So, I met a guy through Couchsurfing while living in Bangkok who later became one of my best friends. A charming Finnish chap who was studying in Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok at the time and had been there for slightly longer than me.
I decided that I was going to make the quick flight over the North Sea from England to visit him in his home country and then hop over to Sweden while I was at it.
Before meeting my friend in Helsinki I decided I’d find a cheap flight to anywhere, check out the Couchsurfing scene and just roll with it. Before I knew it, I was hitting the town with a big group of locals partying late into the night. What an amazing group of guys, so welcoming, so engaging, so fun. I will be going back some day just to see these guys, that I now call friends, again.
Tampere was stunning, and the time of year helped (February). Flawless blue skies, powdery snow scattered around and a light, crisp wind that wasn’t unwelcome.
The architecture is an odd mix of Soviet and Eastern European influences that I’d never come across before and the colours were fresh and adventurous which was such a welcome change to the greyness of England.
After a bit of research I found out that Tampere was actually famous for something; the Moomin Museum. I used to watch The Moomins as a child with my parents and later grew up loving the original artwork so this was great. Also, the guy that you see in the picture, his nickname through high school was Moomin, which he hated apparently but it was an extra bonus for the visit.
Finland is one of the most expensive countries in the world but when looking for a Couchsurfing host I was overwhelmed with kind responses so accommodation was taken care of by some lovely new friends. Food is pricey but there are some great little cafes that we came across serving up locally produce meals for around €6.
Hit up the nightlife in the city centre, there were so many places accommodation many different audiences. We even ended up on the dance floor with some Gypsies in their traditional dress dancing the night away to Beyoncé and other American tunes.
Check out the city centre, the architecture, both old and new was worth just hanging around for.