Coming back to Rovaniemi: in between beautiful memories and a risk to spoil them all

Sometimes coming back to the place, which left deep impressions in the past, may be dangerous. And, the danger there lies in ruining all the most beautiful memories with today’s reality. The famous character of Jay Gatsby once told that “of course you can repeat the past”, but this is not true. In my great belief sometimes it is better not to touch the past unless you are OK with taking a risk of getting deeply disappointed. And, there I have in mind travelling too. The whole matter of travel consists of many small aspects, which at the end form the overall impression. It is interesting that the destination itself very often may lose its leading position. First of all, there goes personal mood, then secondly – the companionship what includes time, spent both with agreed fellows and newly met people on the way. Later follows the general smoothness of the travel as well as the quality of service one have had. And only then the word goes for the destination. So, if due to all circumstances once you’ve experienced amazing time in another country, it absolutely doesn’t mean that next time will be the same. The simple answer here lies in present negativity’s ability to fully overwhelm the past beauty…

I dedicate this text to all my friends with who quite a time ago we all spent an amazing year together in Rovaniemi

Not in vain I started this text with a question, is the great place worth the risk of second visit, which may result in the huge disappointment and ruination of beautiful memories from past. Nearly seven years ago I’ve spent long beautiful months in amazing town of Rovaniemi, located in the Northern Finland, or more precisely – right at the Polar circle in Lapland. How many fragile emotions were left there!.. I could have this precious chest safely locked, but my desire to visit Rovaniemi again was bigger than the fear of spoiling all the past. So I’ve finally made a decision to come back there one more time. We have a saying that who don’t take risk – don’t drink champagne!

I won’t hide that my first steps, when I got out in Rovaniemi train station last week were not painful, because they were. I won’t say that my heart was not dividing in two, when I was crossing the Railway Bridge over the Kemijoki river towards Kuntotie area, because it was. I simply didn’t know what to expect after this long period of time. But it took just a moment to realize that this small dot in the world’s map is the same breathtakingly charming fairytale like it was before.

I got totally surprised when after walking all over perfectly known streets, deeply imprinted in my memory, the truth hit me unexpectedly – time absolutely had no effect for this frozen land. Everything, I mean like really everything what I found now was the same like I left seven years ago. Numbers of people are coming and going there from all around the world, but Rovaniemi itself seems like stays never-changing. Even various businesses, as bars, restaurants, shopping places remained alive under the same names. Maybe Rovaniemi has no need for changes? Maybe this place got fed up by the huge change, when during the Second World War town was totally destroyed and after – rebuilt, so as a result of such experience what now enters Rovaniemi – stays there forever?

I could even call all that as the phenomenon because today’s 21st century is so closely related with constant changeability. But such steadiness perfectly fits to this capital of Lapland. Fits to slowly falling snowflakes, a thick layer of white snow, covering streets and coniferous trees, polar night, and people, who are never on a hurry, because simply there is nowhere to be on a hurry. Don’t understand me wrong. Despite its smallness, surrounded by large forests and occasionally showing up squirrels, Rovaniemi is fully functioning place: there one can find all the civilization, which may be needed. Merely the small size places are really gifted with non-chaotic life, unlike the metropolises, what removes so unnecessary haste.

Actually, I am not sure if I should call Rovaniemi as a town, surrounded by forests, or a huge forest, in particular places having solid footprints of modern civilization. However, doesn’t matter which expression would be chosen, because the personal impression is only that matters. In my strong opinion, this Lapland’s city is a magical place. And, it is incredible how different people now and then are still finding the same epithet to describe Rovaniemi as “a different planet on our planet Earth”. But that can never be read or imagined. It must only be felt…

Even if at the beginning I was in doubt, but now I’m sure that I’ll never regret visiting Rovaniemi for the second time. Not only this step didn’t ruin the beautiful past, but as well gave one more perfect proof how impressive the place itself really is.

Of course, at the end all that depends on exact visitor himself and all the other aspects, which I’ve mentioned at the beginning, but I should say that compromises with Rovaniemi don’t work: either you love it or hate it. But if you fall in love, that feeling will stay for good!

by Gintarė Adamonytė

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2 thoughts on “Coming back to Rovaniemi: in between beautiful memories and a risk to spoil them all

  1. I can’t not comment on this post because the topic is really close to me. I had a bright experience of living in the Northen Finland and it was a challenge for me to come back there again. But I did it. Still nothing can compares to the first time. 🙂 By the way your pics of Rovaniemi are very nice and I’ve started to miss that city too. I lived in another town though.

  2. Pingback: How does the life go in Santa Claus Village? | ladyvoyage

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