Neither Libraries, Nor Pictures

One day I’ll finish the post about Kuopio’s library, but not yet. One day I’ll post my favorite pictures of Kuopio. Today I am in Kajaani, a town 2.5 hrs north of Kuopio. It is smaller than any town yet. From the balcony of my new host, Samu, I can see an art deco clocktower on the other side of the river. It reminds me of the States. The architectural battles here are waged between traditional wooden structures whose beauty is unquestionable and the terrors of the 70’s and 80’s during which time they replaced the expressive architecture from the beginning of the century with functionalist messes. Contemporary constructions seems to have found an acceptable niche of good style within the modernist trend. But I do not know enough about architecture to speak more precisely about what this entails (besides wonderfully large windows!).

In any case, my days with Teemu were filled with Jazz, both of his compositions and excellent stuff he showed me. I took a bus to Kajaani yesterday; it is all part of my effort to trek north. I’ll be here one more day, then cross the country to Oulu.

Samu is a freelance photographer. Today he showed me bakery Pekka Heikkinen, the best in Finland. It has been owned and run by the family of the Heikkinen name for over 100 years. As we walked up to it, a baker was sitting outside. He popped up, asked if we wanted coffee and instead of asking generally if we wanted anything else, he said to me directly, “Do you want a fish sandwich too?” Salmon, cold smoked for five days with fresh sea salt, tomato, lettuce, and a little relish. The salmon was caught by a friend of his, the bread was made by him. Pictures of the family history lined the walls, and crisp sunlight poured on us as we sat in the summertime outdoor seating. Summer however is about over here. The air smells autumnal.

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