A dark New Year in northern Finland

This year I’ll be seeing in the New Year down in Australia, where we’ve just passed the longest day of the year and have streaming sunshine at five o’clock in the morning. It’s a far cry from my New Year celebrations a couple of years ago in Europe, when I welcomed the New Year in absolute darkness in Rovaniemi, just shy of the Arctic Circle in Finland.

Rovaniemi Winter solstice sun creeps around horizon

At that time, shortly after the winter solstice, the sun did appear in Rovaniemi, but only for short bursts in the middle of the day. Take a look at this sunrise picture: it looks like it should be early in the morning, but it was actually around half past eleven. Rather than actually rising, the sun crept around the horizon for a couple of hours and then sunk us into darkness again.

I’m just a couple of days early, but however dark it might be in your New Year destination, I’d like to wish all Europe A La Carte readers all the best for 2010. Happy New Year!