Check out this postcard sent from Finland! The squareness and colors of the buildings reminds me of something out of one of my favorite video games, but for the sake of the readers I won’t go into detail on it (the Katamari series, if you’re interested). This is a view of Tampere, the third-most populous city in the country. Tampere is located in the mid-southwestern part of it – if Finland was a head and torso, it would be the belly button. At least that’s what it looks like on the map. Anyway, for a long time I always read “Tampere” as “TAM-peer”, even though I knew that was probably wrong. And it was. It’s pronounced something like “THOM-peh-ray”, although the “THOM” is like a combination of a hard “T” and a hard “TH”, like in the word “the”. Fellow Finns, you are more than welcome to QA me on that pronunciation 😉 So, Tampere used to be a big industrial player for Finland – it was home to the first industrial establishments in the country as well as the lighting of its first electric light. It was also one of the world’s first cities to use waterpower. If you look at Tampere on a map, you’ll see that it sits between two lakes: Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Because of the difference in levels between them, the rapids that connects them (known as Tammerkoski) served as a power source. Today this city retains its industrial town status, however many of the old industrial buildings have been converted to restaurants and museums. Despite it being one of Finland’s largest cities, it’s rather compact, giving it a “small town” feel, which is made more apparent by it being next to some remarkable countryside. Fun fact: Tampere has some neat museums, such as the Spy Museum, the Lenin Museum, and the one that this card was sent from – the Moomin Museum! I see you right now, Tam-peer. Thanks so much for this awesome postcard and for all your generosity, Maili!