On the other side of the river

The Famous Turku Funicular



FinnAgora has annually three trainees, who all come from different places in Finland and different backgrounds. I was born and raised in Turku, a small town in Western Finland that is known for being a wonderful place to visit in the summer. Budapest is a very different place compared to my small hometown. But after comparing these two cities I was surprised to find some similarities.

One sight that Budapest and Turku have in common is a funicular. The one in Budapest goes all the way up Buda hill to the beautiful 18th century Buda Castle. The one in Turku goes up a small hill that used to have a prison and now has the town sanitation disposal.

Both Budapest and Turku have rivers that run through the city. The Danube is light blue, wide and was the divide between the town Buda and Pest that later would become one city, Budapest.

Turku also has a river the Aura river or in Finnish Aura joki or Swedish Aura å. One side of the river is called This side of the river (täl pual jokkee) and the other side is called The other side of the river (tois pual jokkee). Aura river is a stunning shade of brown and if you are lucky you might be able to see an old bicycle that has been thrown in by a drunk person in a fit of rage because in their drunken state they had forgotten how to ride a bicycle.  

The people of Budapest and Turku are very different. Here in Budapest if someone bumps into you they will apologize, in Turku they will turn around and bump into you again.

I might not have given a great picture of my old hometown and might see my new one through rose-colored glasses. I have to give the people of Turku a special warm thank you, for we get teased by the rest of Finland and have a city that seemingly tries to be the punch line of every joke, but we have a special spirit and you can’t deny that. And I think my years in Turku have made me ready for whatever challenges Budapest might try to throw at me. With a stubbornness that only a person from Turku has, I will overcome them all and make jokes and get a good laugh while I am at it. 


Thank you Turku for all that I learned and thank you Budapest for everything you will teach. 

Rebecka Vilhonen