88. The Tram Museum

On the walk between Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium and Sibelius Park, I saw a strange looking building with huge doors. Just as I was standing there pondering what could be going on inside, a tram came rolling along, and the huge doors slowly swung open. It was the tram depot! A huge grin spread across my face as the Thomas The Tank Engine Theme was all of a sudden in my head. With a musical skip in my step and plenty of nostalgia (I’m beginning to think I’ll never grow up) I carried on towards the park.

A few hundred metres down the road I noticed a sign that had the words ‘free’ and ‘gallery.’ Having had great success in galleries in the Design District I thought I’d check it out. Turns out it was actually a Tram Museum. I couldn’t help but laugh as I recalled a most hilarious (but only retrospectively) moment in Geoghegan family history. My father is probably responsible for my love of museums. He seems to not be able to get enough of them either. Being an engineer, the day we drove past the Train Museum on a family road trip, he couldn’t resist stopping to check it out. I think it was somewhere near the Waiuru Army base, and we were halfway through a ten hour road trip from Coromandel to Wellington on a stinking hot day. The absolute last thing anyone wanted to do was extend the trip for an extra hour, let alone inside a building that not only wasn’t air conditioned, but had a multitude of steam engines going at full boar. It was like being in a sauna with a jet engine.

So we have this hilarious photo of the most disappointed, angry, unimpressed facials, as we sat outside roasting whilst waiting for Dad to stop oooh-ing and aaaah-ing over train engines at the most boring and uncomfortable museum ever. I believe he still gets reminded every time anyone else in the family wants to go somewhere he doesn’t “Remember the train museum? We’re going to that art gallery.” “You’re taking us shoe shopping to make up for that time you took us to the train museum.”

And there I found myself in a tram museum cracking up laughing! Dad would have loved checking out the old trams of Helsinki, learning about the transition from horse-drawn trams to electric ones. In amongst the old carriages there was a big huge description of how people were annoyed at ticket prices, like it was the only place in the world where people complain about public transport pricing or something. It was actually pretty interesting and had a really nice cafe, and a big stage in the middle where they were setting up for some kind of gig later on. Unlike train museums in New Zealand, I would definitely recommend the Tram Museum in Helsinki, and maybe even take my Dad there and lose him for the next four hours.

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