3 Days Later 8:27 AM 3-9-10
BJM 04 - 03 - 2010

The following is an excerpt from my journal during my favorite stretch of the trip. The past two days have been full of awesomeness. I was in love with most of the Helsinki architecture. It was all in the style that I like to try and design in. The city also seemed really nice in general. Sadly we only had one day there. In the morning we had an architectural tour which was a breath of fresh air, in comparison to the tourist based tours we usually get. We only saw real and relevant stuff, it was great! I had taken 259 pictures by the dayís end. The pictures really added up because I wanted pictures of construction details, facades and forms; every level of design was awesome. After the tour a group of us headed out in the same direction I had gone the night before, towards the Steven Holl designed Contemporary Art Museum. Along the way we stopped at a kebab shop and I ate one the biggest meals of my life, a monstrous kebab calzone. It was good, but comically huge. After that we saw an outdoor ice rink with a group of young girls skating for a performance. They were really good. It was much more fun to watch than singles or pairs on the Olympics is. Their synchronization was amazing. We eventually made it to the Contemporary Art Museum. I liked it for the most part, but wouldíve preferred some different material choices. We opted to pay the 6 Euros to tour it, which was a little disappointing as half of it was closed. It really hurt the circulation which was the main thing I had wanted to experience. We took a ferry from Helsinki to Estonia. I was one of the coolest things of the trip. Our boat was just smashing through the ice. I got to stand on the deck and watch as our boat just consumed the ice in front of it. Thatís one thing that has been really neat here, how far north we are, and how cold it is; definitely something new for me. Helsinki would be worth living in for sure. I am going to look into going to grad school here. Lauren, my girlfriend, said sheíd be down with it. Might be pricey though, Iíll have to look into it. Our hotel was probably the nicest of the trip, well maybe not; we have had some really nice hotels, definitely really nice though. It was a factory reuse project, really cool. Tallinn was mostly what I had hoped for. We toured the old city, go figure, with our guide in the morning. In the afternoon, Mark and I set out to see a lot of the new stuff. Our hotel was in the Rotterman District, right where Dwell, my favorite architectural magazine, had said to see. It was a really sweet area. It used to be a factory district but now all of the buildings are being turned into stores and hotels. We also went to see the Kumu Art Museum, which was extremely similar to the one in Helsinki, but better. I approved of the material choices much more. Lunch and dinner were amazing. We went to The Beer House for lunch. They had liter beers along with the half liter size, which I had. My meal was the best thing Iíve ever eaten. It was a mutton pie of some variety. The meat was super tender and the flavor was unimaginably amazing. Dinner was also very good. We went to the Peppersack and ate on the top floor. Both of these restaurants were very medieval in style. I got duck with pear and potatoes with Blackcurrant sauce. While I could write more Iím going to have to wrap things up on account of this bus being extremely bumpy, till later.

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