Photos and Words

Every day is different

Posts from the ‘finland’ category

Missing Vappu /3

Tammelantori is the main market square in Tampere. I walked there on Vappu day to check what was happening. Few people sat on the wooden benches. Few Asian food stalls were open for takeaways

Message board, Tampere 2020
Grilli, Tampere 2020
Mum and daughter, Tampere 2020

At least one photo a day

Missing Vappu /2

I continue with the photos I took on 1. May on Vappu day in Tampere. You can read the intro I wrote here.

Lost bike, Tampere 2020
No one in sight, Tampere 2020
Social distancing, Tampere 2020

At least one photo a day

Missing Vappu /1

Vappu, or Walpurgis night, in Finland is one of the four biggest holidays along with Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and Midsummer. The celebration, which begins on the evening of 30 April and continue on 1 May. Many high school alumni wear the black and white student cap and many higher education students wear student coveralls. Traditionally, 1 May is celebrated by the way of a picnic in a park. For most, the picnic is enjoyed with friends on a blanket with food and drinks.

I went out to the center of Tampere on Vappu. I brought my camera because I thought that this year’s Vappu would be different.The center was deserted. Cafes has doors were open with signs inviting clients to buy Takeaway coffee. But nobody was around to buy. The Cafes were empty. I walked to Tammelantori and saw a couple of Asian food stalls selling the traditional munkki and siima.

On a normal Vappu there would be thousands of students in their white student caps walking in the streets or sitting in large groups and having a picnic at the central park at Koskipuisto. They would be joined by adults and elderly people many of whom would also wear their old students caps. Everybody would celebrate the end of the winter and beginning of the summer no matter what the weather is on the day.

I walked for about two hours. The streets were empty. People follow the government guidelines and they are doing the right things. The real Vappu was missing in these extraordinary times.

Be calm, Tampere 2020
Railway station, Tampere 2020
Where are they?, Tampere 2020
Leave me be, Tampere 2020
Closed, Tampere 2020

At least one photo a day

Images from the lockdown /5

Sunday. Max Richter playing a modern version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I have added 120g of strong white flour to a mix yogurt and milk. Hopefully in two days there will be some bubbles. The beginning of a home made yeast.

Clips, Tampere 2020

At least one photo a day

Classic cross-country in Lapland

 I have grouped the photos from Lapland in a gallery which you can find also here

At least one photo a day

Onnea Rovaniemi / Happy Birthday Rovaniemi

On our way back from Lapland we had a stopover in Rovaniemi. We had enough time to visit the Arktikum, the science centre and museum about northern nature and culture. In one of the side rooms the museum has a photo exhibition about the 60 years of the city of Rovaniemi. It is a very simple display. One TV screen shows a slideshow of black and white photos about the 60 years of the city. I sat and started to watch it. I took my camera and started to take photos of the photos I was seeing. They are very nice images of everyday life, people and their jobs, sport, music, concerts. A great set of images about the city and its citizens.

You can see the images below. The images are straight out of the camera. The only edit has been the change of format from RAW into JPG. I have not cropped any image nor changed resolution or contrast.

At least one image a day

Pyhäjärvi village

We had about 15 km behind us. We followed the cross-country ski track through forest and miers covered under a deep layer of snow. At one point the track made a long gentle turn to the right. It was the Northern tip of the Pyhäjärvi (Pyhä Lake) and of the ski track we were following around it. At the end of the turn the track started to follow a long series wooden electricity poles in a straight line. The track run between the village of Pyhäjärvi on our left and vast snow-covered frozen lake on our right. We stopped when we saw a young boy selling warm coffee and juice to skiers. While I was sipping from my paper cup I looked around. Up on a gentle slope the wooden houses where deep in the snow. I imagined the dark months of December and January. How many hours of light do they have up here? and when the summer arrives, does the sun set belows the horizon or not? what jobs people have? are they all working in the tourism sectors? what other work exists so up north? do young people stay here or do they move when they finish their studies? how is it to live so up north?

We finished our drinks and skied for about 1 km to the cafe Mummola to have something to eat before the last stretch of 8 km to get back to our cottage. Temperature -14C. Blue sky. Not a cloud.

Our track, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Hot drinks station, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Village, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Frozen lake, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Cafe Mummola, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Cafe Mummola, Pyhäjärvi 2020
Village center, Pyhäjärvi 2020

At least one photo a day

Searching for the northern lights

One thing you do when in Lapland during the winter is to go out in the night and look up to the sky. And so I did. I also found an app (there are many) that given 30 min forecast of the northern lights: how weak or strong they are. It give time to get ready. Put the winter clothes on. Read a some blogs about the camera set up for taking photos of the Northern lights. Switch on the head torch and get out. There are northern lights every night, but they are never the same. I learned that they come in a scale from 0 to 9 (9 being very rare and being visible also in central Europe). So, I got out at nights during our trip to Pyhätunturi and look up at the sky. The first night they were barely visible. The second night they were a faint greenish cloud at the horizon. The third night they were a bit more visible, between 2.5 at the horizon. The last night they were up above our cottage. Like a cloud of fine dust, very high up in the sky, that moves along a wind stream and slowly changes shape as it moves.

Starry sky, Pyhätunturi 2020
Starry sky, Pyhätunturi 2020
Starry sky, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020
Northern lights, Pyhätunturi 2020

At least one photo a day

Classic cross-country skiing landscape

At the start I follow the track with my eyes. Two parallel lines in which the cross-country skis find their way forward. It takes me few kilometres to get into a rhythm and be able to see the landscape around me. When I do, I can fully realise where I am. When I stop to catch my breath I see sky which is totally blue. Not a single cloud. No wind. The temperature is -15C, but I do not feel it. I feel warm from the sun and the exercise. I listen to my breath slowing down and realise that around me nature is totally silent as if I were in a landscape painting. I start again moving. First the right ski, then the left one, then again the right one. And so on and on. I try not to push too much with the sticks and let the legs to the work. In half an hour I will be up at the cabin and look forward to the coffee and the wood-fire stove warming up the room.

Old mire, Pyhätunturi 2020
Slopes, Pyhätunturi 2020
Old forest, Pyhätunturi 2020
Fence, Pyhätunturi 2020
Myrsky, Pyhätunturi 2020
Cabin, Pyhätunturi 2020

At least one photo a day

Classic cross-country skiing /2

Cross-country track, Pyhätunturi 2020
Cross-country track, Pyhätunturi 2020
Cross-country track, Pyhätunturi 2020
Cross-country track, Pyhätunturi 2020
Cross-country track, Pyhätunturi 2020

At least one photo a day

Classic cross-country skiing /1

The classic cross-country skiing style is often used on prepared trails (pistes) that have pairs of parallel grooves (tracks) cut into the snow. It is also the most usual technique where no tracks have been prepared. With this technique, each ski is pushed forward from the other stationary ski in a striding and gliding motion, alternating foot to foot. With the “diagonal stride” variant the poles are planted alternately on the opposite side of the forward-striding foot; with the “kick-double-pole” variant the poles are planted simultaneously with every other stride. At times, especially with gentle descents, double poling is the sole means of propulsion. On uphill terrain, techniques include the “side step” for steep slopes, moving the skis perpendicular to the fall line, the “herringbone” for moderate slopes, where the skier takes alternating steps with the skis splayed outwards, and, for gentle slopes, the skier uses the diagonal technique with shorter strides and greater arm force on the poles (Wikipedia).

Pyhätunturi 2020
Cleaning the skis before a coffee break, Luppo 2020
Kota, Pyhätunturi 2020
Bringing the kids up, Pyhätunturi 2020

At least one photo a day

Fallen trees

Trees fall in the forest. Young trees as well. Sometime their roots cannot go deep enough due to stones and boulders. Sometime it is a storm that is too strong for them. Sometime the ground is too step. But even when they fall, they can survive as their rts find a way to get back into the ground and bring life back to the rest of the tree.

Fallen tree, Ihamaniemi 2020
Boulders, Ihamaniemi 2020
Crossing, Ihamaniemi 2020

At least one photo a day

Survivors

Commercial forests means that you may see a pine and birch tree forest growing for many years and at one point machines come in an cut the trees leaving only few standing. It is a strange view when you get on top of a hill and you see some barren hills next to hills where the trees are growing. When an area is cut, they always leave few older trees standing which may shed seeds and help the regrowth. These lonely trees have always looked like survivors to me.

Hill tops, Ihamaniemi 2020
Survivors, Ihamaniemi 2020

At least one photo a day

Frozen lake

There are no clouds in the sky. There won’t be many hours of daylight. So, better to hurry and go for a walk in the forest along the lake. The temperature has gone up and down around 0 C. During the days the ice sheet loosens up. At night time, when the temperature drops below zero, you can hear deep and mysterious sounds that runs along and below the ice surface when it tightens up again.

At least on photo a day

Intermezzo

I need to stop the series of street photos from Padova. I am in Helsinki at Vantaa airport to get on a plane. I thoughts I had saved the photos on my hard disk and planned to continue to post them during the this coming week. I must have done something wrong while copying the files. So, I will post a series from last New Year when we spent a week at our cottage in Eastern Finland. I will resume to Padova series, when I get back in a week.

Ihamaniemi 2020

At least one photo a day

%d bloggers like this: