06 October 2010


One Summer weekend I decide to visit Turkansaari, the open air museum in Oulu. There was a guided tour conducted by GoArctic,  at a price of 40 € (incl. lunch) - traditional tar boats with the help of engines would be used to follow the old route of tar transporters in Oulujoki river to the Turkansaari museum area.

The other option was to take a bus (free as I had a pass) and an entrance fee of only 3€. Somehow a ride in a tar boat on the hot summer day didn’t excite me that much that I would want to spend 40 € so I decided to go for the 2nd option.

So off I was on the Sunday morning …30 mins later as the bus left the city The lonely waythe apprehensions and doubts on my decision started haunting me. The linjakas site showed that the walk from the bus stop to the museum was 2 kms. I assumed that there would be something like a city with people all around whom I could ask for directions etc…but the bus had got on to a highway kind of road and there was not a soul in sight. Vast endless green grassy fields with a house here and there!!! No cars also on the road. That's a picture of the road I walked!

Attacked hereI had asked the bus driver to let me know when my stop came…as I got off he smiled and with a look of disbelief said you are joking that you haven't been here before. You know your way around here, right? I didn't know what to say.

Got off the bus and looked around me in disbelief…I was like in the middle of nowhere! I nearly thought of running after the bus and trying to get on to it again!  Then I thought, what the heck…let me see. Otherwise after 1 hr another bus will come across the road on the way back to city and I will get onto that. 

Forest!Luckily there were some road signs for Turkansaari.  But they didn't really help in addressing my apprehensions….as soon I found myself on a narrow road with forest on both sides.

And then I was ATTACKED….by mosquitoes. It was impossible for me to walk. I was soon hopping, jumping, skipping and smacking myself trying to ward off the mosquitoes. I am sure I must have looked a funny  sight. It was so bad that when I finally reached the museum car park I approached 2 total strangers for the mosquito repellent they were using!

Turkansaari was an important market and fishing place  as early as the 15th century. The islet in the valley of the river Oulujoki is now what is called an open air museum (its been there since 1922!). 

Open air museum – the  old ways of life: farming, cattle-farming, fishing, logging,
timber floating and tar burning are replicated as is. So there are huts and farms as they would have existed in the 1500s. The traditional tar boats and tar pits can also be seen here. I really enjoyed the whole concept …made a museum so much more interesting. Instead of being in one closed building its like walking in a small ancient village!

The pictures say it all. The ancient Coffee machine is really pretty

A farm Cooking
A small Hut Coffee!!!
Tar Boat Inside the house

The Old Lutheran Church from the year 1694 is was restored here and still is functional. There is a service every Sunday and I was lucky enough to attend it. I really enjoyed the service…even though it was in Finnish! ChurchSaw some similarities with a Gurudwara. One man came around collecting some money in a hat and then the priest said a little prayer over the collections, blessing all the people who had made those contributions…..like we give money to the priest or giani in the Gurudwara and ask him to say a little prayer for us. Then often they would stand and the priest would say a prayer and they would sit again.

The church itself was very quaint and nice.  No idol of Jesus but Jesus was represented as a fish!

Good experience…leaving me a fan of open air museums.

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