Thursday, 4th July – Kemi to Oulu

Today’s travel would lead us to Oulu. Only an hour and a half from Kemi we didn’t have any scheduled stops on this pretty straight forward trip.

About 40 minutes outside of Oulu on the banks of the Lijoki River we stumbled across an environmental art park. There wasn’t a lot of information in English so we just had a look around and enjoyed the different exhibitions. We may or may not have unknowingly driven the car around the park on what was actually a walking path!

Before checking into the hotel we stopped at Nallikari Beach. The 1km long sandy beach is a really popular spot for locals, not just during summer but winter as well, hosting an international snow sculpting contest each year. We didn’t spend quite as much time here as we’d have liked as the weather turned super windy.

After checking into our hotel we took a look at the local map and drew up a quick walking tour.

Oulu is located on the Oulujoki River. The waterfront square, Kauppatori, is home to food stalls and the Toripolliisi, a squat policeman statue. This was where we first headed and were really happy to find the annual Street Food Fiesta taking place, just in time for lunch.

The Hiirosenoja River runs through the city which means there were some interesting bridges and parks on our way to the Oulu Cathedral.

The Oulu Cathedral was built in 1777. A huge fire in 1822 destroyed most of the city however the stone walls of the cathedral remained unharmed and most of the artefacts were fortunately saved. It was restored and now stands tall across the cityscape. 

Walking through Oulu is such a relaxing experience, the river running throughout and the parks and greenery make it easy to forget you’re actually in quite a busy city.

On the round trip back to the hotel we also saw the City Hall, we did decide not to take the opportunity of touring the city on the little train in the picture below.

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