Winter holiday in Vasa

December 28, 2014

Getting up early in the morning, hadn’t really gotten any sleep at all. We carried our bags out of the apartment, double checking one last time that we hadn’t forgot anything. Everything is unplugged, turned off the lights in the hall. Closed the door. Locked it.

Hurrying through an exceptional empty and calm Stockholm, the subway was almost entry, only three other people shared our car — they spoke loudly in an otherwise silent environment. As we ran towards Arlanda Express, 2 minutes ’til depature, no tickets yet. Standing in line, waiting, got our tickets, on the train, sat down.

Just as the stress had retreated we were standing in the main hall of Arlanda, crowds of people were swarming. Checked in, dropped bag, passed security, waiting, boarding, last call, taxi, lift off, boredom, landing, taxi, doors open.

Boots on the snowy ground

I stepped out of the busy world of Sweden’s capital and in to the calmness of the cold north, Finland.

Winter in Vasa is hard to explain, it usually gets kind of cold, and the colder it gets, the calmer everything becomes, as opposed to the cities down south, were everything becomes more chaotic the lower the temperature drops. I brought with me a lot of warm clothes, I had early on decided that I was going to enjoy the winter as much as possible. For weeks I’ve been following the weather forecast, hoping, wishing that the coldness would encompass Vasa during my visit.

frost_car

And luck was on my side, though in all honesty, it could’ve been a bit colder. The temperature was around -5°C during the day and fell to around -15°C during the night.

As soon as we got our bags inside I went out to take a deep breath. There’s really nothing as refreshing as cold air, especially if you’ve put on warm clothes, in other words, you’re not freezing at all, but the air around you is icy.

storalanggatan_vaasa

Christmas with Tobias

christmas_tree

I spent Christmas with my family, as I’ve traditionally done. This year was different though, we’ve had some reinforcements, my nephew Tobias. Last time I saw Tobias he was about a month old, which meant he didn’t do much. Now, a few months later, his personality has grown a lot, and with it, his curiosity.

Surprisingly, he didn’t throw a single hissy fit through out Christmas eve’. I’m no child expert, but I had expected a lot more screaming and crying.

christmas_dinner_with_tobias

Early on I had decided that I wanted to spend a day in Laihia (a small village just south of Vasa where my sister and her family lives) with Tobias. Paulina had left for Stockholm a bit earlier than me, which meant I had a few days to spare for my own things, and so, after Paulina left for the airport, a few hours later my sister picked me up.

sun_field

When we got to Laihia the family had just woken up. We spent the morning talking and eating breakfast. As the sun came up at the break of dawn, I decided to go out and take some pictures. Luckily I had brought my bags with me, which meant I had all of my winter clothes. When I had geared up I left for a small walk on the snow-covered fields in Ostrobothnia.

snow_fields

Walking on ploughed fields wasn’t as easy as I had first thought, The ground was completely frozen, which meant that there weren’t any level ground. On my way back, when I was about to take a picture, I kneeled down and hit my knee on ice. I had to stumble back home, which wasn’t the greatest experience.

spruce_snow

Though all in all, I had a great walk.

sun_snow_fields

I spent the rest of the day inside, playing with Tobias. I actually fed him once, the first time I’ve ever spoon-fed a child (or a person, or human, or anything really), and it didn’t end in a complete mess, which I’m kind of proud of.

hot_chocolate

We ended the day with hot-chocolate, and Tobias went to bed. I sat around for a couple of more hours, talking about work, life and other things.

Söderfjärden

Another thing that I had planned on doing during this vacation was to make a time lapse with stars. Linus and I went out to Söderfjärden, a meteor impact crater.

As usual, I brought the wrong lens with me, but after a bit of adjusting, I managed to get a perspective that was good enough. Once the camera was set up, we walked around Söderfjärden for a bit. This took us about an hour, but I needed more time for the time lapse, so we left Söderfjärden (but left the camera behind).

We drove around Sundom, and took a quick stop at the local Church.

sundom_kyrka_kirkko
The sign outside of Sundom church

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Me defacing the church sign, with a smile face.

After getting a bit bored, we went back to collect the camera. As we pulled up to the center of the crater, another car arrived as well. It was a gang of photographers out to get a view of the night sky. In retrospect our timing was perfect, if we had arrived any later, the other photographers would probably have found my time lapse camera standing unattended.

Though I’d like to believe nobody would have stolen it, but then again, you never know.

Until next year

This’ll be the last weekly update post for 2014.

I just want to thank all my readers and wish you a happy new year!

snow_banks

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