Happy Spring (Hyvää Kevättä!)
What is the evidence that Spring has reached Tampere? Is it the calendar, which shows that Easter 2011 occurred yesterday? Is it the snow and gravel giving way to patches of green grass and spring flowers covered with bumble bees and butterflies? Is it ice giving way to boats on the southern lake, Pyhajrvi?
Perhaps the biggest evidence of spring is actually that toddlers and babies are finally not wearing snow suits. It seems that Finns want to make certain that their young children are not chilled AT ALL. Snow suits went on in the fall, well before snow arrived, and they stayed on, outdoors, until we'd had several days over 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 Celsius). I like the coziness of this approach, and it extends to strollers and sleds, which during colder weather were often lined with a sheep's skin, making sure that children are extra warm.
Now, people are out in hoards, walking, eating outdoors at cafes, reading books on benches, picnicking with friends, skateboarding and generally enjoying the weather.
The girls are happy to report that there are several ice cream stands set up throughout the city. Here, Analeise is with her mango ice cream in front of Tampere's main library, The Metso, the day before Easter 2011.
This photo shows Brooke near the northern end of the boulevard called H which runs between the lakes that make Tampere an isthmus. In the background on the left, you can see the view tower at S rk niemi amusement park. It's the tallest observation tower in Finland, set inside the country's largest amusement park. We like the park, which is smaller than most major ones in the U.S. It offers several roller coasters and other rides, an aquarium and dolphin show, a petting zoo and a modern art museum, all within site of beautiful Lake N sij rvi. You cannot see the lake in this photo, but even this late in the spring, it still is coated with quite a lot of ice.
We found German-made markers that are designed for decorating Easter eggs. Fun!
Our last snowball fight of the year!
This is a link for the Srk niemi amusement park in Tampere. If you're in Tampere during the spring or summer, I'd recommend going. Note that you can pay to visit only the observation tower or the art museum without having to pay general admission to the park.