Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 20, 2013

Baby it’s cold outside!

It was minus 25 when I arrived in Helsinki.I set off immediately to the harbour to watch the sunrise.






The cracking ice made some interesting patterns.


Walking back through the city, briskly, to warm up, I found the city looking beautiful with its covering of snow.


















The temperature scooted all the way up to minus 9, the sky was blue and there was now wind…a great day really.

I went back towards the harbour for sunset…not as spectacular as sunrise, but pretty just the same.







Take a look at my Beautiful Helsinki blog to see more of the sunrise over the harbour. There is a link on the right side of the page. There will be lots more on Helsinki at over the coming weeks.


  1. My teeth are chattering just looking at these photos, but how lovely!!! What beautiful light! How long will you stay? Have a wonderful time!

    • I am in Helsinki for a couple of days on my way to Italy. I always travel through Helsinki, it is a beautiful and interesting city. It is a bit colder than I was hoping, but the weather is the weather. I am about to rug up and head off to the beautiful park near the city centre.

      • all I saw was-25….then Helsinki! See you soon!

      • I’m sure it will be much warmer in Bagni di Lucca.

  2. Wonderful series.

    • Thank you, Helsinki is beautiful in the cold.

  3. Magnificent pics Debra ! Love ya work !

    • Thanks Richard, I hope it is a bit warmer in Bagni di Lucca.

  4. Wow how beautiful is that. Can’t wait for December.

    • That sunrise was amazing, I am so glad I was there early.

  5. Stunning photos as always. Thank you.

    • I stood transfixed watching the sun come up, while my fingers and toes froze.

  6. By comparison, our cold snap in San Francisco is simi-tropical. Wonderful photographs!

    • Minus 25 is cold even for the Finns.

      • Oh my goodness!

      • I was a bit alarmed when the pilot announced that the temperature when we landed was minus 29. It did warm up quite a bit as the day went on.

  7. Photos are beautiful Debra (as usual)……but not the cold. Just too cold for moi…happier with the heat…thought I would love the cold in Paris but it just made me ill. Hope to catch up when you’re next in Brissie! I could smell lemon-scented gum leaves in my backyard today…scrub turkey on the fence…hot and sunny with a light shower last night…bliss! A bientot.

    • I prefer cold weather. I loathe Brisbane in summer, which is why I head for the other side of the world.

  8. Wonderful photos! You just need warm clothes and the weather will be fine:) Enjoy Helsinki!

    • Yes, there is no such thing as bad weather, as long as you have the right clothing.

  9. Very, very cold. But very, very beautiful to watch.

    • Today is warmer, about minus 7, practically Tshirt weather. The sky is blue, there is no wind and there are occasional flurries…gorgeous.

  10. Wonderful sunrise shots, but like an earlier respondee… far too cold for me. Quite a shock to the system after the heat of the Oz summer?!

    So looking forward to your posts from BDL again, it will be cold there too as it is here in the UK, but far, far nicer! A really amazing place to be…….. no comparison to your en route stopovers, sorry… I can’t wait to be back in Umbria next month despite the thought of no heating for a while!

    I just hate big cities, too many people & HK was my worst nightmare, despite all the wonderful sights……. Each to their own I guess!

    • I love cities, Rome, Paris, New York, Hong Kong…they are so alive. I like the mountains of Bagni di Lucca, but I need my city fix on a regular basis. Fortunately Florence is not far away.

  11. love the pics. Now I have to put Helsinki on my travel bucket list.

    • You should, it is a gorgeous city and it isn’t always this cold.

  12. As cold as it may be, the city looks beautiful. What an amazing sunrise. Sometimes there are advantages to arriving at this ridiculous hour and trying to beat jet lag! Great photos! Have a fun holiday Debra!

    • That sunrise was incredible, I am so glad I was there. I don’t get jet lag, I just take on the time where I land and get on with it.

  13. I love Helsinki. The photos reminded me of our wonderful time there.

    • I love Helsinki too. I come 4 times a year. This is the coldest I have been here, but it has been fun.

  14. Deb, The day you arrive in Finland, my lovely dog with the Finnish name, Musti (short for Musta Koira or Black Dog) dies from snake bite. Musti was son of Curly and grandson of the wonderful Tang. I took Musti for a walk yesterday and he was in fine spirits, glad to be going out with just me and not with the boisterous Bernie hogging my attention. I’ll miss old Must. Nifta

    • Poor Musti! He had a happy life at Curly Flat…I hope the end was quick.

  15. Wow! What a stunning sunrise, I love the mist off the water. Great captures. It’s boiling hot in Cayman today – I’m just in from the pool. sigh. 🙂

    • I was in the right place at the right time…it was very beautiful.

  16. The images of sunrise over the harbour are truly beautiful. I cannot compute minus 25. I am feeling the cold here and the temperature here hasn’t dipped to daytime minuses

    • As long as you have the right clothes it is not that bad. Mind you, I wouldn’t want to be out in it for too long.

  17. Oh wow what a fab sunrise sequence. I have experienced minus 25 in Canada, that little shock as your nostrils snap shut when you breathe, nothing like it. Safe journey on xx

    • It has been wonderful crunching my way through freshly fallen snow on my walks around Helsinki. It is so beautiful, and the cold doesn’t bother me too much.

  18. That sunrise is pretty spectacular. Such a difference going from a Brisbane summer to a Helsinki winter- love it.

    • From plus 35 and more to minus 25 is quite a difference, but I have enjoyed my snowy days in Helsinki.

  19. Those steams really made such dramatic effects. It’s so beeeeautiful! The summer we had was sure erratic. I expected nothing less when it was time for colder season. San Fran’s colder than New York. There was more snows in Texas than in Chicago this winter. Well, actually I didnt expect it to be THAT much weird.

    • Ice frozen over water. I have yet to see it. 🙁

      • It seems incredible that the harbour cn freeze. The icebreakers cruise around keep channels open.

    • The sunrise was wonderful, no doubt the freezing weather had something to do with it. Weather is crazy everywhere. We were having a heatwave in Australia before I left.

  20. Beautiful photos! This looks like my kind of place.

    • I’m not sure I could cope with the freezing weather long term, but it is fun for a few days.

  21. I love Helsinki but minus 25 is way to cold for me!

    • It actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be. There was no wind and the sun was shining, so it wasn’t miserable at all…and the harbour looked gorgeous.

  22. I love those sunrise photos. In the town in which we live since last November, we had -31 Celsius.

    Happy stay in Finland!

    • I had a great time in Heksinki. I went to Suomenlinna on Sunday and walked all over the island. It was a beautiful day.

  23. Those pictures of the sunrise are stunning! Cold makes a change from Australia 🙂

    • It certainly was a big change from summer in Brisbane. Given a choice, I would take cold every time.

  24. Wonderful sunrise photos and great shots of the city too – But -9 ouch!

    • It was actually minus 25 when I first arrived at the harbour, but it was so beautiful I stayed until the sun came up and the colour faded.

  25. Gorgeous! But I am happy to be admiring these winter landscapes from afar 🙂

    • I love winter. Walking through the freshly fallen snow was heavenly.

  26. Gorgeous shots Debra! That sunrise is truly spectacular. I love how everything looks magical under a blanket of snow.

    • Fresh, white snow looks absolutely wonderful.

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