the last glimpse of winter in magical Oulu - Finland
Kalajoki and Syöte
It feels like ages ago, in the very last days before the Corona-Lockdown, that I finally got to visit Finland – the Oulu Region in particular. I had wanted to go there for quite a while, for it was the last scandinavian country missing on my list apart from greenland. And I wanted to see those bending, snow covered trees so bad! Spoiler alert: I didn’t see them (yet), we were a few days too late.
Looking back now, at all that has and hasn’t happened in the last 3 month, compared to what many other countries and people had to go through, I can say I am doing ok. I experienced great support from my friends and family and even though what the government did is not enough, and far from ‘fair’ or ‘equal’, I was lucky enough to get the maximum out of it. I took the time I had on my hands to slow down and connect with people and the place I call my home.
So before the actual lockdown I spent a few days discovering this beautiful country and I can say for sure this helped quite a lot to get through this. Arriving in Oulu mid of march after a quite tense travel day and experiencing the calm and the quiet of this country was a mesmerizing experience. This was the first winter ever in South of Munich with NO SNOW AT All, which was a devastating experience. So I was embracing the cold and the wind. The Oulu region is sometimes called Finland in Minisize and that kind of sums it up. All those things you have popping up in your mind, when you think about Finland, are within reach of Oulu. Although I personally don’t think ‘Mini’ does this place justice.
It’s been my first time walking on the frozen ocean, and boy let me tell you, that’s an experience! The waves crashing in, piling up mountains of ice floes, makes a quite distinguishing sound. The wind howling over the super flat surface, lining up the snow alongside the cracks in the icesheet, and above all the sun setting after a stormy, snowy and cold day. I walked out to a piece of ice that was standing upright against the setting sun. I am not used to frozen saltwater, and did not know exactly how it behaves and if there were any underlying currents, that change the texture and the stability of the ice. So I stayed far within my comfort zone and only went where I felt it was absolutely safe. Seeing this super flat, but solid ground and a flat horizon, without seeing the ocean, is a bit irritating and for sure a unique experience.
It’s also my first time doing a podcast. Kai Behrmann, who was also part of the group, and I sat down afterwards and had a quite intense talk about the trip, the perks of being an outdoor and travel photographer and other recent adventures. Kai is a journalist and photographer from Berlin and he has been doing a series of podcast with photographers and adventurers from all over Germany about travel and photography and I am super happy to be a part of this!
I initially planned to be back in Finland this summer and do a Workshop on landscape and adventure photography, but I am not sure if this is going to work out, given the current circumstances, but I will be back, for sure.