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Steve’s beard is made of ice and the snow is dancing to the shape of the wind. We smile, enchanted by the magic of winter.
We’re arrived to the first snowfall of the season, the Finns delighting in relief from the darkness. It was a black Christmas in Helsinki, a rare and unwelcome occurrence. Winter suits this city. It lights the streets and makes a playground of nature. Its sea, lakes and rivers harden for the skaters, the hills become toboggan slopes and the intrepid bring out their skis.
Snow stops London. It invigorates Helsinki. Planes land, buses run, and children travel to school. “You came at the right time” say the locals. “There’s only one thing that Finns complain about in weather, and that is darkness. We love the snow.”
And we love it too. We try our hand at curling, we dance the tango on a frozen stage, and smash plates of ice with childlike glee. When you look towards the sun in a snowy landscape, flecks of glitter dart before your eyes — fairy dust for the imagination. Everything sparkles.
And when your fingers freeze beyond delight and your cheeks reach their rosy peak, you step inside, you drink some glüg and indulge in warm cinnamon buns.
Transitions are this city’s specialty. From dark winters to nightless summers, from -30 to 30 degrees. Just like its people who run from the sauna to the ice of the sea, Helsinki’s comfortable in the extremes.
Helsinki, we’re in love.