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March 23–24: Helsinki to Rovaniemi

Over spring break, half of our class took a trip to Lapland. We started out by taking an overnight train to Rovaniemi, a small city at the Arctic Circle.

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The train platform at the central station before embarking, with the last light of the day still present.

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Along the way, a ghostly roller coaster. A roller ghoster.

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Passing through a station late at night.

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Hey there's another digital-neon sign.

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At break of dawn, we neared Oulu, a city on the Gulf of Bothnia near its northern end. Here we are zipping right along.

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Other trains at Oulu.

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The Oulujoki (Oulu River) passing through the center of Oulu.

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First bit of sun.

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Sunlit steamcloud.

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Sun emerging further.

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Early sunlight on the factories.

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I like this composition and was lucky to be able to snap it right when it coalesced.

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Even luckier was this shot of the sun in the tiny gap between the buildings.

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Just a little over the horizon but already much whiter.

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A bank of fog in the distance.

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We got closer to the fog and it started to occlude the sun.

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Another factory; those screw-thread structures are very prevalent on smokestacks in Finland, and I haven't figured out their purpose exactly. UPDATE Jan. 2013: The screw threads break up turbulence around the smokestack, which if unimpeded can manifest as structurally damaging vortices. Cool. (Thanks Tore!)