Further north to Kemi

Trip Start Dec 23, 2012
Trip End Jan 23, 2013

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Flag of Finland  , Lapland,
Friday, January 4, 2013

Temp -5C to -10C

Making my way to the Arctic Circle, Kemi is the official start of Lapland. The further I go north the deeper the snow gets, which is great because it had started to melt away in Helsinki.

Kemi is a small town on the shore of the Gulf. In the summer it's a resort town by the water, with water sports & beaches the main attractions. In winter there is a blanket of white everywhere and the harbour apparently has ice more than a metre thick. Saw some people yesterday go snow mobiling across the expansive ice. Not my idea of fun sitting on a really noisy machine. Instead I did nature walks around the harbour where the only sound you hear is crunching snow as you walk.

A walk around the township was also peaceful. There are many old, ornate wooden houses particularly close to the harbour. Another pretty church. A gemstone gallery which was interesting, particularly as it has the crown of the King of Finland, who only existed as a King for a few months.

The biggest challenge is the more I go north & off the traditional tourist trail less people speak English. Finnish is a super difficult language with no links to Latin or other Scandinavian countries. So my brief knowledge of Suomi (Finnish) gets me by. Example; word for orange is 'appelsiinitaysmu' whereas the word for apple is 'omena'. I'm lucky that Finnish people are very respectful & patient. There not big talkers until they get to know you, but like Aussies they don't like people who bullshit or show off.

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jalobro on

How did you cope with the short days?

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