It seems like for an adventure to happen you have to get lost first…or at least think you are lost.
Friday started out like a normal day. I didn’t have plans. I had things on my to-do list and ideas in my head, but nothing set in stone and no one to plan with. I had heard that a museum in town was free on Fridays, so of course, like any poor college student, why not go to a museum of a famous Finnish architect? After making plans with Zach and Ondrej, we went to lunch at Lozzi (one of the campus restaurants) and ended up meeting up with some other friends there who wanted to go to the museum as well. We found our way to the Alvar Alto Museo, which is in honor of the famous Finnish architect and designer. His designs were very modern and Finn like. It was an interesting museum, but very small.
I told the others that after the museum we should find the observation tower that overlooks Jyväskylä. My tutor Helmi had told us about it before and I was pretty confident that it was also free on Fridays. We asked the lady at the museum where we could find the tower. She said: “Oh, you want to look at the stars?” It made me realize that it was already dark outside even though it was only 3:30pm. However, this statement should have made us aware. This lady thought we were talking about a planetarium tower that was out in the middle of nowhere.
So then we left, heading in the direction the museum lady told us, all happy and smiles (some of us) toward what we thought was the observation tower. Andy (Ireland), Zach (USA), Jeff (Netherlands), Bianka (Hungary), Ondrej (Czech Republic), and myself walked along. It took us a long time. It took us a very long time. But, I told them, it would be worth it. I was so excited about seeing the tower and going up inside of it. I had this whole picture in my head of how it would be and how I would see the glorious lights of the city of Jyväskylä while being up high in a wondrous tower. I became even more excited after a Red Bull car pulled up next to us and the employees offered us free Red Bull and took our pictures. This is why I do not drink energy drinks. It was the air head candy in liquid form on crack. That caffeine hit me like dynamite. I believe that Jeff thought it was quite amusing later on. Next we had to climb this hill and the tower (we thought) was at the very top. So we climbed and climbed, some of us pulling our bikes along, and some of us skipping with our Red Bull up to the top (actually that was just me).
“What. The. Heck. THIS IS NOT THE TOWER! THIS IS R2D2!” That pretty much sums up that part of the story. I was furious. I ran up to it to see if I could climb on top, but I don’t think anyone took me seriously when I said I could reach the ladder if someone gave me a boost (and no one volunteered). The only thing that was keeping me together was that I finally saw R2D2 and found out he lives in Finland in a forest. Perhaps this is his sanctuary for his retirement.
I immediately called Helmi, our tutor, who didn’t answer, but called me back immediately. I went on about how we tried to find the tower and ended up at R2D2 (I really don’t know if she understood me over the phone), and I asked her where the tower actually was. She asked me where we were…”I have no idea!” I said. The tower is actually located in the City Center. The. City. Center. The most obvious and central located place in the whole entire city. Our group was pretty disappointed from our towerfail adventure (somehow R2D2 didn’t even cheer them up) but somehow I got them to continue on to the City Center to find the tower (it did exist)! After a fun and very talkative trek back to the city center and up another hill, we finally made it to the observation tower!
If it was closed I would have been heartbroken. Thankfully it was still open for 30 more minutes and it WAS FREE! It was definitely worth the adventure and the walk to see the top and the view of the city. It was very pretty.
The group said that I was right, they were glad they kept going to make it to the tower. It was a fun night, a great view, with some great people. I’m glad we can have small little adventures like this every single day. And I was also really happy we finally made it to the top!