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May 22: around Turku 1

While the others returned to Helsinki as before, James and I continued on to Turku in order to take an overnight ferry to Stockholm. We had the whole afternoon to explore around town first.

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Hey look, it's the Omenahotelli we stayed at on the Southern Finland tour! What I never mentioned to you back then is that the Omenahotelli is located in this early building by Alvar Aalto, the Lounais-Suomen Maalaistentalo (Southwest Finland Agricultural Cooperative Building), completed in 1928.

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The Maalaistentalo is an example of Nordic classicism stripped down so far that it has basically become functionalist/modernist in style. Strikingly, there are these classical figures lurking on the ceiling of the street-awning roof.

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Although this is rather austere in composition, I quite like the materials involved — the dark gray bricks infilling the near-white masonry skeleton.

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We headed up into a hilly, rocky park in the center of town, Kakolanmäki (Kakola Hill).

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Among the rather numerous oddities there, these bleachers, complete with trap door in the middle, had to be at the top of the list.

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Hairpin turns up the hill at the center of the park, leading up to...

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...the gates of the main edifice atop Kakolanmäki, which used to be a prison complex but is now, I think, a wastewater treatment center. A nearby warehouse on the hill burned down less than a year later.

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Kakolanmäki: chock full of mysteries.

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Thence we continued along near the shore of the Aurajoki, through a cool old-and-new factory complex that I'd like to know more about, just upriver from the Turku Arts Academy.

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After finding the elevated walkway above left to be a dead end, we took the stairs down into this cavernous courtyard.

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Something's fishy about this.

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Here's the plaza of the Arts Academy, with the rope factory visible just beyond the steps.