Winter in the Fortress

«In all the world
There's nothing like
The sound of falling snow -
The only noise
I've ever known
That makes the clocks move slow…»

"White Noise"

It is hard to put into words the breathtaking feeling without the poetry. Thus I found this old winter poem which romantic composition can touch the heartstrings. Most people like summer, but as for me, I like winter much more. Plus, I cherish the idea of snow, blizzard, Aurora, ice skating and many other fantastic things that you can fully enjoy only from December until February. Therefore, when I came across the announcement about the "Linnoituksen Sydäntalvi" in Facebook group @VisitLappeenranta, I without hesitation marked this day down on my calendar with a big smiley face. It is interesting, that «Sydäntalvi» has a very romantic meaning translated as “the Heart of the Winter event”. The name certainly attracts attention, doesn’t it?

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Winter View

It was very cold that day. I bundled myself up in warm clothes and took a thermos of cacao. The most promising activity for me was the ice sculpting. This winter I have seen the ice sculptures for the first time in the Lappeenranta city center. It was "The Adoration of the Magi" scene and I was impressed with the beauty and elegance of this art. It was nice to see so many talents working hard in small groups, sharing their experience and posing for my photographs.

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Working hard

Although all sculptures were each unique and beautiful in their own way, my absolute favorite was "Cheburashka"("Drutten") created by two fair charming ladies. And after chatting a bit, I've learned that they have chosen this idea because it is their favorite cartoon character. Ah, these few days of childhood...

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"Cheburashka"

Meanwhile, the people began moving up to the square. Jack Frost started nipping at my nose. So I decided to go back to take a look at the progress and warm myself up with the snacks and coffee. Despite the coldness, moms and pops and kiddies were having a lot of fun: playing winter games and chatting with sculptors.

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Young Acrobat

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Some of them have not forgotten to bring sleds, photo cameras and thermoses with hot drinks. Soon the fortress started to fill up with locals and travelers.

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Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the group of tourists speaking Russian going to the rampart. On balance, I determined to follow them as the guide inspirationally and in a very professional manner has been telling about the ordnance works and heroic feat of the soldiers. Group seemed not caring about trudging laboriously through hip-deep snow thus I've chosen to climb up as well.

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Follow in the footsteps

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View of the city

After I've finished listening to story and enjoying the view, I went back. I kept moving ahead. I passed the local dancing school and took some great shots of the Orthodox church of Lappeenranta.

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It was definitely the moment to warm my cold feet and hands. I joined a gaggle of young and kids watching the Moomin performance in the Kehruuhuone. Although it was so nice to sit in this spacious and cozy restaurant, it was so crowded that I opted for giving way to the apple-cheeked little boy and his mom. But I couldn't help myself taking a few more pictures of the cute Moomin artists.

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The main part of my day was visiting the South Karelian Museum and unique play organized there. However, there was still some time before the beginning and I preferred to view the beauty of South Karelian nature.

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It was very nice to see that many people did not afraid of -20 C and went skiing and skating on the Saimaa Lake that has been cleared from the snow by volunteers. Shame, I did take the skates with me, but even without them, I didn't feel bored at all.

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The staff at the Museum greeted me so well! They were very kind and prompt me to choose one of the cute small feathers that were used as the tickets to the performance.

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The play was in Finnish (probably because all viewers were Finnish kids ). Nevertheless, my basic knowledge has been enough to understand everything and to feel the atmosphere of magic puppet theatre.

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In summing up of this very big day, I can say that everything was very interesting, unique and well-organized! I highly recommend you to attend the next cultural even in Lappeenranta as it is definitely worth it! The only thing I will do differently the next time, I won't forget my skates or simply rent the free pair in the café Kafiina located right in the harbor.

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Wishing you a fantastic and the best winter! The small video for you and the end.

With love,
Iryna