Finland: Day 4 & the journey back to Copenhagen

Friday was our last day in Finland. = [

Our first site was the Myyrmaki Church, which was not too far out of Helsinki. It was such a beautiful church. There were different layers in the layout of the church which created this really interesting contrast between shadows and light.

Our next stop was Hvittrask, this was built by architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen from 1901-1907. This was my favorite place by far. I’m all about modern architecture, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with this place. The buildings were originally built to be a studio/home for the architects but became their private residence and later Saarinen’s summer house. We weren’t allowed to enter all of the buildings but we did enter the main building which was the residence of Eliel Saarinen and is now a museum. One of the buildings was turned into a restaurant and the other was closed for renovations. All of the buildings were built-in the National Romantic Style. We arrived to Hvittrask a bit earlier than our scheduled tour, so we walked around the site through all of the beautiful courtyards and english style gardens. It was raining and very gloomy but the landscape was still very beautiful. When we went inside we had a great informational tour of the building. The guide told us a lot of interesting information and history about the building and its residents. This was not only my favorite place, but my favorite tour as well.

Our last site for the day was Paimio Sanatorium by Alvar Aalto. This building was a former tuberculosis sanatorium up until the 1960’s and then was converted into a general hospital. When the building served as a tuberculosis center the only known cure for tuberculosis was rest in a clean environment with fresh air and sunshine. Knowing this Aalto very much designed the building around the patients to create the best possible environment for healing. One of the best ways he did this was putting sunning balconies on each floor, and one on the very top floor overlooking the forest making it possible for all of the patients to go outside and get fresh air. Hospitals always have kind of creeped me out, and this building is barely used now because there was a new hospital built not too far away where most of the patients transferred too… So the building was basically empty except for us and the tour guide. On top of that, the tour guide told us some ghost stories and strange occurrences that have happened in the building. All-in-all, it was a great building, and to see and learn about all of the little details Aalto put in for the patients was really interesting.

After Paimio we got back on the bus to head for Turku to get on the Viking Line Ferry which we would stay on overnight again. Once we got on the boat, I got ready for dinner and went to enjoy our buffet and free drinks again. After dinner we went to the disco again for a while as well. I was really exhausted from the day so I snuck off to bed around midnight.

In the morning we got off the boat around 6:30 am and got back on the bus for our long drive back to Copenhagen. We stopped once for lunch around noon at a service area and then got back on the road. We arrived in Copenhagen around 4:00 pm and were dropped off right near the metro station. It was really nice getting home early cause it gave me time to unpack, do laundry, and just relax.

The Study Tour was a really great experience. I got to see so many great sites everyday, visit amazing cities, eat all different kinds of foods, and live outside of my comfort zone. I think the study tour really brought a lot of us close together too. I got to meet and get to know a lot of great people and made a lot of friends. = ] My sketching skills have really improved as well from working on the visual journal everyday at our sites. When we got back we all couldn’t wait to get home to our beds, but now I think most of us kind of miss the tour. It was nice all us hanging out everyday in the hostels and on the bus and we don’t see everyone as much anymore now that we’re back to our class/studio schedule.

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