GCE Rally 2009
Tampere Finland, August 9th - 16th

photoreport by Mika Pitkänen

"The Rally up North in Finland was something special this year - nice mix of culture and riding. We was blessed with sunny and cool weather (only one rainy day) and survived the whole week without any mosquitos. The high light of the week was the experience of Finnish sauna - real smoke sauna..."


Day 1 - Sunday

Arrival day. Some of the people came already on Saturday, the rest came until 5 a clock pm on Sunday.

Kuva 001.jpg (147024 tavu(a))

Kuva 002.jpg (114461 tavu(a))

Kuva 004.jpg (213826 tavu(a))

Dawning of the first Rally day...;-)


A small group of early arrivers on a sunny tour at Finnish country side...


View from the terrace of Cafe Silta, close the Sääksmäki Bridge

Day 2 - Monday

Relaxing day. Most of the people had to ride long way to this Rally. There fore this day was spent without any bikes.
Just to enjoy the Finnish summer day - following local customs...


Kuva 005.jpg (133712 tavu(a))

Kuva 006.jpg (216866 tavu(a))

Kuva 008.jpg (64124 tavu(a))

Matti and Anna-Maija waiting for others to start our relaxing day.


 The group gathering for GCE-Charter to take us out.


On top of the Pyynikki Tower - Lake Pyhäjärvi in horizon. Bernd, Richard and Harry looking around.


Kuva 013.jpg (206578 tavu(a))

Kuva 010.jpg (182903 tavu(a))

Kuva 011.jpg (195125 tavu(a))

Having a cup of coffee...


...down on the small Cafe...


...in Pyynikki Tower.

Kuva 016.jpg (161292 tavu(a))

Kuva 017.jpg (144652 tavu(a))

Kuva 021.jpg (91631 tavu(a))

Climbing up stairs of Pispala...


...to look at the scenery.

In the heart of the City of Tampere - Tammerkoski Rapid.


Kuva 024.jpg (72929 tavu(a))

Kuva 025.jpg (110414 tavu(a))

Kuva 028.jpg (119327 tavu(a))

Going to a lake cruise at Lake Pyhäjärvi.


Sun was shining and people enjoyed...


...and relaxed a bit. Specially Harry ;-)


Kuva 032.jpg (20497 tavu(a))

Kuva 038.jpg (151685 tavu(a))

Kuva 035.jpg (105339 tavu(a))

In the Finnish smoke sauna (yes, there is several peoples in there).


Wolfgang, Hans-Peter, Ad, Timo, Lars and Matti having a  refreshment.


Directly from smoke sauna to swim in the lake. Back to sauna - swim again, back to sauna... Aaahh.


Kuva 041.jpg (153337 tavu(a))

Kuva 042.jpg (177450 tavu(a))

Kuva 045.jpg (198959 tavu(a))

After sauna some snack on the lake shore.


Time for some excitement...


...and a game of "Mölkky".


Day 3 - Tuesday

Great men from Finland, vol.1 - Jean Sibelius. Destination for day was Ainola, the home of Jean Sibelius - world famous Finnish composer. Our route took us first to Aulanko national park. In the afternoon, on the way back home, rain forced us to seek shelter for a while.

Kuva 051.jpg (202059 tavu(a))

P1020283.jpg (167439 tavu(a))

Kuva 059.jpg (162246 tavu(a))

First stop in Hämeenlinna...


...to see the Aulanko tower. Bruno and Walter in front.


Pius, Richard and Sigfried in the afternoon visiting Ainola.


Kuva 057.jpg (161395 tavu(a))

Kuva 056.jpg (180260 tavu(a))

Kuva 063.jpg (93771 tavu(a))

The place was verdant and beautiful.


Sibelius and his wife Aino is buried in the garden of Ainola..


Group was keeping the rain on the way back. Bernd stayed outside... ;-))


Day 4 - Wednesday

Finnish industrial tradition was the theme of the day. Our destination was the Verla Mill Museum - old unique paper mill.
Day dawned rainy and our small group started the trip while others stayed in hotel for other activities...


Kuva 064.jpg (158596 tavu(a))

Kuva 068.jpg (186934 tavu(a))

Kuva 066.jpg (97663 tavu(a))

Hans, Jaana and Bruno waiting for a guide in beautiful yard of Verla.

Massive facade of an old mill building.


Learning some facts of old days.


Kuva 069.jpg (155981 tavu(a))

Kuva 070.jpg (81111 tavu(a))

Kuva 072.jpg (77056 tavu(a))

Bernd and Marcus going in to the drying building - several storeys high.


Hearing a story of female workers in the drying building - "paper monkeys".


Bernd in front os the mills office - everything stays as it was when the place was closed at year 1964.


Day 5 - Thuersday

Great men from Finland, vol.2 - C.G.E. Mannerheim. Destination for this day was Louhisaari Manor - a childhood home of Mannerheim. First coffee stop on the route was made in Alastaro Circuit.

DSC02216.JPG (592292 tavu(a))

DSC02226.JPG (617056 tavu(a))

DSC02228.JPG (610033 tavu(a))

Coffee brake at Alastaro Motor Sport Centre.


While girls having their brake outside...


...guys was relaxing on the terrace of the Paddock Cafe.


DSC02235.JPG (597392 tavu(a))

DSC02236.JPG (583293 tavu(a))

DSC02242.JPG (606287 tavu(a))

On the verdant road to Louhisaari Manor.

The miniature of the Manor was interesting people...


On the yard waiting for our guided tour to begin.

DSC02257.JPG (545803 tavu(a))

DSC02255.JPG (605982 tavu(a))

DSC02278.JPG (592218 tavu(a))

Inside following the guide and listening the interesting history of Louhisaari...


Bernd exited from the atmosphere.


Ad thinking - "Could I play this one..."


DSC02291.JPG (579934 tavu(a))

DSC02292.JPG (587399 tavu(a))

DSC02295.JPG (560643 tavu(a))

Walter and Matti going to lunch after the tour.

Our lunch place was close by the manors yard.


Light lunch before our return trip...


Day 6 - Friday

This day we was visiting the largest unified wooden town in the Nordic countries - Old Rauma. Our route there took us on various roads - even trough the old Leineperi Ruukki.

DSC02310.JPG (600490 tavu(a))

DSC02314.JPG (603234 tavu(a))

DSC02313.JPG (573862 tavu(a))

Break at the yard of Leineperi Ruukki.

Walking in Old Rauma.


Our guide meet us in front of an old church.


DSC02328.JPG (616914 tavu(a))

DSC02330.JPG (597689 tavu(a))

DSC02333.JPG (598408 tavu(a))

On the yard of an typical old house of the area. 

Ria, Hans-Peter and Bruno looking around.


Wolfgang, Marcus, Matti and Richard
moving on.


DSC02345.JPG (596786 tavu(a))

DSC02348.JPG (589929 tavu(a))

DSC02350.JPG (577257 tavu(a))

Streets was narrow...


Two yellows meeting - Wolfgang and Beatle.


One of the nice gates in front of the yard.


DSC02355.JPG (578206 tavu(a))

DSC02360.JPG (578296 tavu(a))

DSC02364.JPG (582169 tavu(a))

Final look around and the tour is over...

...and it was time for lunch in one of those cosy old yards.


On the way back to the hotel...


Day 7 - Saturday

Last day of the Rally took us in two interesting places - the Sauna Museum in Muurame and 
the old village church from 1700-century - Petäjävesi Church.


DSC02375.JPG (586761 tavu(a))

DSC02376.JPG (583076 tavu(a))

DSC02377.JPG (621404 tavu(a))

Listening history of Finnish sauna...

One of the fist ones - a pit sauna.


Ria looking carefully and Anette translating giude's story to Antje.


DSC02378.JPG (612895 tavu(a))

DSC02389.JPG (601644 tavu(a))

DSC02393.JPG (618946 tavu(a))

Big pile of stones...

...and the story continues.


Bernd waiting for his turn to go in...


DSC02402.JPG (605010 tavu(a))

DSC02404.JPG (540889 tavu(a))

DSC02407.JPG (596855 tavu(a))

Lars finding this one very interesting ;-)

Bernd and Uli in the exhibition...


Light lunch after hard session.


DSC02408.JPG (603746 tavu(a))

DSC02418.JPG (615934 tavu(a))

DSC02421.JPG (617057 tavu(a))

Old wooden church waiting for us...

Waiting for wedding ceremony to end...


...sitting in the back yard of the church.


DSC02425.JPG (585930 tavu(a))

DSC02429.JPG (570130 tavu(a))

DSC02432.JPG (597420 tavu(a))

Hans-Peter, Anette and Ria.


Finally the ceremony was over...


...and we could step in.


DSC02433.JPG (579294 tavu(a))

DSC02434.JPG (625326 tavu(a))

DSC02437.JPG (629800 tavu(a))

Simple and plain...


...interior was fascinating...


...to see and feel.


DSC02439.JPG (616410 tavu(a))

DSC02440.JPG (615872 tavu(a))

DSC02443.JPG (595265 tavu(a))

Final coffee break...


...took us - Bernd too...


...to cafe at Murole canal.


Back home

Sunday dawned a bit rainy when people was packing their things and heading home again.
Wonderful week together with the old and new friends was over - but just for a while. We'll meet again next year...;-))