Tag Archives: Moomin

Helsinki, Moominworld and Brahehus

Now to the second installment of our holidays in Finland. I can’t say really why but even though Helsinki plays such big part of this trip I only have one single pictures from it! It might be because I lived there way too long or took last time enough pictures? No idea. So after one week at my parents cottage we drove to Helsinki to meet up with a lot of friends. With a lot of friends I mean really a lot to visit in just two days. Especially on our second day we had a tough schedule in which we met up with someone every hour from 10am till 6pm.

Only picture from Helsinki at Linnanmäki

But now to the beginning of the Helsinki trip. We were already late as we run into tons of traffic jams on the way which meant that we arrived 2 hours late to Linnanmäki the theme park in Helsinki to meet up with several Chinese friends. With Chinese friends I mean exactly the ones I wrote about meeting in Xi’an so you might guess what all went wrong in just two days. We had in Helsinki a lovely place to stay just 10min by car from the city center. However this meant that we were nearly one hour away from any other place we had to visit, talk about excellent planning again by my wife (just as in Xi’an!).

Edward the Booble at the Bath house

The second day we were supposed to meet with our Chinese friends at Ikea at 10am and then eat there later lunch. Yes, it did not work out that way. When we left at 9am and were half way to Ikea we got a call that they were just preparing once again beef noodles for breakfast. Yep, we had to reschedule everything, meet with other friends first and then went to Ikea to eat lunch on our own. Much later our friends arrived so we had coffee and cake with them. The rest of our Helsinki time was spent on meeting with other friends, checking on our old apartment and rushing on the third day to get early enough to our next location.

Nathan is not too sure what to think about this

The third day which was day number 10 in Finland we drove to Moominworld. From Helsinki it is a bit less than a three-hour drive as you will get stuck behind slow cars all the time. What to say about Moominworld? It is just a wonderful place for little children and also for adults. The amount of Japanese tourists was rather interesting but then again Moomins are still a big thing in Japan and they just opened/ are about to open a Moomin Theme Park over there. We had perfect (too hot) weather and explored the whole theme park for several hours. Everywhere you can find buildings from the different inhabitants of the Moomin Valley and character are walking around and interact with the visitors. We really enjoyed our time there even though Nathan was not too fond of meeting some of the character, especially Stinky and The Groke.

Brahehus

After Moominworld we drove to Turku Harbour to take our ferry back to Sweden. Well the drive through Sweden was nothing special once again but we had a longer stop at the Brahehus at Lake Vättern. Brahehus is an old ruin of a castle which sits about 270m above sea level. From there you have a stunning view over the countryside and especially over the Lake Vättern. The lake itself is so big that you can’t even see the other side. The entire length around the shore of that lake is around 300km, so it is a pretty big lake. At the castle we enjoyed the view and Nathan tried his best in boulder climbing but his mom and grandma were not so fond of it as it was rather high up there. After that trip we drove once again to my Uncle for a night and then left early morning to the second long drive through Danmark and back to Germany. With this our Finland holidays ended and normal working life got back immediately as we started work the same evening we arrived home.

Have you heard about Moomins before?

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Moomin, Moomin and even more Moomin

What is Moomin you may wonder now but I will come to that in a second. First of all I want to explain how I come to this topic. Few weeks ago my father had a great idea: Lets buy all Moomin Episodes for Nathan!

 

Moomin1For all who do not know about Moomin, it is originally a comic strip and a book series about several characters which resemble white hippos. The author was Tove Jansson, a Swedish-speaking Finn, who created these stories some when in the 1940’s.

 

By now Moomin is pretty famous in various countries, especially in Finland and Japan! I do not know in how many languages these books and TV series (and movies) have been translated but I believe that the number is not too low as I have seen it on TV in many countries.

 

At first we wanted to buy for Nathan the German translated version of Moomin however we quickly found out that they only translated 50 odd episodes out of the over 100. In the end we purchased from Finland the complete Moomin DVD collection with all episode plus the moomin3Movie. In case you are more familiar with Moomin you probably know that there are several different TV adaptation which have been created over the decades. In this case I am talking about the series from 1990-91, its continuation series and movie. This includes Tanoshii Mūmin Ikka 楽しいムーミン一家 (or just Moomin), Tanoshii Mūmin Ikka: Bōken Nikki 楽しいムーミン一家 冒険日記 (or Delightful Moomin Family: Adventure Diary) and the movie Mūmindani no Suisei ムーミン谷の彗星 (Comet in Moominland). As you can see from the names the TV adaptation is from Japan and it is a Dutch, Finnish and Japanese collaboration. There have been previous animated TV series from Japan in int he 1969 version Mūmin ムーミン (Moomin) no other than Hayao Miyazaki was involved in it as well however he also opposed Tove Janssons viewpoint about the original Moomin which caused that she was not too pleased (actually angry) with this version (actually she was never happy with any adaptation).

 

moomin2
2484 Minutes!!

Anyways, I am very happy that we bought this DVD collection as I grew up with Moomin. I still have many episodes recorded on VHS as well as few comic books. I also believe that this show will keep Nathan for a long time occupied as there are over 2440 minutes of material to watch (and if he is not watching I will gladly take over!). In my youth I always wanted to visit the Moomin World in Finland but I never had the chance, perhaps Nathan will be more lucky. Besides just the Moomin World, Comics, Books, Museums and TV adaptations there are tons of other things related to Moomin as well.

 

There are Moomin shops in Finland where you can buy everything you can imagine about those white hippos and the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport was for a time decorated with theirmoomin4 images and Finnair even painted Moomin figures on their Japan-line planes. At home we still got numerous Moomin mugs which you can buy in nearly every store in Finland and those are particularly popular with Japanese tourists. More often than not you see Japanese tourists in Helsinki with Moomin shopping bags filled with little fan articles to bring home for themselves or their family and friends. Yes, I will try to bring Moomin also into Nathan’s world and who knows how many mugs with white hippos he will own later on.