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Tour de DSII by Miikka Ketonen

The little middle summer gathering is one of the traditions of DSII. This is the time we can take short break from busy spring season and prepare ourselves for the annual summer holiday and for the upcoming second half of the year.

Last year we gathered in the backwoods of Tampere and learned survival skills in fishing and in fire starting, and we even sculpted an art work from the material available from the woods.

The “pikkujuhannus” is about strengthening the community spirit between the DSII students. At DSII, I sense we have quite good atmosphere among the students and the staff, and it is important to enhance it all the time to improve the peer interaction throughout the year and to get the most out of the DSII community.

This year we decided that we want to test our physiques by travelling the scenery route of

Lake Pyhäjärvi. We gathered at the harbor of Laukontori just before half past nine. The group consisted of eight DSII students, one DSII-alumni, one professor and the two regulars.

As the clock stroked half past nine the group started its journey towards the first target destination. First pit stop, and a lecture site by Juha, expert in many fields including natural sciences, was in the arboretum of Hatanpää.

This beautiful and versatile garden is located in the yard of the Hatanpää mansion founded in 1690. From Hatanpää the route continues along a small bicycle path to the city of Pirkkala. The flock of scientific cyclists kept moving with a tranquil pace through the winding routes while admiring the beach lake houses and nice little forests. Birds tweeted, sun was shining and the weather was perfect.

Next destination was historically interesting Härmälä and the Island of Härmälä. In the mainland in Härmälä used to locate a fighter plane factory (VL, Valtion lentokonetehdas) in the 1930s manufacturing planes such as Pyry, Humu, Myrsky and Pyörremyrsky.

Factory was later changed to Valmet and more recently Kalmar was situated in the same location. The island used to be originally part of Hatanpää mansion and later it belonged to Kalmar. Now it is a public relaxation place for the citizens owned by the city of Tampere.

In the middle of the run we stopped for a lunch in the border island of Pirkkala and Nokia and the route continued back to North. We cycled through the island of Villilä and our nature and bird expert Juha taught us little bit about on how to recognize birds from their tweets as we cycled through the forest paths.

On our way back to Tampere we decided to head to the tunnel of Uittotunneli and to have some famous waffles at the local cafeteria.

After many hours and around 40 kilometers, we headed to Finlayson area where we had some refreshments and sauna to finish the great day around the beautiful Pyhäjärvi.

I believe everybody enjoyed the trip as much as I did and felt more empowered and more motivated to continue their thesis projects in the autumn.

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