service is a bit "French", i.e. relatively prompt, but definitely not polite. Surprise, surprise... I did not have the grilled goat cheese salad. I went with Menu #2. Starter was Chanterelle soup, nice and creamy. They add ... read more

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 18th 2009

A short work day today as the locals had some sort of "All Hands" meeting. So Dave and I were booted from the hangar around 1400 and ventured homeward. Since we were out early, and it was still well daylight, we took the longer way home thinking we'd see some moose in the country. Alas, no moose :( After playing catchup on email in the room I went out for a nice, long walk. Eventually I ended up at Coyote Bar n' Grill for dinner. I had the grilled goat cheese salad (of course) and a tuna steak with tomato risotto. The risotto was great, very light and less creamy than I'm used to, but good nonetheless. The tuna was a decent piece of meat, but overcooked. I'd definitely try it again, but I'd make sure ... read more

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 17th 2009

This morning I dug out my iPod Shuffle and setup iTunes to download the Bob & Tom Show Podcast. No more Finnish morning shows for the drive to work! It worked well except for the aux jack in the Prius is finnicky. The plug has to be installed just right, jiggle it, jiggle it... OK, now don't touch. Despite how wretched a vehicle the Prius is it's nice to have English to listen to during the morning drive. After an uneventful day at work and another moose free drive home, Dave and I tried a new place for dinner, Salud. It's definitely one of the finer dining places in Tampere. Fine moreso in food quality and presentation than in atmosphere, it's still relatively casual. The menu is diverse, even including Rocky Mountain Oysters. Each meal includes ... read more

Europe » Finland » Pirkanmaa » Tampere February 16th 2009

The Finns have a great sense of humor: I was giving one of the guys at work a hard time because A4 paper doesn't fit in my letter-size notebook. We had a fun conversation about who screwed up the paper, did America shrink it or did Europe lengthen it? Who knows. Anyway, he gave me some documents I'd asked for and had cut the tops of the paper off so they'd fit in my notebook. Granted it cut off some of the info I need, but he said you can't have everything, haha. Good stuff. We snuck out early for lunch and went to pay my speeding ticket. Another Finn with a good sense of humor: I get to the bank, show the teller my ticket and ask her if she can pay it for me. ... read more

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