Robin's Website

To the Roof of Europe

The towns name? Nokia. The name of the town is an inflected plural of the modern Finnish word “noki”, which means “soot”. Does this mean I have a Sooty phone? Better get Sweep to help out. Finlandwas also home to their most revered author and illustrator Tove Jansson (1914-2001). Her books originally published in Swedish amongst other works feature the Moomins. Even though the Moomins are a family of trolls, they resemble hippopotamuses. The care-free and adventurous family live in a house inMoomin Valley in the forests of Finland, though they previously lived in amongst other places a theatre and a lighthouse. There is even a real life theme park in Finland called “Moomin World”, but alas, it is near the city of Turku in the very south west of the country and we would be heading in the completely opposite direction northwards. I felt no great sense of loss there then.

We landed in Tampere and the next stage of the journey involved a relatively inexpensive, but long overnight train journey to the city of Rovaniemi, where we would pick up a hire car to take us to the top ofEurope. The train was pleasant enough, especially for myself as being the Finns, who have a knack of forward thinking, had installed a smoking compartment on the train, the rest of the train being non-smoking. I had a similar experience in Helsinki Airport on a previous visit to Finland, where the whole of the terminal building is smoke-free, including the bars/cafes, with the exception of a glass walled cubicle which had approximately 9 inch gaps around the base to let air in and a bloody great extraction fan sticking out of the top, presumably built with a Rolls-Royce jet turbine. Anyone with long hair in there could almost have a Marge Simpson look about them.

Page 2

Previous Page | Next Page