last aurora

As one could have guessed, today sun is shining.
Although my intention was to translate some Sanskrit, I don't have much time to do that because we drive to look for clear skies somewhere near Rovaniemi.

At about two o'clock we start driving towards Rovaniemi. A bit east from there should appear an opening into the clouds in the evening.
The landscape in the sun looks lovely. From the trees that are growing in sunlight the sun has melted all snow, in the shadow branches are covered in snow and frost. Higher mountains with no trees at the top look like they'd been strewed with powder sugar. I'd like to stop every now and then to take pictures but no-one would stand such a style of driving. So here comes a morale: no matter how little disturbing is the travel companion, lower budget does not compensate the freedom of being alone.
We confuse the lady living in GPS by choosing another road for going to Rovaniemi over the one that she prefers. I don't reveal my heretical way of thinking that actually I drive following the road signs and with this archaic method I've most of the time reached my destination until now. We pass Levi. Mountain with the ski center towers proudly over surrounding forests. There are lot of cars with roof boxes driving by, in dozens. Weekend is beginning. Or vacation. Accommodation is mostly available here for a week, from Saturday to Saturday.
A fox with a bushy tail crosses the road. Hare turns around and runs back. Cat waits, makes sure that I stop and goes straight on.
In Kittilä the temperature board shows plus zero, before Rovaniemi in a small village minus zero. Plus probably means that it's a bit warmer and the difference might come from the fact that in Kittilä sun was shining, in Rovaniemi it had already disappeared behind the forest. Of course it shouldn't be extremely difficult to teach the electronics that there's no point to add either sign before zero.
In Rovaniemi we have free time which means that I get something to eat. On the billboard in a shopping center there are lot of burgers, pizzas and kebabs. I'm puzzled. At the same time there's some kind of meat dish, boiled potato and fresh salad in the stall. The man behind the counter explains that for 8,50 € I can have everything from there as much as I want plus juice and coffee. He talks clear and slow. Maybe I look somehow dim-witted or is it because he's a dark-eyed fellow named Mirka. Mirka, Mirka...? Wasn't this a prince in a Hungarian fairy tale? The one whose father had one crying and one laughing eye? No, that was Mirko. Anyway, surprisingly many Finns, especially kids have dark eyes and skin for some reason. A Russian woman in the cafe talks very decent Finnish with Mirka.
The shopping center closes, McDonald's across the road offers free WiFi. Teenagers rant around us. Next to me are two girls and one boy. The latter obviously suffers from a hearing problem, asking "ha?" every time one of the girls says something. Has been listening music too loud, perhaps?
It doesn't look good with the clouds, also the KP-index is noting to be pleased about. Finally we decide to go to Kemijärvi.
Exiting Rovaniemi, we definitely have to stop by the red-coated coca-cola-Santa-claus. There's weird disneyland that consists of a post office and a bunch of service booths. Everything's closed and surrounded with lighted christmas trees, christmas songs sounding from the loudspeakers. No people. They're supposed to play christmas songs here also in summer. Creepy. I'm afraid that I can't display enough enthusiasm.

It takes a bit of an effort to find a place with no lights by the lake in Kemijärvi. When we finally manage to find such a place then the nordic lights are in full swing. At first it's like a faint rainbow over night-sky, then all the sky blazes green. The splendor disappears pretty soon, leaving some hazy strips here and there. We are already too far south and nordic lights aren't particularly clear today. Our usual companion, the moon, is missing. Instead of that are overhead Cassiopeia and Big Dipper, from behind a tree peaks Orion, whose belt I've repeatedly deleted from pictures confusing it with noise. And loads of other stars. Arriving cloud buries everything in the end.
aurora in the clouds
the way home

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