Monday, August 22, 2011

A River Runs Between

31 July 2011

From Seskarö camping, our convoy set forward to Finland, with our boss' car leading the way.  Our plan was to go over to Finland and follow the Torne river (Tornionjoki in Finnish and Torneälven in Swedishthat runs between  Sweden and Finland and just drive up north until we'd reach the exact starting point of the Arctic Circle.

Here's a section of Finland's Tornio municipality taken from the Swedish side.

We crossed this boundary between the two countries. In just a fraction of a second, time leaped to one hour ahead of Sweden due to the one-hour difference between these countries.

Our boss' car leading the way.


My drive-by shots of the Finnish countryside landscapes

The exact point where the Arctic Circle begins. We didn't go beyond that point as it would take a long, long time to explore this Scandinavian part of the Polar/Arctic Circle. But by simply setting foot on the circle gave me a sense of thrill and adventure.

Since this boundary has become a landmark and a tourist destination, a souvenir shop has been launched here. Like all the other travelers who have ventured this far, we also stopped by and looked around. The store has every kind of novelty one can think of, with the print Arctic Circle, of course! I bought a couple of postcards as keepsakes and the kids bought some stickers.

Time to go back to Sweden. This time, we had to cross a bridge nearby and drive along the Swedish side of the river. But before crossing over, we had to find a parking place along the road where we could eat our "fika" or snacks.


From our Finnish vantage point, I took this photo of a Swedish town just across the river.

We could also view this bridge that we were about to cross.

On our way to the bridge, we met these reindeers lazing right in the middle of the road, which halted all the passing cars because these creatures didn't mind the cars at all. That gave me a chance to take these pictures, and I got so excited to see them this close.

Time to cross the bridge. As soon as we reached the other end, which is already Sweden, we gained back one hour of the day, which meant that we had more time to look around and go fishing. 

We were now on the Swedish side of the river, and I took this picture showing Finland just beyond the river.

Oooppss...there seemed to be something wrong under the car, and so we stopped to check it out. This scene amused me. There was nothing wrong with the car after all.

We dropped by Kuokollaforsen for a few minutes to see how it was there that day. There was still a remnant of the preceding day's grill-festival. In this picture is a rough boardwalk leading to the middle of the rapids where the fishers would catch fish for immediate grilling.

Two countries in one picture. Foreground is Sweden and background is Finland.  

At this point, we went back to the island, Seskarö,  and spent the remaining afternoon fishing.

This is all about this blog. I'm just fascinated by this geographical set-up, how one can easily travel from one country to another and how time leaps suddenly in just a few strides.