Rautalampi’s ghastly fog

It’s been decades since I’m bothering my friends with the preach that, in a clever society, some rudiments of thermodynamics should be taught in mandatory elementary school, for reasons not solely environmental but also economical. Unfortunately, very few of us are aware of how many resources (directly translatable to money, for those who don’t care about sustainability) are lost only because of our ignorance about heat transmission processes.
This digression–apparently out of place in a journey account–has come to my mind after visiting my friend Jussi in Kuru (about fifty kilometres north of Tampere), where his house is placed; a house designed and built by himself with criteria equally practical, aesthetical and of energy optimization, specially stressing on insulation and other measures for minimizing thermical losses; and the results are amazing: Continue reading “Rautalampi’s ghastly fog”

Memories of Tampere, yearnings of sauna

My four days’ stay in Ranta-Hölli was like a short holiday that rendered a brand-new me, phisically and spiritually, as if I had been in a balneary. There I ran into a cyclist who was on a long trip riding a bycicle and hauling a small trailer with his luggage, tent and sleeping bag. It was my second day in Ranta-Hölli. I saw him walking down the slope to the lakeshore, where I was sunbathing after a short swim. The waters of Kirkköjarvi lake didn’t feel particularly inviting, slimy and murky as they were, rich with microorganisms in suspension and also algae, whose soft, pulpy caress makes me shiver with a repulsion I’ve never managed to overcome. After having settled in, he came for a session in the sauna cottage, which was right by the jetty where I lied. He introduced himself and offered me to join him, but I refused because the day was quite warm and the water felt like a soup. Still, once he lighted the stove with some wood, we talked for a while as he waited for the room to be properly heated. Continue reading “Memories of Tampere, yearnings of sauna”

First steps on Finland two-wheeled

It was when entering Estonia that I had felt I was stepping on Scandinavia’s doorstep, but only after crossing the Baltic sea and going ashore on Helsinki I’ve got the feeling that my journey faces a new stage: the Scandinavian one (or maybe just the Finnish one, we’ll see), of which my first goal is Tampere, a city where I still have some acquaintances I can call friends. Far, though, from heading there along the 175 kilometres’ straight freeway, I’ve rather stuck to my habit, when I travel by motorcycle, of using byroads whenever possible, as that’s actually what’s all about: knowing through contact the countries and regions where I move, instead of just crossing them like lightning, as if I was traveling by plane; and for this purpose it’s essential to keep oneself clear of the speedways; besides–goes without saying–riding a bike on a freeway is boring like hell. So, from Helsinki I headed more or less north along well over two hundred kilometres, until in the evening of my second day on Finnish land I ended up in the small locality of Sahalahti. Continue reading “First steps on Finland two-wheeled”