An early autumn day in Koitelinkoski
This is a throwback reportage on an early autumn day I spent with my family in Koitelinkoski. It was a warm day for Finnish standards and I had just heard I could continue working on my creative projects until the end of the year thanks to Taike, the Finnish Arts Promotion Center.
You might not know this, but Oulu was chosen this summer to become the European Capital of Culture in 2026, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Since I moved to Oulu in 2013 I’ve felt like this town has a lot of potential for tourism and culture that hasn’t been understood and appreciated to the fullest. As a photographer and food content creator I’ve learned over the years how much the nature around Oulu has to offer. Even though Oulu is located so far up north and snow and ice cover the ground for half of the year, when spring comes the flora just burst with all sorts of edibles and this reflects in the food culture of the area.
One of the things I appreciate the most about Oulu is how many equipped outdoor areas there are around town to campfire and enjoy a meal outside, right in the middle of nature. At first I found it odd how Finns would use those campfire places even in the dead of winter, but then I understood 1 how much they love makkara, the traditional sausage you roast over the fire and 2 how much they love to be outdoors, despite weather conditions. Cause you see, at least in Italy we’re taught to go out when it’s nice and sunny, but stay indoors when it’s cold and rainy. Whereas in Finland you just adapt your clothing to match the weather conditions and you’re good to go. I mean Finns rarely ever use umbrellas! They just gear up with water repellant clothes and they’re fine. And of course every good Finn knows that after an outing they’ll be rewarded with a hot and cozy sauna session.
Going back to Koitelinkoski, aka Koiteli rapids, this whole area is easily accessible with boardwalks and bridges, there are several campfire places and even toilets and wood to burn, and all for free! Isn’t it amazing? As mentioned earlier, the to-go food for outdoor campfires is the Finnish makkara, but I love to grill zucchini, corn, halloumi cheese and mushrooms. At the end of the meal, coffee and freshly baked pulla is a must. The variety of sweet buns in Finland is really overwhelming, but luckily my husband is an expert in finding the best pullas in town and he has bought a lingonberry pulla, a butter-vanilla bun and a Danish pastry filled with jam and pastry cream.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour to Koitelinkoski through my photos and words!