As in Sweden (posts 1, 2, 3 and 4), I took the chance to visit the north of Finland during the winter break. I absolutely love snowy weather and, up until the end of December, there was no snow in Helsinki, so that pushed me to seek white-covered landscapes outside the city.
The trip had the usual mix of good planning and ‘let’s-see-what-happens’ that I like to have when travelling. The rough idea was to first stop by Oulu, head to Rovaniemi (right on the Arctic Circle imaginary line) and then somehow keep going north into the Lapland (hey, also the name of this series!).
So, only certain of my bus ticket and my Couchsurfing host, I headed to Oulu!
Whenever I talked about Oulu, people would often seem puzzled on why I would ever stop by there. And for me, back then, it was merely a way to see another Finnish city and split the journey up into more stops.
But it turned out to be a great idea! Might have been because of my (cool) host, who made me experience life there as a local, but I also think it was because it seemed like a very lively little town with loads of things going on and with some beautiful places (the then-frozen lake, the park and different small islands near the center).
On the first night, despite having had no sleep the night before on the bus, I made pizza with my host, hung around with her friends, went to a techno party, where she DJ’d, and chilled until around 8 in the morning (about a couple of hours past me becoming a total living zombie).
I had so much fun that it was almost hard to leave but the next stop awaited: Rovaniemi.