Today, I took a journey up north to Oulu, Finland. Oulu is located in what is known as the Lapland region of Finland. This region is known for reindeer, cold, and the Northern Lights. I took the bus from Helsinki up which was an 8 hour ride. It wasn’t actually too bad. The bus was similar to the Megabus except many more stops. Lucky for me, my stop was the last stop so I could sleep through most of the journey. It was funny falling asleep for a few hours only to wake up and see the snow outside. There was snow in Helsinki, but significantly less.

bus station at oulu

Oulu was definitely colder than I was expecting. I looked up the weather while on the bus (Onnibus has free wifi which is nice), but it said it was -9 degrees Celsius which, when compared to Helsinki, isn’t that much colder. It was definitely a different story once I started walking around though. I felt like I was going to freeze. Finding my AirBnB which was only 6 minutes away proved to be a struggle since I went to opposite direction at first.

view from my airbnb

I wasn’t able to do much today except see the outside of the Oulu Cathedral and visit a large shopping center here, Valkea. The cathedral had really weird hours for the winter (12AM to 1PM), so I’m planning on going back tomorrow. The shopping center was pretty impressive, but felt smaller than some of the malls I had been to in the Atlanta area.

outside of oulu cathedral

While looking up things to do, I stumbled upon a Wiki Travel Guide that mentioned that fast food and pizza were the things to eat while in Oulu. That definitely seems to be the case with the insane amount of pizza places in the area. I had pizza for dinner and it was pretty good, although that could also just be my hunger talking.

my pizza dinner

Tomorrow is sure to be a more packed day since I’ll have more time (and a plan).