Learning to drive is in itself rather challenging, but it may feel especially onerous when dealing with a foreign language. Fortunately, there are other options out there and you don’t need to be fluent in Finnish before you can get your license here in Finland.
Hervannan Liikennekoulu Driving School is a family business that was first established in 1976 and has been at its current location on Insinöörinkatu since 2009. The school is able to arrange instruction in English for all licence types, as all of their staff are fluent speakers. CEO Johanna Hynynen says that in her job she uses English on a daily basis, usually concerning inquiries regarding teaching in foreign languages. Last year there were several requests for driver’s education in English,
– It got to the point that there were so many requests I began taking down names on a list, she explains. Hervannan Liikennekoulu was able to organise a lecture series in English twice last autumn and plan to arrange another set of classes this spring. Lectures in English are given by Trainee Driving Instructor and Teacher Jami Hynynen. Both he and his sister Ms. Hynynen completed their primary and secondary education in English.
Finnish law requires all driving school students to be present for driving school lectures, even if they are given in a language that the student is unable to comprehend. While English reading material is readily available, very few driving schools offer classes in languages other than Finnish.
Picture: Siblings Johanna Hynynen, CEO, and Jami Hynynen, Trainee Driving Instructor and Teacher at Hervannan Liikennekoulu.
Nash Magazin is a small store in Hervanta whose name translates to ‘Our Shop’ in English. It also goes by its Finnish name, Meidän Kauppa and has been a presence in the area for a little over two years.
Situated on Insinöörinkatu, Nash Magazin attracts people from many different cultural backgrounds. Merchant Senja Kulmala says,
– All the Russians shop here, but also Poles and Bulgarians as the products are familiar to them too. Finns make up a smaller percentage of the customers and are very particular buyers,
– Finns are shy about trying new products and usually need a little encouragement when it comes to buying something they haven’t had before, explains Mrs. Kulmala. She is quick to point out that all of the shop’s merchandise comes through European Union countries and has been checked according to EU standards.
Nash Magazin has a wide assortment of goods available; in addition to food they also have Russian CDs, DVDs, cosmetics and children’s activity books. Perhaps surprisingly, the store’s most popular product is gherkins. An entire shelf is devoted to a range of varieties,
– They never sit on the shelf for long, smiles Mrs. Kulmala. Sauerkraut is another popular product as Mrs. Kulmala points out that it is a little different from the Finnish variety. Quark dairy bars, which are not available in Finnish shops, are often favoured by children.
Shop staples include bread, milk and sausages, which arrive once a week, tinned borscht, frozen pelmeni dumplings and preserved fish. Mrs. Kulmala laughs that she has noticed how Finnish men always buy preserved fish, although she is not sure why.
Nash Magazin (Meidän Kauppa) Insinöörinkatu 19 liikehuoneisto 2
tel. 044 057 5802, Mon – Fri: 10.30am – 6pm, Sat: 11am – 3pm, Sun: 12pm – 3pm
Punnitse & Säästä
For those wanting British food, Punnitse & Säästä has a good variety including PG tips, Marmite and Cadbury.
Insinöörinkatu 24 (Duo), tel. 050 542 0974. Mon – Fri: 10am – 8pm, Sat: 10am – 6pm
K-Supermarket has an American product shelf, whose goods change on a regular basis. Currently it has foods such as Texaspete Hotsauces and Hershey’s Double Chocolate Sundae Syrup. Pietilänkatu 2 (Duo)
tel. 03 358 0100. Mon – Fri: 8am – 9pm, Sat: 8am – 6pm, Sun: 12pm – 6pm
Caption: Merchant Senja Kulmala with her range of Russian products at Nash Magazin
Reduce, reuse and recycle. All of these are popular themes in Finnish society and particularly prominent is the range of second-hand shops available, Hervanta alone has several to offer.
Finnish flea markets are more than just a car boot sale, they are staffed and are a well-organised way of making a little pocket money from things you no longer need. Flea markets provide a space for rent, usually a table and a small clothes rack, which are rented by the week. After you price your goods, the flea market staff handle the financial transactions and at the end of the week you collect the money from your sales.
Hervannan Kirppis is a great and friendly flea market to try. In addition to renting tables, they also have a little extra to offer such as raffles or other special deals. For customers there is coffee and tea available for a voluntary donation, and a couple of times a week there are freshly baked sweet buns for 60c each.
Niina Simola has been pleased with the services of Hervannan Kirppis.
– I really enjoy using Hervannan Kirppis because the staff are so friendly and helpful, and the table rentals are reasonably priced. I find that ceramics and glassware sell really well here.
Charity shops such as Fida and UFF operate a bit differently, their merchandise is received through donations and their proceeds go toward charity. If you wish to donate clothes, small goods or furniture, Fida offer a free collection service. Many flea markets, such as Hervannan Kirppis, also accept donations.
Hervannan Kirppis is located at Ylioppilaankatu 6-8 and open Tues-Fri 11am – 6pm and Sat-Sun 11am – 4pm, tel. 044 328 4554
Despite the name, Jankan kirpputori is located in Hervanta and is a large and staffed flea market with big tables for rent. Hepolamminkatu 23 tel. 050 338 2488. Mon-Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat-Sun 10am – 4pm
A second-hand shop whose proceeds go toward charity, selling mostly clothing and shoes. Pietilänkatu 2 (Duo) tel. 03 364 1171. Mon-Fri 9am – 7pm, Sat 9am – 4pm
Another second-hand shop whose proceeds go toward charity, selling a range of goods, clothes and furniture. Insinöörinkatu 30. tel. 03 715 6337. Mon-Fri 9am – 6pm, Sat 10am – 3pm
Hervanta´s iconic water tower. Photo: Liisa Hattinen
Oddly conspicuous on the horizon, visible from miles away, it even graces the cover of Seppo Jokinen’s book Hervantalainen. It is the water tower, an iconic symbol of Hervanta. As well as being a fully functional water tower, the familiar structure is also a pizzeria, so you can get a bite to eat in addition to enjoying the views.
Mohamed Ouachkad has been running his business Pizzeria Häränsilmä in the water tower for two and a half years now. He explains how prior to his business, the water tower had been closed for three years and before that it was open only in the summertime. Mr. Ouachkad keeps his business open throughout the year, but comments on the lack of customers in the cold months
– In the summertime there are plenty of customers, but in the winter it is too quiet
Admission to the viewing platform outside is a cup of coffee or tea. It is well worth it! Although the wind can be icy at this time of year, the views are still spectacular, especially on a bright day when the sun is glinting off the snow. You will notice that despite the high-rise feel of central Hervanta, most of the area is in fact forest and lakes. Of course, standing at 48m (157ft), more than just Hervanta is visible. In fact, on a nice day, more than just Tampere is visible. A few other well-known landmarks to spot are Näsinneula Observation Tower, Pyynikki Observation Tower and surprisingly Tays Central Hospital also jumps out through the green of the trees. Pizzeria Häränsilmä is open year-round, Monday through Sunday from 12pm – 8pm.
Students in their last year of high school celebrate their last day of school (before exams) by driving through Tampere city centre on decorated trucks and throwing out sweets.
14.02.2013 at 12 o’clock
Tampere City Centre
Café Linkosuo Duo
A café in the centre of Duo shopping mall with a wide variety of foods from salads to ice cream. A nice place to sit and watch the world go by.
Pietilänkatu 2 (Duo)
tel. 020 770 2463
Mon – Fri: 9am – 8pm
Sat: 9am – 6pm
Sun: 12pm – 6pm
A bakery specialising in all things sweet, a nice place for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat.
tel. 040 055 0480
Mon – Fri: 8am – 5pm
Sat: 9am – 2pm
A giant ski jump is usually the first thing to catch your eye when driving into Hervanta. It’s both notable and a good indication of what Hervanta has to offer in the winter.
For downhill skiing, snowboarding and sledding Hervanta Ski Resort is an excellent place to visit. In addition to three slopes, the longest being 350m, there is a tobogganing hill available which is free of charge for everyone. Hervanta Ski Resort also offers equipment hire, lessons, ski maintenance and a coffee shop.
Laura Lähteenmäki was out on the slopes doing some sledding with her family.
– This is our second time here and the kids absolutely love it! Our older son has just started ski lessons, so we’ll be coming back.
A good day to get out on your sled is Sunday the 10th of February, which in Finland is Laskiaissunnuntai, and don’t forget Tuesday the 12th which is Laskiaistiistai. A more familiar name may be the French Mardi Gras. It originated as a Christian holiday and in Finland has become more of a welcoming of spring. It is good form to go sledding and to top it off with a laskiaispulla, a sweet roll filled with cream and marzipan or jam.
Hervanta also boasts several kilometres of well-lit cross-country skiing tracks if speed and heights aren’t your favourite thing. For those keen to ice-skate there are plenty of outdoor rinks, both for figure skating and for ice hockey.
Another great way to enjoy the winter, which doesn’t require any special equipment, is to simply take a walk out on a well-frozen lake. Suolijärvi and Hervantajärvi have good walking tracks available and what could be better than walking on water?