Dec 30

The Last Full Day of Vacation: Sarkanniemi, Tampere

Friday, August 17th was another BEEP BEEP WAKE UP MOTHERFUCKER Stupid:Early AM wakeup call. We were taking a 2+ hour bus ride to Tampere, Finland in order to visit our last park of the trip: Sarkanniemi. First, we had to embark on a short trip to the bus station. I would have preferred to take a train, which is faster, but apparently there was some issue / construction going on with the track somewhere, so we would have had to transfer to a bus at some point anyway. (According to google, a bus ride to Tampere is about 2 hours and 45 minutes which seems longer than what our trip was, but OK.

After not getting back from Tallinn until after 1:30AM, we were D R A G G I N G. But that’s the life of a coaster enthusiast, I guess! (I don’t know what I’m talking about it.)

I have to be honest here, this bus ride was the most uncomfortable mode of transportation we experienced the ENTIRE trip. The bus was a double-decker, but it was TIGHT and also? It was completely sold-out. I thought this was kind of curious since it was a Friday morning, why were all these people (ALL COLLEGE STUDENT-AGED, IT APPEARED) going to Tampere?? It was just a shit ton of mostly young girls who had no couth, no spatial- or self-awareness, one was watching cartoons on her laptop with no headphones, one was practically sprawled out in the aisle so people struggled to pass her when they needed to get to the bathroom, and it was HOT AF in there. Just very uncomfortable, honestly, and made me feel like I was in America.

But you know, it was a cheap ticket I imagine (Henry booked it, what do I know) and it got us there in decent time. That’s when we:

  1. had to find a local bus to get us to the park;
  2. learned that the reason hordes of YOUTH were flocking to Tampere was because Blockfest, a big hip hop festival, was happening. Apparently, Ice Spice was there lol.

Sarkanniemi is not a very big park, but it does have some coasters and I liked that it sits along Näsijärvi Lake. Aesthetics matter. 

Right away, Chooch and I ran to the line for Tornado, which ended up being a walk-on. Henry was being a bitch because he thought it looked too much like an SLC and opted out:

(NOT MY PICTURE; FROM WEBSITE)

But yoooo, this was excellent! Also, the guy in front of us was wearing a Six Flags eyeglass strap, a Busch Gardens t-shirt, and had a vlogging camera. “Chooch, that guy is definitely American,” I said, nudging him with my elbow. “I’m going to talk to him when we get off!”

“Please don’t,” he mumbled.

BUT I DID, AND YEAH BOY, ANOTHER AMERICAN THOOSIE! We had a nice chat with him – he’s from Atlanta and needed to use up some PTO time at work and was like, “Finland it is!” So that was really cool – we told him all about our trip too and he was just very nice to talk to and didn’t act like he was too cool for us or whatever. (I WISH I COULD REMEMBER HIS YOUTUBE NAME!! I subscribed to it on the spot but can’t find it in my list.)

I mean, come on man. Look at that beautiful water.

Anyway, right after that, we started walking to the next coaster and Henry goes, “OMG look who it is!” AND IT WAS ROBERT, DAWN, AND ARNOLD FROM COASTER CREW!!!!!

OMG I was so happy to see them!!! We spent the next several hours riding everything with them and it was THE BEST WAY TO END THE TRIP. 100%.

We took over the kiddie coaster like old times!

I…don’t know why I took this picture.

This was A NO for me. Totally uncomfortable. One and done. Actually, aside from Tornado and the flat rides, it was a one-and-done themed park for sure.

I miss these people. Also, this was a fun log flume!

At some point, we lost our friends because we needed to eat and I think they left because they had already been there for a bit before we arrived. :( Their plan was to go to Power Park farther up in Finland the next day, and then Robert and Dawn were heading home on Sunday, but Arnold was heading to Tallinn. Chooch gave him the heads up on the +1 credit there “because I’m a nice guy,” he said.

Gorgina!!! (Any Ur Mom stans here?)

I think that this park is really clean and I love the pops of color. I think they also a great and quirky collection of flat rides, but if they could get one outstanding coaster to pair up with Tornado for that one-two punch, I think this park could be taken to the next level. As it stands, unless you have little kids and pay extra for the separate “Doghill Fairytale Farm” petting zoo and aquarium, this is not a full-day park and not worth the visit to Tampere alone (Tampere has plenty of other things going for it though so it is still 100% worth visiting and I’m actually disappointed that we didn’t allow ourselves more time to explore outside of the park before having to rush back to catch our bus back to Helsinki!).

Another Euro-park, another fantastic bathroom!

For a second, I couldn’t remember why we didn’t end up eating here but then I remembered it was because we found out another place had vegan hotdogs!

Chooch just came home and exclaimed, “You’re still talking about this!?” Um, if by talking you mean blogging, then yes. (Although blogging really is like talking to my stuffed animals, all lined up on the couch with cups of tea duct-taped to their hands. HOLD ON, HAROLD, I’LL TAKE YOU TO THE BATHROOM AS SOON AS I FINISH THIS PARAGRAPH, JESUS CHRIST.)

Immediately squirts mustard on himself.

Yeah, this ‘dog was worth the burger swap. Usually if a vegan dog is on the menu, it’s gonna be of the basic nuked store bought variety and those are so unsatisfying. I can make that myself in my own kitchen, bitch please.

I don’t know what this thing was but it was adorable, super antique-feeling, and just good old-fashioned fun.

Chooch probably disagreed.

Oh, I just looked it up and it’s literally called Lake Carousel. It’s spins and tilts but not very aggressively. You can imagine bitches from the past riding this in their floor length gowns and bonnets or whatever. (I don’t know how old this ride itself is but apparently the amusement park has been around since 1975 so it’s only slightly older than me, which ISN’T YOUNG.

LOL according to Wiki, this ride opened in 1996. So yeah, you can imagine bitches from the past riding this in their BUM Equipment sweatshirts and scrunchies or whatever.

FINLAND. <3

Even the car ride was one of the most scenic rides I’ve ever been on.

Henry and underwear friend.

Fun fact: Sarkanniemi means “Cape of Sandbank.”

I thought this was going to be popcorn-flavored ice cream but it was literally ice cream topped with popcorn lol.

Chooch was being a big crybaby over hot chocolate so don’t worry, big baby got his hot chocolate. Also, he was mildly pouting because there was supposed to be some stupid Angry Birds kiddie ride there and he roamed around aimlessly looking for it for the first hour before realizing that it had been rethemed to carrots, LOLOLOL.

I was so excited when I saw this weird game because I thought it was a Finnish thing but then later I found out that we have these here in America too, so.

Literally just did my Carouselfie 2023 post the other day so if you’ve already seen these, YES I KNOW I ALREADY POSTED THEM.

I really did have an enjoyable time here but 1/3 of a day is really all you need. One of the coasters was closed (no tears were shed about this though because it’s a Zamperla Volare coaster, which are AWFUL. Granted, I’ve only been on one in Canada’s Wonderland, but it’s not something I’d ever happily line-up for ever again.

By 3:30pm, we were ready to say goodbye and try to get a bus back to the bus station since our transfer had run out and we didn’t know where to go around there to get a new ticket. My favorite part of traveling! The bus driver was like, “Oh for God’s sake just get in and sit down” in so many Finnish words so yay! Thank you, Tampere public transportation!

By 4:22pm, we were on our bus back to Helsinki!

The bus ride back was WAY BETTER – not crowded and no annoying YOUNGS. (My actual “final night in Helsinki” post can be found here.

The next day, we left our airbnb at….4am I think??? It was ungodly. I don’t even want to think about that travel day, actually. Let’s just end the vacation here! I DID IT, I WRAPPED IT UP BEFORE THE END OF 2023!!! ONE WHOLE DAY TO SPARE!

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