Twilight Time

“Face not like a blini. All the body parts placed correctly. Robust brunette.” She is my dear friend Marjukka, described by a local tourist guide when she was visiting St. Petersburg last week. Yes, I won’t confuse her with a blini at all!

Marjukka lives in Kajaani (Kainuu county) where she teaches tourism business at the university of applied sciences. And sports. Actually, we were on the same animator course at the Sport Institute of Finland some years ago. Since then we’ve been good friends and every time I visit Kajaani we try to do some basic and normal workout.

Try to. As a result she usually suffers my “good” ideas to do something a little bit extraordinary…for example last autumn: I called her that I’ll be in the hood after 6 hrs (it’s  560km drive from Helsinki to Kajaani) and asked her out. Yes, she’d love to. Good. Nice clothing, pink beanie and new La Coste sneakers, great. And what is my “out”? To go to a completely dark forest training how to mount a wilderness shelter, a wicket with a headlamp light.

Yes, I took Marjukka out also last autumn. Good for her…I guess!

Yes, I bought her some beers after that… (snowshoe tour last January, in -34 C temp is a different story)

I visited Kajaani some days ago and this time asked her to plan a 1,5 hrs walking “tour for tourists” in the city. Twilight tour, it was getting dark. Based on my tourism studies I would like to see also Kajaani from a little bit different point of view than usually…not extreme, just basic.

Kajaani is a typical small Finnish city meaning that after a 10 minutes walk from the city center you are in a forest. Typical means also a river running through the city and teenage-cars using subwoofers as motors when driving along the main street. And typical means also that there are a lot of interesting and historical sights, nice attractions, beautiful nature, a really good gym, cozy bars and friendly people on board!

We started at the hotel I was living and planned the route: some statues, ruins of Kajaani castle, river, old military hospital and the main market area.

I am not very interested in statues or memorials but still take a look at them when I am nearby. (Anyway, there are some statues that have made me to drive long distances to see them.) In Kajaani we visited the statues of a poet Eino Leino and J.V. Snellman, a writer who affected a lot in Finnish language and the use of our money before EURO, the Finnish Mark.

Statues of Eino Leino and J.V. Snellman

There is also a Kajaani-based great Finnish athlete who won many olympic medals from the 1920’s to 50’s. He was a gymnast Heikki Savolainen who has a memorial in a park near the city centre. As a sport enthusiast I really respect all the olympic medalists a lot…and the ones who made the memorials for them come true.

A memorial for a gymnast Heikki Savolainen. He won 9 olympic medals (two gold, one silver and six bronze ones between 1928-1952) during his carrier.

The ruins of Kajaani castle is the number one sight for me in the city. It was built in the 17th century on the river Kajaanijoki. Especially at the twilight or in the dark the ruins area is very effective with the labyrinths, aisles, stones, stairs, the old smell and the overall feeling from the past. It is also a good place to test your phobia of heights!

Ground plan and the ruins of Kajaani castle. We almost managed to act normally…

Our last but not least sight was a famous university of Kajaani to educate teachers. The university was unfortunately finished some years ago. The main building has an important history as a military hospital.

The main building of the university and the sign telling its use as a military hospital 1939-1945-

Thank You Marjukka for the sightseeing walk…it was an unusual visit to Kajaani for me. Next time, on November, back to usual. Ready for boxing??


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