One of the first things I did when we moved here was search for a running route. I don’t need variation or even dramatic sights. I do need something that I can vary my distance and that I can start running once I walk out my door and punch the button on my watch. I don’t want to take a bus or the metro somewhere to run. In Montreal I spent a lot of time running a very urban path even though I circled several parks. While I am not exactly running in the country here in Finland, the path along the river feels rural especially compared to crossing Rue St. Laurent at mid-day. I haven’t quite been here a full month and already I love this route and I can’t wait to see it in different seasons. The river here is similar to parks in Montreal, in that it is really the heart of the city where people go and hang out to read or socialize, and not something you visit just when friends or family are in town visiting. If I turn left at the river, I am in the city center in just two minutes. But if you turn right, you can quickly be at a spot like above that doesn’t even feel like a city. Not a day goes by that I don’t make one turn at the river or another.
Friday afternoon a research assistant at the University suggested we all go to Flowpark Turku for some end-of-the-week fun. This small park is tucked between a busy road and a shopping mall but never felt like you were in the middle of the city once you were there.
The concept is that you sign a waiver, put on a harness and helmet (provided of course), get a few minutes of instruction on your carabiners and how to always be attached to something, have a brief test with a staff person and then are let loose in the park. Climbing routes were marked with difficulty levels and you could pick wherever you wanted to go without waiting for a group or further instruction which was really nice. It helped that it wasn’t too busy – so no waiting for routes to open up and no one waiting for you to finish an obstacle.