Thursday, 29 May 2014

Trip with ARX to Doghill (Koiramaki) Tampere

Yesterday was my last day at Nipsula, the preventative social work day centre I've been working at at HAMK University, Hameenlinna.  There were lots of tears and Malika was really upset to say goodbye to her new Finnish friends.  The children made us a beautiful card with their wee fingerprints inside which was so sweet.  They also gave us a beautiful Mauri Kunnas Finnish-English dictionary which the girls love.
I had never heard of Mauri Kunnas until Tuesday when we went on a day trip to Koiramaki (Dog Hill) in Tampere which is a wee theme park based around his chidrens books.  I was a big Tove Jannson fan before I came to Finland and of course her fabulous Moomins books are really popular in the UK, but Mauri was a new discovery.
He is actually Finland's most popular children's author and has sold over 7 million books worldwide.  Here is a link to his website: :
The card the Nipsula kids made for us...
 so sweet

This is such a great way to teach the girls more Finnish...

How strange that we had learnt of Mauri Kunnas at his theme park the day before the children presented us with the lovely book.  We went with ARX, the open day centre my daughters have been attending; ARX has closed now for the summer so this was a farewell trip for the children. 
The Sarkanniemi Doghill is a charming theme park based on the stories of the Finnish writer Mauri Kunnas.  This park has an atmosphere of late 19th Century, and it has real houses and farmyards, the farm and the town.  Real animals also live at Doghill.

dog shaped donut

beautiful café with so many Kunnas illustrations

the girls loved the toy dogs

we had to take shelter inside - the temperature dropped on Tuesday from 29 degrees to five degrees!  Just like Scotland!

Malika and her favourite teacher Jenna, who is from Oulu, in North Finalnd

another rare picture of me and the girls...

the park also has a lot of animals - ponies, ducks, rabbits, chickens and the girls favourite, a huge hairy pig!

loved this huge wall mural

I felt so sorry for this lady

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