I met with Minna on Wednesday to introduce her to my project and learn what she does in Rauma, in Western Finland (where the sea freezes and you can actually skate on it). Hopefully we'll work together. She'll probably do some advising with the microbial source tracking techniques. Minna introduced me to Audrey, another American... here in Tampere! We happened to have a lot in common, but even if we hadn't, we were both so excited to find another American that we still would have talked for at least four hours last night! Minna, Mika, Audrey and I visited the Art Museum, and many other tourist destinations around Tampere today.
These are views from the Space-Needle-equivalent in Tampere. There is also an equivalent non-enthusiasm among locals for going up Tampere's observation tower. I've heard several people brag that they've never been to top of the tower. I thought it was a nice view and it helped with my sense of direction challenges. I might have to go up again when the city is completely covered in snow. Unlike Seattle, Tampere changes quite a bit, depending on the season. The frozen lakes change into skiing and skating grounds. No more boats.
Just for the record: I never went up the Space Needle during the three years that I lived in Seattle.