« New Year 2005MainInari »

Ivalo in Winter

Ivalo, the closest town, has a population of less than 4000 people and until 1913 there was only a path linking this part of Finland with the south of the country. There was a gold rush here in the 1800's and gold panning is still done in some of the surrounding rivers by a dedicated few. Murmansk is the nearest big city, sitting just 300km across the border in Russia, so this area, although very beautiful, has a real frontier character to it.

The days, however, are really short at this time of year as we're somewhere around 69˚ north and the sun doesn't rise above the horizon from the beginning of December until mid-January. Around 10:30 in the morning there's a strange twilight in the sky which gradually increases until midday then fades into a warm, pinkish light until it's totally dark again by 14:30. Snow is guaranteed for the whole winter which helps to make things brighter, but the long nights mean that the partying begins much earlier!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)