Summer map of Rollhattan
One simply does not want to miss these
1) Midsummer Rock (Juhannuskallio)
A sacred place for centuries to view the midnight sun, just a mere 10.000 years ago this was a sea shore – the Baltic sea came all the way up here. As the last ice age ended and the glaciers melted from above Finland and Lapland the ground started to rise from under the weight of the glaciers. And as the ground rose, the sea retreated – this is still happening to this day. Finland is actually rising faster than the sea level – a good fixed position to have in the climate change.
There is a wooden platform on the rocks here where they used to organize get-togethers for pair dancing. There was a time when these pair dancing events were extremely popular in Finland, and the greatest and the most legendary were always held on Midsummer day.
Nowadays pop-up yoga events are held on the platform, which is still in its place.
2) Delta Labyrinth of the Foresee River (Ounasjoen suisto)
If the weather treats you right and you like the open water, you’ll have the best time exploring the delta of Ounasjoki river under the midnight sun.
Gear up for the whole day and find your way of exploring and moving in the pristine watery labyrinth with tons of sandy beaches. Get to know the flora and fauna of the area while wading in different depths!
3) Pecker Cape (K***äsaareke)
Known as Kyrpäsaareke by the locals, the Finnish name is formed with two different words, Kyrpä and Saareke. And there, alas, you have just learned the ugliest dirty word in Finnish (it’s the first one of the two).
Some locals might argue that the dirtiest word in Finnish is actually v***u, but they are wrong. It comes close to k***ä (now that you know the word it would be uncivilized to repeat it) but it all comes down to the mouthfeel of the word at the moment of the pronunciation. K***ä is pronounced so vigorously, it feels like your teeth are flying from your mouth when you say it in the proper, tough Finnish way. And also if you compare how the words v***u and k***ä look visually, the last one is not easy on the eyes either, no not at all.You might ask who are we to be the judge of the ugliest dirty word in the language. Well, we are a book publishing company you know, so respect our arctic authority and accept the truth. K***ä is the most unpleasant word in Finnish.The most pleasant word is Lämpimämpi, just in case you were wondering.
4) With a Blue Heart / With the Strength of a Reindeer (Keskuskenttä)
If there is a match happening during your stay, go and experience the uncanniest football match of your life. We promise you will have a story to tell about the humble and reserved football spirit of the north.
The pride of Lapland, RoPS, the northern most professional football team in Finland had its latest peak in 2018 finishing second in the national league. After the high it all came crashing down in a nightmarish way, and now the Pride of Lapland fights for its life in the third division.
As in all sports clubs, there is a ton of history behind RoPS. Locals remember the super times of the 80's when Marseille came to play on the arctic circle during the Eurocup. Back then the tagline of the team was With the strength of a reindeer with a RoPS´n´Roll music video.
The great decade was followed with low times. Lowest of the low was when a team hero striker was found guilty of organizing match results for gambling companies in Asia… Rovaniemi has its own Platini, a dirty legend indeed…
Then we started to rise again with a new tag line Sinisellä Sydämellä - With a blue heart and a new song, and we were great. Until the price of the high literally proved to be too big to pay, and now we’re struggling at the edge of a bankruptcy.
But, as you know, in Finland we have this thing called Sisu and with that, a Laplander always rises - and so does our football team.
If you can, find a local to be your guide & storyteller in the match, RoPS customer service & local tour providers will surely help.
5) Ron Moss Pond
In the early nineties, every weeknight more than a million people in Finland (that’s one fifth of the entire population) gathered in front of their televisions to watch The Bold and the Beautiful, an astonishingly popular soap opera in this northern country. There are and were countless unforgettable characters in the still running show (8000+ episodes), but none as compelling as the enigmatically characteristic Ridge Forrester brought to life by the actor/musician Ronn Moss – who has a chin like a lumberhut, as a great Finnish poet said.
The Bold and the Beautiful mania was unique, with stars of the show visiting Finland and being treated as royalties as books about their visits were written. In the spring of 2023 Ronn Moss visited Finland once more and it made the front page again.
Nevertheless for us Finns Ronn Moss will always be known as Ridge, the dark, untamed hero, torn between the two loves of Taylor and Brooke.
When Rovaniemi born singer/songwriter Lordi won the eurovision song contest in 2007, and the city decided to change the name of the main square of Rovaniemi from Sampo-Square to Lordi-Square, someone suggested that we should change the name of Harjulampi - Harju meaning Ridge and Lampi meaning pond - to Ronn Moss pond, and well… yeah.
You know what has to be at the core of the happiest country in the world: a sense of humor. So if you can't find Ron Moss pond to be funny, well, hmmm… Maybe moving to Lapland could be a way of learning happiness through humor?
6) Railroad on Ice- Memorial (Jäärautatien muistomerkki)
When the Nazi troops were retreating from Lapland during the Lapland war of 1944, they utilized scorched earth tactics and burned all the buildings in Rovaniemi, only excluding hospitals and houses with people inside them. Around 90% of all of Rovaniemi’s buildings were destroyed.
The Ounaskoski and Suutarinkorva bridges were also demolished, which caused the railway traffic from Kemijärvi to stop.The first railway connection back to Kemijärvi was built on ice- yes, on ice- on January of 1946, and covered 3,7 kilometers. However, due to the weakened ice the railway was decommissioned April 4, 1946, after just under three months in use. The memorial of the railroad built on ice remains in Koivusaari (Birch Island) and can be visited by foot.
The destroyed Ounasjoki and Suutarinkorva bridges were re-built and put back to use on 26 April, 1951.
No funny ha ha- jokes here. We still take the destruction of Rovaniemi very, very seriously.
7) Vihaiset Linnut -park (Angry Birds -puisto)
A globally acclaimed Lappish playground developer joined forces with one the most known gaming franchises of Finland to create something unique. The Angry Birds park has stood the test of time a lot better than the original game, and is definitely worth a visit no matter the age.
Summer theaters are a big thing all around Finland and there is one in the park. You might not get what is going on, but you will never forget the views behind the setting.
8) Ski Jump Tower Ruins (Pöyliövaaran mäkihyppytornin rauniot)
In the 1970s Lappish towns were swarming with ski jump towers. Ski jumping was the thing, kind of like having a crush on John Travolta or wearing spandex to primitive zumba-classes. Lappish entrepreneurs and those with enough money and time to build their own ski jump towers thought the boom would last for another decade or two. However, as the interest in ice hockey and football rose, kids weren’t interested in ski jumping anymore. Tower after another was left standing in the woods with no one to jump off them.
We don’t know exactly how many ski jump tower ruins there are in Lapland since some have been exploded and sold for firewood, but there’s at least one in Pöykkölä (or Raving Animal Area, as we so cleverly translated it) and you just have to see it. For some reas- I mean, because… it’s an important piece of history. And because the view to the city is amazing.
The building of the tower began in 1935 and it was inaugurated in 1937. It was designed by Sune Sirola and destroyed by nazis in 1944. The ski tower of Pöyliövaara was the largest ski jumping tower in Finland for its entire time in existence.
9) (Lumber)Jack's statue (Jätkänpatsas)
Jack’s statue, or “Dude’s statue”, is located by the Jätkänkynttilä (Jack’s candle) bridge and was created by sculptor Kalervo Kallio in 1955. It’s probably the most famous sculpture in Rovaniemi, and it’s seen as a symbol of the city itself and the log rafting conducted in Kemijoki in 1860-1990.
Log rafting was a way of transporting the logs on the rivers to be sorted at the mouth of the river. A rather important part of the job was log driving, standing on the log and “steering” it down the river. Competitions in log driver skills have been held since 1949, and the first competition took place in Pajakkakoski, Kuhmo. Even though logs are no longer transported by rivers, log rafting and log driving traditions have lived on, and log driver competitions are still held all over the country, usually in connection with other (astonishing) summer events like wife carrying.
The statue of Jack represents a shirtless man peeling the bark of a log. Back in the days the logs were peeled by hand with a peeling iron (parkkuurauta) that had two 40 cm blades and handles on each side. The logs were, and still are peeled because the sawing and handling of a peeled log is way easier compared to an unpeeled one, and you can see the possible flaws better when the bark has been taken away.
During the Finnish “vappu” aka May Day or Labour Day (BIG big party for us) on May 1st, people traditionally celebrate around the statue and place a Finnish matriculation hat on Jack’s head. This event is called “lakitus”. The hat is taken off the next day.
10) Carpet Washing Stations (Matonpesupaikat)
Carpet washing outside is probably one of the core elements of being the happiest nation in the world (six times in a row). Even though pretty much everyone has a washing machine at home they’re not large enough to handle big rugs and carpets - so, instead of paying a laundromat, Finns opt for a free solution, which is dragging their carpets to sea- and riversides and washing them outside on carpet washing piers.
Here’s how it works: grab your carpets, brushes, buckets and eco-friendly soaps, head to a pier, hang your carpet over the edge of a carpet rack and start throwing buckets of sea/river water on them. If it’s a smaller rug you can simply dip it in the water and then hang it on the rack. When they’re nice and sodden, you can lay them on tables built on the piers, apply your cleanser of choice and scrub away. Finally, take some more water from the water system and rinse the cleanser off. You can then leave the carpets to dry in the sun, and do not worry about them getting stolen or anything - we have much respect for your carpets and the fact that you’re practicing a tradition.
You should note that it’s not wise to wash your carpets outside until the sub-zero temperatures of the spring nights have come to an end. You don’t do much with a frozen carpet. Or maybe you do, we all have our kinks. Either way, this tradition is usually practiced during summer.