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Color Matters in Finland

A note from Jill Morton, Color Matters: This travel experience  was one of extreme contrasts of colors and temperature. I had traveled 12,000 miles from Hawaii to Finland for a project with Nokia and am still amazed by it all. The colors - especially the colors of the sky and landscape during the "Blue Moment" before sunset - were dramatic and completely different from the tropical colors of my home in Hawaii. Likewise, the contrast of temperatures from 83 degrees fahrenheit / 28 degrees celsius in Hawaii to minus 67 degrees fahrenheit / minus 55 degrees celsius in Finland's Arctic Circle.

Rovaniemi, Finland in the Arctic Circle

In search of the Aurora Borealis( the "Northern Lights"), I found the coldest temperatures ever recorded in Northern Europe. The newspaper headlines proclaimed "-55 ASTETTA pilasi unelmaloman." I'll have to go back to catch the aurora someday.


The Arctic Circle is the home of Santa Claus

The Arktikum Museum
This architectural masterpiece is dedicated to the history of the Arctic.
It's worth a trip to Finland just to experience the museum and its contents. Interior Arktikum Museum

The steps outside the Arktikum
Steps outside the Arktikum Museum during Blue Moment


An arctic relay at minus 40 celsius!
Car entering Arctic Relay grandstand

The Blue Moment

Shortly after sunset (about 3:30PM) in the winter months, a phenomenom known as "The Blue Moment" occurs in Finland. For the next hour, the landscape in engulfed in an eery blue light, thick light....tangible light....a fairy light....magical light...the most quiet light on the planet. Nothing comes close to it.



Tampere, Finland
Tampere, the second largest city in Finland, is situated between Lake Pyhäjärvi and Lake Näsijärvi.

A vertical rainbow
Arc in Tampere sky


On the left hand side of the image, right above the trees, you can see a vertical rainbow, shooting upwards into the icy blue sky. The sun is on the right hand side. Since Finland is so far North of the equator, days are very short during the winter. The sun doesn't rise very high in the sky. But when the sky is clear, sometimes the light creates this "arc" effect.


The Tampere Library - on Hameenkätu, the main street.
Locals call it "metso" (wood grouse) because it resembles a bird.
Raili and Reima Pietilä, architects.

Tampere Library


"Commercen talo" (the House of the Commerce) on Hameenkätu, the main street

View of the "Jätkänkynttilä" - the Rovaniemi bridge
Rovaniemi bridge

Jill Morton icicles

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