"bLog means boring-Log"
day 10 in scandinavia, finland, sweden (0 comments)
was the day to face my finnish horror. i tried to fight it hard, but it seems there never had been a way around it. and so, on our way south to tornio, we stopped in rovaniemi[01-21], the village of santa claus. (almost) all year long, 24/7/365.25, pure, never ending horror i successfully had suppressed since my last visit here.
but to my surprise, it was actually less crappy than i had remembered it - maybe because this time i was mentally prepared for what to expect (as far as one can mentally prepare for... this). at least there was no christmas music, and besides two hordes of asian tourist flash mobs that vanished as fast as they had appeared, there were not that many people. i was a little relieved. nina[12,16-17] totally enjoyed the whole christmassy thing in july; and she also liked to stand on the arctic circle.
the rest has not changed much, except that the elf girls now wear larger hats so their ears are covered by it, while they used to have elfin ears the last time. too sad, that was at least one thing i had enjoyed about this place. the rest is still all about santa, christmas and all related gimcrackery one could buy in various little shops. but since it is still exactly five months and one day to christmas, we left this little land of santa horror, and returned to mid summer's heat and the "normal" finland.
for the rest of the day we were driving to tornio. once arrived, we checked in at the hotel, right with "heku & eldis" at the reception. the two of them must be local celebrities because there were a lot of posters of them around the hotel - also the young female receptionist seemed pretty impressed by them. well, seems like the two are having a big gig tonight, right in the park arena event restaurant.
to cool down our big excitement that we got so close to finnish stars, we took a stroll to sweden. the town adjacent to tornio is haparanda[22-42].
we hopped over the borders[23,40-41] of finland and sweden; to nina this meant her first time in sweden; yippieh. first thing to see there was a huge ikea store - what else. along the river bank where we walked there was lots of waterfowl, and - unfortunately - lots of mosquitoes too. soon we gave up and turned around, went back to finland, and continued our leisurely walk far away from the water, home of the blood sucking gadflies.
we walked past the tornion ortodoksinen kirkko[48-56], a wooden church from 1884. it was closed, so we just went round this small church. i was wondering what it would look like from the inside.
tornio spread a strange atmosphere and mood. there were lots of totally wasted people, lots of kids on the streets, but at the same time the surrounding looked quite friendly. our impression was that of a big, nice ghetto; really strange, and hard to describe. maybe (and hopefully) it was just so because it was saturday, maybe it would be always that way - we did not know.
we returned to the tornio park hotel, and called it a day. we even were too tired for "heku & eldis". too sad we missed their show. good thing is, we did not even hear anything from their act during the night.
today it was sunny, with around 25°C. so absolutely and totally perfect weather for santamus.
track for day 10