Winter and how to survive it

“Cold and dark” I usually tell my friends who ask how’s the life in Rovaniemi. I can’t really deny it, but the strangest thing is that you can get used to the arctic winter and even learn to love it.

I’m very much a summer person, so I have to admit that I was pretty scared about the winter when I moved here from southern Finland few years ago. When the days started to get shorter during my first autumn in Rovaniemi, It was weirdly exciting to wait for the winter and follow the changes in nature, the birch leaves losing their green shades, migration birds flying away and the mornings getting colder. In the end, more than scared I was excited about the first snow in October. I found out the winter was very different of those in the southern parts of the country. Yes, it’s dark, but the sparkling white snow makes the world brighter.

When Winter solstice was getting near I started to get a bit desperate because it felt like the winter would never end and turn into spring. There were some really depressing days when I spend most of my time at computer doing school work and saw only a glimpse of sunlight through the classroom window. Luckily there weren’t too many of those days!

After the darkest winter months it was amazing to realize that you actually can and will survive all that darkness and coldness. There will be challenges, though! The key is to learn to enjoy the winter instead of trying to hibernate through it. You just have to put on some layers and your warmest woolen jumper and bravely step out of the comfort of your flat. It’s funny now but I didn’t laugh at all when one cold winter day I had to stop several times to scratch away the ice from my glasses when cycling home from university.

Although cycling isn’t the most comfortable winter sport, there are really good possibilities for winter sports in Rovaniemi - skiing, snow football, ice skating, you name it! And even though enjoying the outdoors is important, it’s OK and just as important to relax as well. The darkness sort of gives a permission and a good reason to curl under a blanket and enjoy a good book or have a cup of hot chocolate with friends.

When the hours of sunshine are limited, you learn to appreciate the few sunny moments in a whole new way. I just love to crispy winter mornings, when the sunlight slowly changes the dark world into a winter wonderland of cool pastel colors and pale sugar frosted trees. When I lived in Kuntotie in my fourth floor flat there were many nights when I turned the lights off and instead of TV I watched the northern lights dancing in the sky from my bedroom window. 

I guess I should have read these tips before taking the photo!

The dramatic changes in seasons are my favorite thing about living by the Arctic Circle, and the most magical of the seasons is definitely winter. The nature dressed in winter colors is just absolutely gorgeous. Can you tell that this summer child is already waiting for the winter quite eagerly?


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