So yesterday...

So yesterday...

The day before yesterday, we'd picked up some 'bread cheese' (Leipäjuusto) from the Kauppahalli, on the recommendation of a discussion here about 2-3 years ago when I mentioned having Gjetost for breakfast.

Leipäjuusto is a cooked curd cheese - fresh, not aged {a bit like Haloumi}, although it can be dried for long-term storage. The traditional way to serve it is to cut thin slices and dunk them into black coffee. You can also grill or otherwise heat it, and serve with cloudberry jam or fresh berries.

We zapped ours, and dunked chunks in our white coffee - and did we have a moment. The salty cheesieness of the Leipäjuusto soaked in the bitterness of the coffee, and created a flavour that was just about divine. And yes, it squeaks when you bite into it - leading to the other common name, of `squeeky cheese`. We will be looking for this again, and probably trying to hunt down a source in Perth.

Our little moment there was a worthy prelude to the remainder of the day, as we set forth for the Vapriikki Museum. This is divided into smaller topic-specific areas, like the Print and Information section (the building used to house a newspaper press), the very comprehensive Natural History section, and more.

Natural history was our firstish stop, being waylaid briefly by the history of Tampere newspapers. This is far from the traditional stuffed animal in a box. There is some of that, but there are also very interesting (and multilingual) interactive displays and dioramas - of particular note was the scene of a car-crash deep in the woods, with a human skeleton in the leaf litter with varous debris, and a badger and racoon-dog having a face-off. The topic was human impact on the environment.

From there, I paid a brief visit to the Winter War exhibit, which was Suomi-only, and then on to the Gaming Museum. This looks at gaming from a Finnish perspective, and it was great to see board and role-playing games getting a good mention. Eclipse is a locally designed game that we are fond of, and it has a prototype on display. They also have a dedicated role-playing convention in September! The bulk of the display, though, looks at electronic gaming. There is a small arcade showing off pay-to-play systems, and almost every exhibit is a functioning example of the gaming being discussed, so you can not only learn the history, but play the game as well! There is even a table space at one end, with a small library of games (including Dixit) where you can play some board games.

A break for lunch at the buffet in the cafe (mostly GF, and they provided GF bread and doughnut on request), and back into it.

Our next stop was a display about at 1000`s Iron Age settlement nearby that is being excavated - again multilingual, and highly interactive. And then the Postal Museum. Wow. This massive display traces the history of the postal service in Finland, from the Swedish run conscript peasant service, to the modern times. Surprisingly, the peasant services continued up to the early 1900's! Again, highly interactive, and very personal in places, with letters from each era on display.

After that, we went off in search of targets to shoot with our Theta (photosphere camera), and stumbled upon a free art exhibition, spread over a huge area. A part of it is in the basement of an underpass, in amongst the support pillars. This section by ROP.fi (an art collective) looks at the contrast of humanity and nature, and is quite stunning. It is the fourth year the city has sponsored the event, and it is world-class. And along the way happened upon the spy museum, and the labour museum (which is next doorish).

We staggered back to our room, and had some dinner - it being after 6pm by this stage. Then it was off again, this time to a place recommended to us by folks on Board Game Geek - a gaming cafe called Taverna - about 700m from our hotel. We only played one game (Jaipur), but the folks there were friendly, and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. We headed home about 9:30pm - just as the sun was starting to consider thinking about setting.

And then.

At about 1:45AM the fire alarm went off. So we all trooped down the stairs, and waited for the firies to turn up, which they did a couple of minutes later. Another 15 minutes, and the all-clear vaguely perculates through the crowd, and we troop back - to find a message on our TV saying that the all-clear had been given, and we could return to our rooms. Just think about that for a sec...

The alarm did give us a chance to see midnight - and the sort-of-late-twilight-but-not-yet-dark-skies that are the closest we are getting to actual night here.

Today we check out, and vist the spy and labour museums, and maybe the art show again, before catching a train down to Turku.

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