Similar to my summer 2016 post, in summer 2017 I had another opportunity to put what I learned in the podcast into practice. Whenever I have visitors staying with us, I always try to give them the ‘Finland Experience’, and it was no different when my parents came for a one-week holiday. It seemed that we had a different activity for each day, an ‘ideal week in Etelä-Pohjanmaa’. I thought I’d share our week with you along with some photos, from a small sweet factory to live sport to a music festival.
I’d never heard of the Nami Tupa (Yummy Cottage) candy factory before finding it in a local tourist booklet, but we decided to start the week with a short trip to nearby Ilmajoki. Nami Tupa is a small hand-made sweet factory and candy store, and on some days they demonstrate how they make their sweets. Unfortunately, not on the day we visited, but it’s worth paying a visit if you are in the area. Nami Tupa website
Live Veikkausliiga Football: SJK vs Kemi
This was the first time that my parents have been to Seinäjoki since the new OmaSp Stadion opened in 2016, so it was perfect timing that SJK Seinäjoki had a home game that day. We had some pre-match refreshments in the Carlsberg Bar at the stadium, just look how happy Dad is to find Jägermeister on tap! We then took our seats for what it turned out to be the first win in a five-game unbeaten run. As someone who grew up in English football stadiums in the 1980’s, I still cannot believe that I get to watch football in a brand-new, purpose-built football stadium. Now if SJK could only find some kind of form… OmaSp Stadion website. SJK Seinäjoki FC website.
Related episodes: Finnish Football Culture and the Rise of SJK
Pesapallo – Finnish baseball: JymyJussit vs Koskenkorvan Urheilijat
I still haven’t recorded an episode about Finnish baseball, but it was fun to take my Dad and try to explain just how very different this game is to traditional baseball. Luckily, Satu has played the game and was able to explain so he could follow the plays. What is it that makes pesäpallo so different to baseball?
- The bases are laid-out in a different shape, and the batters run in a zig-zag, not round the outside
- The pitcher stands next to the batsman and throws the ball up
- Hitting the ball high, out of the park, is not a home run and does not score any points, and
- There are no physical boundaries to the outfield. If the ball bounces within the field of play, it can run & run and is still in play!
These videos are a useful introduction to the game. Jymyjussit Seinäjoki website.
Theme Park: Powerpark
Powerpark has a fantastic story behind its inception, about how the will of a local businessman created this impressive theme park in his back-yard BUT in the middle of nowhere. I hope to bring that story to the podcast one day. The thing I love about Powerpark is that its not a huge site, but it has a terrific selection of rides, for kids of all ages, from 2–80 if you are a) tall enough, and b) brave enough! I also appreciate the fair price policy, if you don’t do fairground rides, then you only pay 7€ to get in, otherwise buy a wristband for unlimited rides: 25€ – 36€ depending on your height. Powerpark website.
Music Festival: Provinssi
Provinssi is set in the picturesque Törnävänsaari area with the Seinäjoki river meandering through the different stage areas. The beauty of Provinssi, apart from the location, is that it doesn’t really get dark so you get to see the headline bands and it’s still light when you walk home. Mum & Dad didn’t know many of the names on the bill, but starting off at the Kyrö Distillery bar meant that was no problem. A few strong cocktails and we were ready for anything! This year, The Killers were my highlight and Kaija Koo was a surprise hit for Mum. 2018 is the 40th anniversary of Provinssi, so I’m hoping for something special.
Related Episodes: Provinssirock Festival & the Finnish Music Scene
Recovery day: Garden games
We were in pretty good shape after Provinssi, so we didn’t need too much ‘recovery’ time but, having collected the kids, we decided a day in the garden was in order. A quick visit to a local shop and we were all set with pentanque and mölkky.
Mölkky is a great family game played with nine skittles and a wooden baton to knock them over. You can read more about how to play the gane in my blog post: What on Earth is Mölkky? And how exactly do you say it? Suffice to say,I’m good at mölkky, I like to win and the rest of my family don’t want to play with me anymore.
Beach, swimming and more garden games
We did venture a little further from home on the final day of their visit. Although only to the other side of town, to the lovely Tanelin lampi, a man-made pond filled by an underwater spring, that is perfect for both summer & winter swimming. As you can see in the picture, there is an enclosed paddling area for small children, but it gets deep quickly, so it s also safe for diving from the diving board. The crescent-shaped sandy beach, in encircled by a wider embankment of grass, so it’s great for sunbathing and keeping an eye on the family.
Related Episodes (winter swimming): Ice-hole Swimming & Sauna: A Natural High!
Here’s to many more lessons in season 3, and many more opportunities to put them into practice!
◊◊◊ Mark ◊◊◊