I've done a number of long runs up to the north of Helsinki, so that I've gotten acquainted with places like Vallila, Sörnäinen, Käpylä, and Pasila, whereas I probably wouldn't have gotten there at all (except, oddly enough, passing through on this train last night) were it not for these runs. Käpylä in particular is quite interesting; from Koskenlantie, which was the first aspect I saw of it a good while ago, you see the open-grid Olympic village blocks, which to my surprise, at least on the beautiful sunny day when I saw them, seemed very pleasantly sited. This was due in part I think to the terrain rising across the lots up away from K:tie. Then, this past Saturday (the day after midreview for studio), I explored Käpylä quite a bit, boustrophedoning through the streets, and passing through Puu-Käpylä, the older wood-built garden city development, which is fascinating because its street façades are slightly forbidding because of their small windows, but with a significant air of rustic elegance - barnboarded siding with little classical details extending from the windows, with the walls painted in reds, browns, and yellows, all subdued. Pohjolantie was relatively straight and flat with these, so it was quite formal, but then there were deep gardens behind the houses on each side, while Pellervontie had more vertical & horizontal twists, with more variety in building size though still the same style, which made its character much more tumbledown. Then the later streets had masonry buildings, including the Olympic village buildings. I cut through two areas of allotment gardens on the way back to Hämeentie, which really caught me by surprise; it's really cool that they're there. They're in the middle of an almost entirely unbuilt area, which is quite beautiful, and was especially so at the sunset time when I was going through. The enormous shiny complex up Hämeentie toward Toukola was shining orange in the sun.
We've been on our way again from Oulu for a while, heading towards Kemi, but we sat there for 35 minutes. No wonder this ride takes 12 hours. Now we're in wilderness, among the evergreens, but we also passed by more of Oulu, including a lovely fog-threaded bay that we crossed on an iron bridge. I hope to report here maybe every day on this trip.
W 3/25 8:30PM, Inari (Vasatokka);
mostly clear, horizon cirrus, cold (15°F?) ←actually −17°C = 1°F. Ok. [moon phase unknown] (probably newish).
[small sketch] ← twilight horizon clouds
Lovely late afternoon/early twilight drive from Rovaniemi to Inari, past lots of deep woods and lakes, of course; the woods were often somewhat low-density of trees so that one could see very far into them.
Last night, about 11, I went outside to check for aurora borealis, and sure enough, there it was, fairly faint but perfectly visible, in an arc from approximately west to north. → [sketch] It shifted around a bit, sometimes fading, sometimes sharpening; near the ends at the horizon it stayed mostly diffuse and was sharper higher in the sky, often with two bands, the larger on top. At one point a third band under the other two, at more of a distance, formed in discrete patches, which was pretty exciting.
Today we rented skis from Vasatokka, the compound where we're staying, and skied from Inari (SIIDA, specifically) to the Piempajärvi church, in the woods by the Piempajärvi lake, about 7.5 km from the start. We did quite a bit of skiing on the very thoroughly frozen lakes,