Winter in Oulu

It’s already half a year since I live in Oulu, Finland. For those who don’t know according to Wikipedia „It is the most populous city in Northern Finland and the fifth most populous city in the country”. It’s considered in the north but geographically it’s in the middle of Finland. The thing is – most of Finland’s population lives south from Oulu. Also, this city is not that far away from Arctic Circle (about 170 km). That’s why winters are pretty interesting here:

Around Christmas the day is 3.5h long and sun is barely above horizon.

You feel warm when it is -15°C outside!

Many people (including me) are biking even when it’s -25°C! You just need winter tires, warm gloves and a nice big scarf to hide every square millimeter of your skin! It’s fun! A real winter I missed in Latvia.

It’s completely normal to have 2-3 m high heaps of snow on the streets.

But most exciting is a possibility to see northern lights! You can find photos of auroras here and here!

But this week and the next there is high chance of seeing northern lights above Oulu! So I’m looking forward to capture them on camera!

And this week I’ll be photographing Baltic Snow Call event, so hopefully I’ll get some snow sculptures with northern lights in one shot!

And as a visual description of winter in Oulu – here are some photos from one nice frosty winter day…

I built a bird feeder and hanged it in front of a window of our flat.

I like old architecture, especially wooden buildings, because it is usually harder to preserve them through the centuries. And there is some nice preserved wooden architecture in Oulu, that wasn’t burned in WWII.

One of the central streets in Oulu – Torikatu (market street).

It was beautiful frosty day with low sun and the snow falling created a very nice perspective.

People are biking all year long.

However many bikes are not used during winter and seem to get lost in the snow.

We live outside of the centre right next to a park with more or less wild grooves of trees and bushes.

On my way back I saw an interesting phenomenon. Frosty winter nights create impressive light pillars.

I also live next to a former Toppila pulp mill – industrial complex designed by famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. That weird pyramid above houses – is an old silo of the pulp mill. The rest of former industrial buildings are redesigned and serve different purposes.

Toppila Power Station often adds some visually impressive smoke to the landscape.

After these shots I finally headed home.