I’ve been living up to the name of this blog “the lazy traveler” lately as I haven’t posted anything travel-related . However, summer is here and I will have more time to travel and write, so hopefully I’ll be able to be more active on this blog.
Last week, I visited Kurala Village – an open air museum in Turku. I went there the first time in one late October evening during a spontaneous attempt to discover a new forest track with a friend. Even though the place was already covered in ice, I could tell that this place would be a summer paradise. I wasn’t disappointed when I finally came back to the Village this time.
Kurala is an authentic cultural historical village made up of four farms with buildings situated on a dwelling site from the Iron Age. My bike is my trusting companion nowadays, and needless to say I got to see the mesmerizing beauty of the Aura river’s upstream, and the seemingly endless meadows on the way to the village. Greeted me was two very friendly horses, but I didn’t get to feed them because I was busy taking photos (of total strangers feeding the horses, by the way). Different with what I thought, not many visitors were there that time of the day, so it was actually better. It gave out such a peaceful and dreamy vibe that I felt like I was in someone else’s reality. The weather was perfect, and everything was beautiful.
Turku is a city that would take you travel back in time whenever it has a chance, because the whole experience was like “intruding” into someone’s farm house in the South-West of Finland from the 1950s and the whole village was actually located on the hill with traces found from the Iron Age. The village is made up of four buildings, and the main attraction is the Iso-Kohmo Farm.
The Iso-Kohmo Farm
Iso-Kohmo farmhouse is where you can find displays of actual objects from the 1950s, many were belongings of the last residents of the farm. The family sold the farm to a construction company, and then it is bought by the city of Turku to be turned into a living history museum. The entire house gives out an indescribably nostalgic and fascinating feeling: from the kitchen where the rye-bread were baked and hung, to the living room lined up with traditionally knitted rugs, everything holds years and years of memories and they all have a lot to tell.
The knitted rug with image of the Turku castle
The farm-hostess told me bits and pieces of facts about the farmhouse, from the old-time cheese makers to the dish draining closet, which, by the way, developed by a Finnish woman Maiju Gebhard in 1944-1945. The draining closet was in fact inspired by a Swedish invention: the draining holder, which was kept near the window and on a table.
The ineffective Swedish dish-holder 😛
Maiju Gebhard noticed that the Swedish holder was not very useful and most of the time people (women, actually) still dried their dishes with cloths by hands, so she designed the internationally famous dish draining closet to help save time for women from doing chores work. I felt a hint of pride in her voice when she was talking about this special Finnish invention, especially when it was designed singlehandedly by a woman. Like many useful things in the world, by the way. The draining closet now is a signature mark & national pride in any Finnish kitchens, and it probably would be still in many years to come.
The famous Finnish dish draining closet & the farm-hostess.
My favorite part of the house is undoubtedly the kitchen and bedrooms. The kitchen is, as the farm-hostess told me, where people gathered everyday for meals. Back in the days, I supposed people still used to have meals together with their families. I was fascinated by the cabinets full of herbs and spices, also the stove where breads and pies were baked.
The bedrooms and the children rooms are surprisingly not very much different since most of the main furniture like beds, sofas, etc are still being used. It was still fun to see how the beds were purposely not being made, clothes hanging everywhere. Also, in every room back then, you can see a huge fireplace covered in metals. That was before the district heating was popular.
After wandering around, I was lured to the museum Kahvila where I treated myself with coffee and a freshly baked cinnamon bun outside in the garden. It was such a lovely place that even though I was sick that day, I didn’t even want to leave.
Eventually I ended up sitting outside and watching the sheep and the humans. I noticed that grown up sheep didn’t really come to humans, they just wandered off or laid lazily on the ground, whereas baby sheep were more prone to baby humans, and they would gladly hang around with tiny people for a little while. Hmm, interesting, isn’t?