Weeks Ten and Eleven: Fall Holiday, Museums, and Tiramisu

Weeks Ten and Eleven: Fall Holiday, Museums, and Tiramisu
This past week was fall holiday. The previous week was rather uneventful. My fall holiday schedule was filled with many fun things. The first Saturday of the fall holiday I travelled to my host mom’s mom’s for the weekend. I was slightly worried about accidentally getting on the wrong train and ending in the wrong place, but thankfully that didn’t happen. That evening, we went for pizza and I discovered that strawberry-kiwi Fanta exists and that it is delicious*. We then went to the movies and saw Muumit Rivieralla. It was, of course, in Finnish, but I’m pretty sure I understood enough to know what was happening most of the time, though I was somewhat confused about the relationships between characters at times.
On Sunday, we went hiking at a national forest. We hiked up a rather tall mountain/hill and saw some really amazing views of the trees in the surrounding area with their leaves changing with the season and the lakes below. Also, along our hike, there was a bridge that was used to go over the lake. After our hike, my host mom’s mom showed me some of the sights in the surrounding area until it was time for me to go home. Again, I did the trains right and ended up exactly where I was supposed to go.

Monday was a very chill, relaxing day for me. I accomplished little to nothing productive, as far as I can recall. But it was a very relaxing day and for that, I am thankful. I slept in uncharacteristically late on Tuesday, waking up only when my host mom texted me asking to make sure she had turned off the coffee maker that morning before she left, which she had. I then started to prep the “American” style dinner I was making for that evening. I made hamburgers and fries (both from regular potatoes and sweet potatoes) for dinner. Just before we had dinner, we went to pick up Sindi, the student from Italy who is studying in Finland with the same organization as I, from the train station. We had dinner and later, for dessert, we made chocolate, strawberry, and banana milkshakes, which were delicious. 
On Wednesday, my host mom, little brothers, Sindi, and I went to Hämeenlinna and toured the castle and the prison museum. In the castle, much to my dismay, very few of the informational signs were in English, and my reading comprehension of Finnish is not yet at a point where I could understand museum displays. There was, however, one small exhibit in which all of the information was in English and I spent much more time in that exhibit than anyone else I was with, thus leading me to believe they were all probably very grateful there wasn’t English signage throughout. We then toured the old prison museum, which everyone, aside from myself, seemed to enjoy. 

Friday, we went to the city of Lahti where we toured the Ski Museum, visited the Sibelius Hall, and walked around the harbor. The ski museum was very interesting and had most of the information in English as well as Finnish, so I was able to fully understand the history of skiing in Finland. At the Sibelius Hall, not only were we able to appreciate the integration of modern and historic architecture, we were able to go in to the concert hall where someone happened to be practicing organ and the awesome acoustics. For lunch, we went to an Italian restaurant which everyone, including Sindi, thought was pretty good. 

On Friday evening, we had out “Italian” style dinner and ate really yummy Italian food that Sindi made, including caprese and tiramisu. Our week was very busy, filled with a lot of fun activities. I realize now that I’ve not discussed the weather much, if at all, in this post and it had seemed, from the past few posts, that I’d come into a routine of beginning each with discussion of the weather. There’s not much new to say. It is still around freezing most of the time, it sometimes rains, and occasionally there is something falling from the clouds that isn’t really rain and isn’t really snow.

*Strawberry-kiwi is my favorite flavor. When I was little, I remember we would have this strawberry-kiwi juice that I loved, but in recent years, I’ve not had it at all. Maybe it was discontinued…

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