Finland (14) Frank (11) SUK1 (11) freepost (10) Austria (3) travel (2)

March 8, 2015

Fairytale Express (Märchenbahn) - in Graz

My experience: 
After I read that the Fairytale Express, which I knew from my childhood, was renewed and had “many new attractions”, I was very curious. Therefore, I decided to take a ride. My expectations were high, because of all the lovely memories I had. I thought, that I’ll might see some new fairytale figures and tales. What I got was something very different. The first stop was at a place where many clocks were hanging on the walls, according to the speakers this was the ‘Otherworld’. I thought that this was a nice start for this journey. The second stop was at the witches place. There you had to ‘clean’ their house, but no witches to be seen. Here I started to feel a little disappointed, because there were no figures, not even a witch’s kettle! The only things you could see were some shelves with pots, cutlery and spider webs. At the stop called Fairytale Woods, I got back my hope of seeing nice figures, but I was wrong! Long story short: It continued like this, I wasn’t able to guess more than 2 or 3 fairytales from the bits that came out of the speakers (e.g. Now you have to learn how to fly.). The final stop is called ball hall. There you had to point the torchlight towards some skirts, which were hanging from the ceiling. The result was that these skirts started to 'dance'. 
I can’t put it into words how disappointed I was! 

Here are some pictures after the big renewing of 2012! 

The closest you get to seeing fairytale figures...
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Here are some pictures before the big renewing of 2012! 
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The Fairytale Express runs through the Schlossberg in Graz. During World War II, the tunnel was used as a bomb shelter for the citizens. After the war, the tunnel wasn’t used until 1968, when a part of the tunnel was revived with the Fairytale Express. After 10 years, it was closed for four years. In 1982 the Fairytale Express was reopened and in use until 1997. Due to the atmospheric conditions, the Fairytale Express was in such bad condition, that it had to close. Between 1999 and 2000, the Fairytale Express was opened again. In 2000, it was closed because it didn’t fulfill the fire safety requirements. In 2011, the Fairytale Express was open until it had to close for a whole make over in 2012. Since November 2014, the Fairytale Express is open again.

March 6, 2015

Styrian Armoury

Today I visited the Styrian Armoury. It is the world’s biggest arsenal. In this museum, you can marvel at a collection of 32.000 old weapons and armors. Even though it is forbidden to touch the objects of this exhibition, you can still find out how it feels to hold a sword or find out how heavy these things are. This is possible because they have some replicas, which visitors can touch to find out how heavy a chain armor or a musket is.

 Here are some pictures:

I find this one very amusing! :)

February 28, 2015

Hyvää Kalevalan päivää!! - Happy Kalevala day!

Today Finland celebrates Kalevala day. This is a flag day, which means that the Finnish flag can be seen (almost) everywhere in Finland.

Kalevala is the Finnish national epic compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology. This book played a major role in the development of the Finnish national identity. The first version of this book was published in 1935. The meter of the poems in this book is called Kalevala Meter (a trochaic tetrameter). This book is and has been a source of inspiration for many different artists. (Not only Finnish artists: J.R.R. Tolkien found inspiration in this epic too!) Jean Sibelius, a Finnish composer, composed many symphonies inspired by Kalevala. (e.g. Kullervo Symphony, Lemminkäinen Suite,…) 
There's also jewelry inspired by Kalevala. 

and here are some paintings inspired by this epic:
Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Lemminkäinen's mother

Akseli Gallen-Kallela: The Defense of The Sampo

February 14, 2015

Hyvää ystävänpäivää! - Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all those loving couples out there!
To be honest I actually prefer the Finnish way of celebrating this day. The reason is simple: In Finland this day is all about friendship! Hyvää ystävänpäivää translates to happy friends day. So this day isn't only for loving couples and doesn't exclude all those who are single. Also it is important, I think, to celebrate friendship. Being grateful for having awesome friends should definitely be part in our lives. This day exists so that we don't forget to show our friends from time to time how much we appreciate their friendship and how important they are to us.
So, happy friends day, everyone!

(c) Milla Paloniemi
 - Happy friendship day, little one!
- Your crickets!! Ooh! Thanks!