A regular cold February day in Jyväskylä. I walk to Ruusupuisto park, home of the town's two Alvar Aalto-designed museums, in the hope of catching the last rays of sunshine. A newspaper story has mentioned that one of the museums has a lighting installation but of course it's still too light to see that; the terrace of Museum of Central Finland is... Well, just a terrace.
However, the sunlight is already fading fast and the blue moment is approaching. The walls of the Museum of Central Finland are already coming to light.
The lamps outside the museum are also waking from their snow-covered slumber. At first their light is reddish but soon calms down to fit the mood of the museums and becomes white light. I'm beginning to feel the cold and decide to go indoors to warm up.
I enter the Alvar Aalto museum next door. The museum has free entrance on Fridays, but a notice on the wall announces that today is a special day: architect Alvar Aalto's birthday (born Feb 3, 1898) so the museum is offering all visitors a free cup of coffee and mint chocolate cake at Café Alvar downstairs. My lucky day! After warming up with this treat, I'm ready to step upstairs to see the exhibition.
There is a group with tour guide visiting the Aalto architecture section (which I've seen before anyway) so I'm quite happy to explore photographer Jouni Kaipia's exhibition Tiloja ja tilanteita (Spaces and situations) which naturally focuses on architecture, but not only that: also people, and in some cases, animals, play their important part in the lovely photos. There's no need to be an architecture enthusiast to enjoy this exhibition. Kaipia's photos make you feel good, and the hanging is far from boring!
You can use the exhibition space very cleverly if you think about it at the time of the hanging...
OK, time to step out into the -20°C something temperature. But what is this museum piece of a bus doing here? It must belong to the group of Scandinavians who are right now touring the Alvar Aalto museum. Oh, the good old days? This bus has character compared to its modern cousins.
However, I wonder what kind of heating there is... Hope the travellers aren't freezing. At least some of them seem to have prepared for the worst, or maybe they just like to go skiing every now and then - there are two pairs of cross country skis tied to the back of the bus. Apparently this is where the skis used to be transported!
I climb back up the wooden steps to the terrace of the museum to look down at Alvar Aalto museum.
I cross the Keskussairaalantie street to the University of Jyväskylä campus area. Although the weekend has begun, there are still some people about, but mostly indoors.
February 3 is a Day of Light in Finland. Having done a lot of work for lighting installations, Jyväskylä has named itself a City of Light. However, I wonder how many people will dare to go for a guided walk to explore the lighting installations... The temperature is really freezing and I again feel like getting back inside. Time to head for home.