Yuletide in Vaasa

December 30, 2015

A bit late with this post, but I’ve been in Vaasa, and I decided not to post anything before I got back to Helsinki.

We left for Vaasa on Christmas eve’, we took the bus to the central station, and it was, actually quite nice. These last few days the buses have been packed with people, not so on the morning of Christmas, which was really nice, for once a bus trip which wasn’t down right horrible.

The train ride was for the most part pretty bland, I spent the 4 hours reading. Even though I had tickets for Vaasa I jumped off at Laihia where both my brother and sister were waiting for me (My sister lives in Laihia). A short car ride later, we were at her house, where my family was going to spend Christmas this year.

I spent most of the evening playing with my nephew, or rather, I messed with him. He’s 18 months now, doesn’t really talk, but he’s adorable when he gets frustrated.

Christmas in the window

On Christmas day I went out with Linus for some evening photography. We started off with going to Replot, which is a collection of islands just north of Vaasa, we didn’t find anything really exciting, though the water levels were crazy high, a lot of the jetties were completely submerged.

I had left my tripod at home, so I had to push my ISO constantly to even get anything resembling a picture, not that it really matters, I already have a bunch of pictures of the Replot bridge, not the most exciting subject, but it’s easy. A couple of summers back, Linus and I went with boat under the bridge, there’s some pictures here, if you scroll down a bit.

My only photograph from the replot bridge, after I shot this, my camera ran out of juice (I had spares in my backpack, but that was in the car).

After getting bored with Replot, we decided to head south, to Sundom, which is a village just south of Vaasa. Not much to see there except a single wind turbine, which is supposedly some kind of prototype or something.

The neat thing is that you can get really close to it, as in, you can get right next to it. The moon acted as both a curse and a blessing, it was pretty nice being able to see where you were walking, because the moon pretty much lit up everything, but since it’s so strong, it overpowered all the stars, which sucked.

Wind turbine in Sundom, here’s another picture.

I had been hoping to experience proper cold again, even though it was wishful thinking, it doesn’t really get that cold in December in Vaasa (or it can, but it rarely happens). The first couple of days it was just a bit chilly, just barely below zero, but at the end of the trip the temperature dropped to almost -10 degrees, though not cold per se, it was nice.

The weather forecast for the next 10 days is promising, apparently there’s some winds coming down from Siberia, and they’ve forecasted -20 degrees here in Helsinki next week (beginning of January that is). One can nothing but hope.

Linus on the Sundom bridge

I’ve also gotten to drive quite a lot this week, which has been really fun, I had forgotten just how nice and comfortable it is to have car. Paulina and I went out to meet her grandparents in Maxmo, which again, is a village north of Vaasa.

Since moving to Stockholm, and later Helsinki, Vaasa’s changed a great deal when it comes to the road network, almost all of the major roads leading out of Vaasa on the north side have been completely overhauled. A trip that used to take around 45 minutes, now take roughly 30 minutes, which is much appreciated.

Me driving northbound from Vaasa.

Because our extended visit, I was able to find time to visit my god-daughter Livia as well. She was happy and cheerful like always, she doesn’t really ever cry, which is nice.

She’s also very curious, and likes crawling around, I was sitting at the table having a cup of coffee watching her climb the stairs up to the second story (with Mathilda being just behind her, ready to catch her if she’d slip). I most say, I was quite impressed how well she managed to climb the stairs, seeing as she isn’t able to walk quite yet.

Livia and Wilda
Livia and her older sister Wilda

We left for Helsinki on the 29th, we had to change trains at Seinäjoki, so I got to enjoy the cold air for another extra 20 minutes, which was really nice. Paulina ran in to the railway station and got us some breakfast, and then off we went. I was a bit shocked about how full the train was, seeing as it was a couple of days after Christmas, I would’ve expected a lot less people, figuring that people either travel right after Christmas, or then wait until after new year’s eve.

As on the way to Vaasa, I spent most of the trip just reading a book, I’ll tell you, the trip gets a lot shorter when reading a good book as opposed to just randomly going about the internet, watching a movie, or playing games.

Waiting on the train at Seinäjoki railway station.

I also managed to book my tickets for the correct date, which was awesome. Once at home, we spent about an hour unpacking, and then I booked our next trip to Stockholm, airplane tickets and hotel, but more about that at a later date.