Tammisaari, Finland

Near Tammisaari, Finland 2004

Sometimes, I think being from the UK makes the rest of the world seem a much more dramatic place. People start to moan when the weather even gets near to 0 and when it goes a couple of degrees below, certain newspapers start trumpeting about an”arctic vortex”, when really, it is just a bit cold.

In Finland by contrast, no one mentions the weather until it gets to about -15 degrees or so. A Finnish friend asked me why I thought it was strange to ride a bicycle in the snow – it was perfectly normal to her.

If the whole cold thing interests you, I recommend visiting the Culture Museum in Helsinki. I particularly enjoyed reading about Kai Donner’s adventures in northern Finland, where it gets really cold.

Anyway, when I took this picture, it must have only been about -10. And it wasn’t windy. So no macho points for me.

But it was very quiet and still, possibly silent.

Breaking the Ice, Finland

Tammisaari, Finland 2004

I went to Tammisaari in early winter. As the plane descended to land at Vanta, I heard the stewardess say,”Oh no, it’s snowing- again!”. And she was right.

A nice thing about Finland, is that most things still work in the snow – if you are from the U.K., you know what I am thinking here.

One of the things I like about snow, is how quiet it makes things. With this picture, I was hoping it captured the stillness of the scene. Silence.

But perhaps not quite silence, because on other occasions, I saw brave Finns jumping/gingerly lowering themselves into the water (where the ice has been broken). I know someone will say it is really “refreshing” – but not for me!