It’s true what some friends say: I travelled a lot this winter. It wasn’t the one long journey but several small ones. To Kirkenes, to Trondheim by Hurtigruten, the ski tour with Annika and last not least the journey to Murmansk.
On Monday Annika and I started another journey, this time to one of Umeå’s neighbour towns. This town is in the east and you have to cross the Baltic Sea. I’m talking about Vaasa in Finland. How good, that there’s a ferry from Umeå’s seaport Holmsund.
After I parked the car in the ship we went on the upper deck. To my disappointment the whole Baltic Sea was free of ice.
At 12 o’clock the ferry started its journey across the Baltic Sea to Finland. First along some skerries and islets. Even Holmön, where we have been last December was visible on the horizon.
Then we reached the open sea. Nothing much to see and a good time to have lunch. Quite expensive but especially the starters were delicious.
After a while I could spot the Finnish coastline. It seemed to be surrounded by ice – and so it was. One minute the ship drove through open water, the next minute through ice floes.
Now there was a lot more to see – at least for winter and ice lovers. There was ice to both sides and behind the stern of the boat you could watch the open water closing within a minute.
The structures and textures of the ice changed every minute.
We passed a ship that was surrounded by ice. First it looked like it could have been there for months, but there was an open waterway, probably it hadn’t been there for long.
The Finnish coast came nearer and nearer. Harbour and industrial plants came into view. Some last photos, than we had to enter the car. The ferry docked and we left it.
Finland – another country, another time zone and a language that is completely unknowable to most non-Finnish people.