WAYS TO CLIMB THAT “RUTHLESS HILL “ – Arda (TURKEY)
As a newly arrived first year, I was clueless where the University of Tartu campus was just like the other first years. I study International Relations, so for me, I had to find the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Science. Before I arrived, I looked it up on a map and I saw that the university was scattered around Tartu, while my faculty in particular was near a large park (called Toomemägi) which initially made me very happy. Little did I know that park was actually a large(ish) hill where I had to climb every day to get to my building, a ruthless exercise which doubles as a friendly reminder to me that I am about to arrive at my classes. I remember thinking to myself, “they told me Estonia was super flat and Estonians were even proud of a 318m record high point in Baltics. Yet, in a super flat country, my building had to be on top of a hill”.
Before arriving to Estonia, I had to arrange my housing situation, and I couldn’t get a place in the dormitories. Now, I am staying in a very nice house in the Tammelinn district. The only issue is that I have to spend around at least 20-25 minutes traveling by bus and walking to get to my faculty. While most other dormitory students walk on Kaarsild bridge and make a huge crowd in Lossi road to get to their buildings, I have decided to take alternative roads as I fell more in love with Toomemägi as I discovered more of it.
Even though it initially looked easy to discover, it turned out to be more of a complicated/maze-like park than I had originally anticipated. Nevertheless, that challenge made me want to discover its paths, monuments, buildings, and of course the climbing points.
It might sound a little funny or stupid, but over the course of the last three months I spent in Tartu, it became a challenge to me to find the most convenient climbing point to reach Toomemägi. Convenience for me is determined by the time I spend and the effort I put into traveling, the shape of the road, and the beauty of the path. Surprisingly, I discovered that Lossi road was not the fastest and most convenient for me even though it might be the best option for the students who live in the dorms. I would like to challenge everyone who is reading this to discover more around the campus and find “your path” to Toomemägi just like I created “my path” every day. It means starting the day with a little success for me, who knows what it will mean for you.