Grocery shopping at 17F

I started work at UEF this week and we are slowly adapting to life here in Kuopio. The School of Pharmacy is about 2 km away depending upon the route we take.  The faculty have been very welcoming and have mentioned repeatedly that recent retirements (mandatory at 65) have left them short handed for toxicology courses so I will be busy.  Classes at UEF start on the 7th.  Tomorrow, 6 JAN is a national holiday (Epiphany).

The local grocery store is 1 km away and we head there often.  Today’s walk to the store was brisk (daytime high of 17F) but it was also our first sunny day – albeit the sun sits very low on the horizon this time of year.  The locals are complaining about the abnormally mild winter.

Sun at 1 pm local time

We are in the Lakeland region of Finland and there are numerous ponds and lakes in this region – indeed Kuopio is composed of multiple neighborhoods that are spread out across numerous small islands and lakes. We are living on a small hill in the Puijonlaakso district  We see very few individual homes – most everyone is living in apartments.

The lakes are frozen over and people use them for skating and cross country skiing.

Mom teaching children how to skate
Cross country skiing

Today was our first clear and sunny day.  The clear weather allowed us to easily see the local landmark – the Kuopio tower.  There are several ski jumps that can be seen to the left of the tower.  We have not made it to the tower yet but that is on our short list of things to do.  Later in the Spring we will likely try out the revolving restaurant at the top of the tower (it was the first revolving restaurant in Finland).

Kuopio tower and ski jumps

I hope everyone’s winter break was safe, restful, and enjoyable.