Friday, July 9, 2010

Yes Shop

I went for a drive to revisit a shop I've gone to on every visit to Finland I can remember. I can only ever remember it as Keskinen, some call it Kyläkauppa. However on looking at their website I don't know exactly what it's called.

Here is their description-

Bros. Keskinen Ltd. / VillageShop

The wild Statue of Liberty of Finnish commerce – Brothers Keskinen Ltd., the biggest VillageShop in Finland, the Legend of the plains, the Pearl of Ostrobothnia, the miraculous Department Store in the backwoods - a beloved child has many names - rises at the gate of Southern Ostrobothnia, in the middle of nowhere. It is very difficult to describe this department store of the new generation with words; it must be experienced personally.

Welcome to Tuuri!

While a tad boastful, I think they are right, it must be experienced personally.

For me, it is a place of infinite 'why the hell not' fighting against mass crassness. While the internal look is simply that of any other mall/modern department store (with the exception of stuffed wild life perched on logs bolted to the stucture), the external aesthetic is part disneyland,and part 100 year old scandinavian village/farm. These two aesthetics don't have to compete, they are seperated by a large butter yellow concrete wall, spanning a third of the available parking area.

I think it's great. Ridiculous, maybe. Excessive, perhaps. Crass, questionable, illogical.., of course. But that shouldn't sugest that it's not wonderful.

Here are some pictures. Excuse the cars, people and other things blocking the veiw, I tried to avoid them but there was a fair going on nearby...

The Lucky Horseshoe monument, 3rd ugliest monument in the world as rated by Reuters. It has a wishing well located under the the arch of the horseshoe, possibly the reason why the horse shoe is upside down, so the luck falls into the well...

The entrance to the department store.

The castle.../supermarket (on the ground floor)/hotel(other floors). The ground floor also houses a cafeteria, fast food resturant, alcohol shop, hotel check in, gambling machines (legal age for which is 15), and a large foyer area decorated with buildings at 1/2 scale at above door height.

Imagine waking to the sight of a giant carpark from your hotel room... The supermarket would be handy though!

The splendor of the owner's palacial estate. There are seven fountains, seven unicorn statues, I also counted seven tables on the deck area and seven topiaries in identical planters. Coincidently the owner's lucky number is also said to be...

The fair, I think there was an age limit of 16. I did't want to go anyway.

As a related side note, this Saturday the shopping center grounds will hold the Miljoona Rock concert featuring Finland's own The Rasmus, and last years eurovision song contest winner, Alexander Rybak, among others... Where will I be this weekend you ask? Sitting outside, because it costs €50 to get in.


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