Saturday, October 13, 2007

CLOSE TO ARCTIC


Arctic tundra in Rovaniemi

I woke up from my sleep and looked out from the window. What I saw was a landscape of winter. Drifting snow in the air, ground covered with it, all white. Nothing but winter. Oh fuck. I fall asleep again. When I woke up again, the bus was driving in clear sunny weather, somewhere near Oulu. Was the snow only a dream...?


Frozen waters of Rovaniemi


No dream that was. On our way to Rovaniemi last Thursday morning, a small part of our journey was snowy indeed. But despite Rovaniemi is almost in the Arctic circle, only 8 km away from napapiiri, there was no snow in the capital of Lapland; it was just cold and clear. However, we spent the afternoon first at the University of Lapland, admiring the new building where Media studies are located. Really grate places for students to practise their creativity; for instance big studio for video production the students at Slovenian Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television can only dream about. We were also told that each student there would be given - yep, a new laptop. Such is the system of studies only 8 km away from the everfrozen Arctic...

The close-to-Arctic afternoon then lead us into the city. The following event on the list was the
opening of the photographic exhibition Changing Faces - Work #3 in the Rovaniemi Art Museum. However, since there was a couple of hours left before the exhibition, there was some time to explore the city.

A part of the city

Towards Lordin Aukio

Rovaniemi is small, yet it does not offer such first impression; it feels big and lofty. There are at least two famous persons/groups of persons on the commercial market. The first one is Santa Clause - yep, there is his own village within napapiiri. Anyway, if you remember Eurosong Song Contest 2006, you also remember Finnish monster-like band Lordi. They won that Eurosong, froze the Hell and brought the event to Helsinki. And yes, their frontman Tomi Putaansuu is from Rovaniemi. As an eternal remnant of this great victory, now Rovaniemi has a Lordin Aukio - Lordi Square.

The monument

There is not only Lordi Square. It was merely a coincidence that we passed by Lordi's Rocktaurant. I have read about that Lordi's restaurant last year, but then it has slip from my mind. So, by a mere chance, we happened to eat there, too. The food was nothing special, however, the experience was what counted the most. Some names for the food were funny indeed: like Petterin viimeinen matka/Rudolf's Last Journey for a dish containing reindeer meat. Not only that, there were also a few local metal fans enjoying their meal. However, as I would start to discuss Lordi and their restaurant as an element of commercial culture, it is better to write on other things...

Lordi's Rocktaurant

The Northern lights did not appear during the night, despite we have been told revontulet had been seen a couple of weeks ago. When the night became cold morning, we have decided to visit the museum Arktikum before going to the seminar lectures. I really enjoyed the exhibitions. They featured mainly life in the Arctic, nature, climate - and Sami culture. It was interesting to listen the samples of Sami language; I was also told there had been seven official Sami languages, and then there are also dialects. I also tried to read some writings in Sami language, but of course I could not understand any of it. Within the nature part I saw a moose for the first time. Just too bad that moose was an animal once alive and now stuffed. However, I was really impressed how big and great the moose actually had been. The next two such once alive and now stuffed animals I have always liked were the polar bear and the wolverine (in my opinion the Finnish hyena). However, if the road ever leads you to Rovaniemi, then Arktikum is a good place to visit. Especially if you would like to retreat from the cold wind...



Arktikum - the entrance

The Rovaniemi trip finished with the seminar lectures; the artists from Changing faces exhibition told about their work. Finally, two days seemed quite enough to get a first taste of Lapland. During the seven hours long drive back to Jyväskylä, we have also found out something. When some of us wondered, where we had been at the moment, like considering the position of the bus on the map, the easiest and in most cases very correct answer was - in the forest.



7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Great that you have fun in Rovaniemi
I was stucked last year there for 3 looonggg dayss .,Believe me, 2 days are more than enough!!!!!!
take careee
giselle

Aelfsciene said...

Ojej Martina ... Res te bom prijela za besedo, da greva do polarnega kroga poleti ... Prva slika je bozanska ... In Trg Lordijev ... Rovaniemi, pa tudi ce samo za en dan!

Joj, kako je lepo :'/

kaneli said...

@Giselle: Heipa! I remember you flying to Rovaniemi very early in the morning... :) Our drive lasted for about 7 hours, but nevertheless it was quite interesting. And the University covered our expences, like the bus and the accomodation; that was really nice. Well, if you went to Arktikum, napapiiri and Santa Clause's village, then 3 days were fine. However, I guess Lapland is beautiful in summer and I would like to travel even further up North.

@Aelfsciene: Vsa ta kolobocija z Lordi se mi zdi nekoliko smešna. Lordi trg ni nič posebnega, samo ta spomenik je tam. :D Restavracija je dokaj podobna našemu Skeletu, pa hrana žal ni preveč okusna. Narava tam okrog je pa dejansko lepa... Laponska poleti bi bila res fajn. Tudi moj nekdanji finski prijatelj je omenjal, da bi šel poleti na Laponsko; Finci torej že vedo. Upajmo, da bomo tudi mi videli... ;)

mooch said...

Täällä etelämpänäkin satoi viime viikolla jotain lumen tapaista. Se taisi kuitenkin olla enemmän räntää kuin lunta.
Itse asiassa kukaan ei ole koskaan aikaisemmin luullut minua Suomessa ulkomaalaiseksi! Se tuntui tosi kummalliselta :)

kaneli said...

Nyt Jyväskylässä on taas melko lämmintä.

Jos luullaan mua suomalaiseksi kun puhun suomea, olen tosi iloisena... tietenkin kielen takia. ;) Vaikka puhunen kuin Aki Kaurismäen hahmot, siis kirjakieliä. :D

Anonymous said...

Zanimivo,rada gledam slike finskih mestnih centrov... Čeprav..joj,jaz sem vseeno bolj toploljubno bitje...in povsod izgleda tako mraz,haha...

Pozdrav,
Akasha

kaneli said...

Heipä in hvala za komentar! :)

Hehe, trenutno so temparature v Sloveniji le malce višje od finskih... da o snegu sploh ne govorimo. :D Globalno segrevanje ozračja, hm? Jaz sem vsekakor med tistimi, ki ne prenašajo preveč dobro vročine (razen v sauni). Hud mraz gre pa tudi Fincem na živce...