Oulu – Part 1

We arrived at the northern Finnish city of Oulu. It’s about 100km from the Swedish border, and 200km south of the Arctic Circle. We stayed a bit of town at Nallikari, a little beachside holiday village. Yes, it’s hard to imagine that people want to go to a beach this far north, but the Finns love being outdoors.

Our cabin accommodation was very cute, in typical Scandi practical style.

Nallikari

Despite its wooden exterior, it’s surprisingly warm inside, with super insulation and even vacuum-sealed windows. It has to be as in the winter the temperature can get to -30C, and the area becomes a cross-country skiing centre. The temperature had just peeped above freezing when we arrived, and people were cleaning up in earnest in preparation for summer. This included sweeping aside existing snowdrifts and raking up a winter’s worth of leaves.

Nallikari

The sun however still poked through, making for gorgeous spring sunsets, and neverending twilights.

Nallikari

The lack of proper night time was certainly hard to get used to. The photo above was taken at 9.30pm, and the sky darkened to a dark blue by 10.30, but it never got black. By 3.30am the sun was on its way up once again. The lack of real block-out curtains in the cabin certainly didn’t help things, so it was a long time before we got some real sleep.

The day continued to lengthen during our three weeks in Finland, but we didn’t make it to summer. The sun in Oulu at midsummer would only skim the horizon and make its way up straight away, making it day for almost 24 hours. It doesn’t seem to bother the Finns, who I’ve heard spend most of the summer at all-night parties to make up for the long winters.

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