Following the footsteps of Finnish Nobel writer F.E. Sillanpää

June was about halfway through when I loaded an interesting new acquaintance to start up with – I had borrowed the Tunturi eForte electric bike from Pekan Pakomatkat, which is a bike rental company in Tampere (mainly renting electric bikes). So there I was facing a new thrill!

The purpose of this trip was to follow the famous Finnish Nobel writer Frans Emil Sillanpää. His birthplace and the landscape of his soul were of great interest. This time I only had a small backpack with me, which I tucked into the bike luggage front box. I started towards Nokia and the newly redesigned Tampere Scenic Route. Following the route I arrived to to the brewery of Nokia. I visited a small cute shop where you can buy brewery’s products. You can also book on-site tour in the brewery if you wish, but remember to do that in advance.

This was just a short drive ahead and soon I was at FACTORY 108 wihch is a Cafe on an island, in downtown of Nokia. Built in 1935, the red-brick building was originally a Nokia machine repair shop and workshop. However, FACTORY 108 currently provides events and services related to music, food, art, wellness, design and theater, and also the Café Saari is open a few days a week. Really interesting and different destination!

Ossi Somma Sculpture Park has a free entry every day.

I turned in Siuro’s direction and with bike´s energetic help it was so fun …
The first stop on the beautiful Siuronvaltatie was the Sculpture Park by Sculptor Ossi Somma. There was a clear sign of the road pointing to the Sculpture Park. Park and the Wax Cabinet permanently display an extensive collection of the artist’s sculptures, and the gallery house of the courtyard studio of sculptor Mikko Salonen. The atmosphere in the area was mysterious and the shady day added an exciting addition to it.
I was able to walk in peace while exploring the works, as the sculpture park can be explored on your own any time between 10am and 8pm.

Within a few minutes away, a completely different milieu the Knuutila Manor, was found. The 100-year-old mansion has been renovated with two chambers and six sheds. This ”shed hotel” also has a fireplace room, a kitchen and a small sauna section. There is a pergola in the courtyard with beautiful views of Kulovesi lake. This was certainly too early for me to stay over night, so I continued my journey.

The magnificent Siuro Village is a sight worth seeing in itself and especially the Siuro KoskiBar, where I stopped for lunch and charged the electric battery for the bike.

I had started in the morning with a low bike battery, so now was a good time to get more power. (Charging the battery does not cost much more than charging a laptop, for example).
I walked Siuro’s magnificent rapids. Happily refueled, I took a bike to Siuro beach and then turned to the north and towards Hämeenkyrö.

 

The Hämeenkyrö Landscape Road is definitely worthy of its name.

The winding and interesting roadway that crosses the Mahnala lakescape offers the cyclists definitely a lot of eye candy.
I arrived at Mihari beach, which was very peaceful with its beach kiosk still closed. The cloudy sky had opened and as the sun was warming while I cycled to Yrjölä’s Berry Farm. Since I hadn’t enjoyed dessert yet, I tasted some Farm´s own pistachio ice cream and of course I had to try different strawberry qualities as well. Delicious!
There are three other strawberry and berry farms right next to Yrjölä’s Berry Farm: Mäkikauppila, Nikkilä and Ylirautiala. If you are in to berries – here’s where to choose!

Tim’s Pine is a former sacrificial tree.

I had been looking forward to the next destination: it was time to approach Tim’s pine tree.
Along the Timintie road in Hämeenkyrö, just a quarter of a drive from the village centre, stands the timeless sacrificial tree, Tim’s Pine. The winding dirt road took me to that great wonder and for a moment I had to admire this magnificiant giant in the shadow of this might until I returned to the village on the same routes.

I popped through the Heiskan Folk Culture Center and Hiltu´s Lunch Cafe. That charming old-time yard is definitely worth a visit.

Heiskan Folk Culture Center and Hiltu´s Reastaurant.

Frantsilan Kehäkukka is a wonderful place to rest your mind and a hungry stomack! Here is so much to see. Sitting outside the restaurant on the wooden terrace I watched the river run and admired the courtyard buildings where the interesting Hämeenkyrö handicraft shop is also located.
I ascended a steep hill to the church and sighed in the atmosphere of an old wooden church high up in the hillside amidst the magnificent village setting. The opposite Hämeenkyrö Local History Museum provided a rewarding table setting of local history, of course, not forgetting author Sillanpää whos footsteps l I was following. I went to bed at the nearby Villa Rauhasalo, where I fell asleep while reading the the biography of Frans Emil Sillanpää.

What a nice day.

After breakfast, I packed my backpack back into the bike basket and fastened the full battery into the bike. There was now so much power so I climbed fast like a gazelle the steep church hill that had risen yesterday. Winding roads, horseshoes, fields glide past.. wasn´t this bike just awesome! I was well on my way to Töllinmäki Museum, Frans Emil Sillanpää’s youth home and the birthplace of his first book.

The Töllinmäki Museum is managed by the Sillanpää Society and is only open on summer Saturdays, but that does not prevent you from exploring the old museum house and the yard.

There was a clear signpost and a small alley shaded by trees narrowed into the courtyard of Töllinmäki, which seemed to have survived its time. Leaning on its old gray fence, I could easily imagine Farns Eemil walking to the sauna, thinking, sensing and admiring the diversity of nature.

Töllinmäki is a F.E. Sillanpää youth home and the birthplace of his first work.

From Töllinmäki, I pedaled back to the dirt road and only a quarter of a bike ride away found Sillanpää’s birthplace, Myllykolu. The signs to the yard were again excellent. How breathtaking it was to ride this narrow and gentle hill surrounded by fields to that beautiful setting. I heard Blackbird singing. The little museum house and yard was sweet and timeless. In all its tranquility, it told its own story of the birth of our Nobel writer – his happiest moments of childhood, to which Eemil returned so many times in his various books and memories.
I was back on the dirt road again and my energetic partner accelerated up and down, up and down, over the rolling hills! I was now in the countryside of Jumesniemi.

I popped into the Terrace Cafe in the yard of Einola’s Tavern, but it would only be open again this weekend. At the same intersection is a charming handicraft shop Kässäpuoti where you can buy wonderful locally made yarns.
I was on my way to Siuro, which I also passed yesterday, but this time I arrived from the west.
I was now back in Nokia city. The familiar and picturesque Siuronvaltatie Road led a cyclist to downtown Nokia, where I went to Hinttala Home Museum. This place is something you definitely want to see!  There was also a ”gourmet paradise” in it´s yard, and now I´m talking about Café Hinttala, a summer café, where I carefully refueled my tummy with delicious lunch and cake.  I also toured the museum until it was time for me get back up in the electric saddle.

As I rolled towards Tampere and home again, I wondered how close all this extremely interesting history of Mr. Sillanpää was, all this peace of nature and the abundant beauty of the countryside really is…  Right at your fingertips.

Or right at your electric fingertips – as in this case.