The world of the Moomins does everyone good
No matter how intensely you detest children's theme parks, you will probably change you mind when you visit Moomin World in Naantali - even if you are not a fan of the charming little cartoon trolls and their friends. But then, who wouldn't like them?
Opposition crumbles bit by bit. You start softening when Little My, the eternal dissonant voice, skips towards you and naughtily sticks out her tongue at the stranger. You will have been almost sold by the time you reach Snorkmaiden's inventor's workshop, and at Moominpapa's adventure ship you will be downright bursting with enthusiasm. The last vestiges of doubt fall away as you sample jams with Moominmama herself in the cellar of Moomin House.
Moomin World is only a stone's throw from Turku, in neighbouring Naantali, whose old town with its ornate wooden houses and little boutiques is worth a visit in its own right. You can get there easily by car, boat or train, or by air to Turku if you come from afar.
A narrow bridge leads to the charming little rocky island where Moomin World has been built, discreetly and with respect for the natural environment - exactly in accordance with the Moomin Valley world of values. Familiar figures from Tove Jansson's books, including Hattifatteners and the furry little animal Stinky, mingle naturally with visitors as they go about their business. Visitors are not proffered experiences at a breathtaking pace, but rather left to wander the enchanting world of the Moomins and take it all in as quickly or slowly as suits them best.
A favourite with many is the blue Moomin House, a round, five-storey pile where Mama, Papa, Moomintroll and Snorkmaiden live. There isn't a single "do not" sign in the house; you can go anywhere and touch any object you like. Other attractions on the island include the house of science buff Hemulen with his butterfly collection and Sniff's miniscule cabin.
Do you remember little Toffle, who was lonely? His trip in search of a friend is an adventure that leads along a wooden path running the length of the island. If the trip is tiring or you get too hot, you can stop for a refreshing dip in the sea at a little sandy cove along the way. The forests and rocky promontories on the island offer plenty of ideal places to stop for a picnic or to rest, in addition to which Moomin World also has a restaurant. If the Moomins' adventures seem too tame, there is the livelier option of a boat trip to the nearby island of Väski, on the shore of which lies the wreck of a treasure ship.
Moomin World is open daily from 9 June to 12 August 2001. You can visit the island in winter as well and the buildings are still there, but the Moomins themselves are naturally in hibernation.