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June 6, 2010

Beautiful Tampere

The first Saturday of June is a free day for GHC participants and so we Pinoys decided to take a walking tour of the city of Tampere. We left our flat at around 10 am and went immediately to Pisala. Why Pisala? When we were going to Tampere during our first day in Finland, we met a friendly Finnish girl in the bus who advised us to visit Pisala because we would love the place. So we got ourselves a map of Tampere, planned our routes and decided to go to Pisala first because it is the farthest from Lapinkaari where we are currently staying. By the time we reached Pisala, we were trying to find a place where we could view the beautiful lake in the area. Another friendly Finnish lady who was a resident of the place and was jogging noticed four seemingly lost Filipinos in the middle of the road holding maps with names we could hardly pronounce. She brought us to this small park overlooking the beautiful lake by the South side of Tampere and it was indeed beautiful.

After taking pictures, we headed to a small grocery store where we bought lunch. We then reviewed our itinerary and decided to head to the Market Hall first since it is near the Lenin Museum anyway. We took the bus and then dropped by Viking Lines office to inquire trips going to Talinn, Estonia and Stockholm, Sweden. The lady travel agent was very friendly and nice and we were able to make reservations for Estonia and Sweden in two separate weekends. The long weekend will be spent for a cruise to Sweden. The other weekend will be spent on an overnight stay in Estonia.

After making our reservations, we went out to look for Market Hall and when we got there we went around for a quick tour of the place (it was basically a market place where we could buy cheap stuff from food to souvenir items). We then went to Lenin Museum followed by a long walk to the Spy Museum.

From the Spy Museum we went back to the Centrum where we went to pick up an "important" item left by Dr. Ian Gomez for us in his hotel at Scandic. From there, we went to a Piazza Buffet where we spent the remaining hours talking about our passion on work and other nonsensical things. After all, our primary leisure habit is laughing our hearts out. Typically Filipino.

We went back to our apartment at around 8pm (and with the sun still up at this time of the Summer Day, it felt like it was just late in the afternoon back home in the Philippines) and decided to call it a long and beautiful day.

We will be getting to know more of Finland and Tampere in the coming days. We haven't visited all the tourist attractions yet. Maybe the next weekend of Friday will be spent church-hopping or going to other souvenir shops.

It was quite cold today and I do miss the warm climate of the Philippines. Still, there is more work to be done here in Tampere and hopefully by the end of the course we can get to learn much from the lectures and be empowered even further to make a difference both individually and collectively as a batch of GHC participants.

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