Arlanda airport, Stockholm, Sweden.
I realise this post is coming a few months late. Better late then never, right?
I love traveling and experiencing new and different cultures, and Scandinavia is no exception. I hadn’t been to Finland – home of my lovely wife – for over two years. I hadn’t been outside of Ireland for over two years, so I was pretty excited to be heading off for two weeks to experience Christmas Scandinavian style.
Our journey would take us from Dublin to Helsinki, from there we would take the night train 700km north to Kemi and across the border to visit Hanna’s dad in Haparanda, Sweden.
Exiting Helsinki terminal the cold hit me like a block of ice. I fumbled round in my rucksack for a thick woolly hat, and then thrust my aching hands deep in to my pockets. The decision to purchase winter boots and a winter coat after we arrived at our destination now seemed foolish.
At Helsinki Central station we bought some greasy chips, hotdogs, shared a beer, and waited until our train was ready to board.
Night train from Helsinki to Kemi, Finland.
Twelve hours and a restless sleep later, we arrived at Kemi – northern Finland. The thermometer at Kemi train station read -28C. Luckily, Hanna’s Dad was waiting for us and had the inside of the Volvo nice and warm.
First port of call – after dumping luggage at the house – was the shops to get myself some proper winter clothing. Ankle-less socks and trail runners just don’t cut it in these conditions. Luckily, christmas sales were in full swing and (many) bargains were purchased.
Upon returning to the house we took some coffee (one of many obligatory daily cups), spent the best part of 15mins putting on our winter gear – long johns, woolly socks, thermal baselayer, t-shirt, heavy sweater, proper winter coat, insulated ski-pants, scarves, hats, gloves, etc, etc – and finally went out for a walk in the crisp winter wonderland.
Hanna-Mari, Haparanda, Sweden. -26 degrees C
I thought it was funny!
Home sweet (temporary) home.
Tools for work and play.
Joulupukki, also known as Santa Claus.
More photos to come in a follow up post. Thanks for looking.