my dad had a "big" birthday over the weekend and as he didn't want to stay home and have a bunch of people come over, we arranged to have the b'day lunch in tampere.
mom, dad, certain someone and i booked into tammer hotel on friday afternoon. the hotel was very fancy in its' hey-day, the story goes that only the kitchen girls peeling potatoes spoke finnish, all other staff were either from sweden, france and japan...
since it's opening in 1929 the hotel has gone thru several revations, the latest in 2009. the building is protected by the national board of antiquities. the board is very strict on making sure that only period style and work methods be used.
i fell in love with the bathroom fixtures, all modern but looking very old-fashioned.
who does radiator covers any more?
i could imagine society people here sitting and idling away their afternoons and evenings.
friday afternoon we took a walk in the town center and i saw this...
...and this. my curiosity took the better of me and walked closer to see what these were.
torn old terry cloth towels! this art installation was part of the 231 anniversary of the town of tampere, the town celebrates every year on oct 1st. cotton products would be the perfect material to make art and celebrate the town's history.
there were several occasions where i thought something reminded me of manchester, england. the waterways, old red brick factory buildings.
i've been to tampere several times, i even lived there for school, but i've never paid attention to the rich history the town has. like finlayson, which is more or less a household name in finland when it comes to textiles. the finlayson that started the reputation was a scottish machinist james finlayson who in 1820 built cotton factory in tampere. in 1860 half of the population of tampere worked for the factory, and there were finally employment opportunities for women as well.
in 1882, in this building called plevna, the first electric light in scandinavia was lit. the plevna was originally a huge weaving hall, nowadays there is a brewery restaurant. we ate there on friday evening, and sampled on some of the beers...see the resemblances with manchester, england?
the history is still showing in the old factory buildings.
but what the heck is this doing inside that historic building???
we took a walk on saturday morning before getting ready for the family lunch. this bridge is just few hundred meters from the hotel and the plevna. the weather was weird, it looked very grey and cold, but there was so much light.
on the bridge we noticed a fairly new phenomenom in finland, the locks with names and dates. rest of the world might know what it means, but for those who don't: a couple committing to each other get their names engraved on a lock, they lock it on a bridge and throw away the key, as a symbol of their undying love; no key, no way to break the lovers' bond.
hope this spider-web is in no relation to the state of a relationship "locked" on this bridge.
we had chosen the grill as the venue of our lunch. while we waited for the others (we were 14 in total) to arrive, we had a cup of coffee...i still haven't quite made up my mind whether i like this design or not...
for appetizer we had ensalada mozzarella (mozzarella, tomatoes, strawberry balsamico and garlic toast). the entry was bifé con chipotle (a steak with creamy chipotle sauce and oven potatoes)
the dessert was torta de azul (blueberry cheesecake). it looked like everyone was having a great time, the food was very tasty, and i think the birthday-boy was happy, too.