Saturday, October 9, 2010

Winter extreme in Finland

I live at the moment far away from most places, up north in a strange country called Finland. This is the same place where the REAL Santa Claus lives in.
As I've told earlier, the winter times are pretty harsh, dark and cold. In south the sun is up max about 5 hours and up North in Lapland the sun doesn't come up at all in 6 weeks. No wonder people become crazy - just like the Dudesons.
No, it is not pitch-black but the sun doesn't come above the horizon and hence for example the street lights are on all day long. On our ski trip up in Lapland over last New Year I got a reminder why the slopes in Central Europe do close at around 5 pm; the sun sets and they don't have lights.

In Finland all the ski slopes have lightning - and therefore they are also able to keep the slopes open until late, normally until about 7 or 8 pm. Well, I guess it is fair to say in Finland the slopes are soooo tiny that it is easy to set the lights. However, at the Alps it would be a bit different story to set light posts for all the 100's of kilometers of slopes.

Winter in Finland - it is something toenjoy. Close to the Arctic Circle we have a place called Kemi that is worth a winter visit. They have a snow castle that operates as a hotel, all icy and cold so be prepared for a nice warm sleep on a reindeer skin. I really mean it, when you are out there and enjoy the nature - and after a good dinner with for example reineed meat you set yourself in a sleeping bag over a reindeer skin. Niiiiiice!

Like stated in the pic below, Lumilinna means Snow Castle - right next to Kemi by the sea side (that is frozen at winter time).
The town of Kemi is the same where a former world class shot put man, World Championship silver medalist Mika Halvari is from. His nick name was the Fairy from Kemi (name of home town) - Kemin Keiju... He is a good person to combine with winter: he is indoor shot put World Champion and those games are at winter time.

 Back to the other winter activities;
As you can see in the pic above, you can put on a rescue suit and jump into a frozen sea - broken apart by the ice breaker vessel Sampo you are onboard. That might feel like a joke, but the suit and activity is something the ship crue needs to practice now and then.

Most of us pay to do something like that, but my cousin was lucky enough to be on a shift onboard a ferry that had an emergency practice; He volunteered to be rescued form onboard to a helicopter floating above the ship. He enjoyed it!!!

Here are few main tips if you are interested in swimming in an icy sea or to sleep in a snow castle;

Since the summer is not here any more, I can say "come winter come, I'm ready - as always!"...

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