Photos

Photographer's Note

I was born in a country further up North than most on this planet.
Where the Arctic Circle holds a grip on more than a third of the country and where reindeers are believed to take Santa up into the skies for Christmas.

This is a land where the verb have doesn't exist (beyond the clear-cut translated omistaa, which is to own in English); where the leader of the church is an Atheist, the chief of the army is a pacifist, and the president a woman.

And the further up North, the more exotic it gets.
If you happen to rent a car from Rovaniemi's airport, you will find its engine running in an unattended car park as it waits for your arrival. You will also find famous people's birthdays listed next to the school's weekly canteen menu in the local newspaper, as well as large and clear road signs for even the smallest forest path.

I'd never been so far up North.
We made it past the Arctic Circle to Pallas and then even further, to Enontekiö (where we checked out the best-kept seemingly deserted airport I'd seen in my life!), and on the way passed smooth arctic hills and countless lakes, like the one you are looking at here.

For four days (only!) I had the chance to finally see more of my birth-country.
We took the car from Rovaniemi and drove past the famous Levi skiing centre that seems to be exploding with tourism, to find peace and traditional quiet in the Pallas centre, in the middle of a Natural Reserve.

Alone with my father, we enjoyed the silence this country loves so.
And together with my father, we smiled and enjoyed the strange ways our fellow Finns have crafted for themselves in the past centuries, lost in these wintery landscapes...

After all, I know of no other country where cars drive precisely by the official speed-limit, no matter the weather. Come rain, hail, thunder, arctic snowstorm or sunshine, that number by the road is the speed to use. That's sisu for you... ;D

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Additional Photos by Julia Leijola (leiju) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 435 W: 84 N: 523] (1697)
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