When Trigonometry and Geometry Becomes a Destination

KaunispääMathematics was one of my favorite subjects in school. One of my teachers was in fact frustrated by my 5th grade math skills. She wasn’t able to give me a math problem that I couldn’t solve. But, humbly, that is a long time ago.

In the autumn of 2011, I was driving from Rovaniemi to Kirkenes. Halfway, and for no particular reason, I got an urge to follow the signs to Kaunispää. At the top of this pää, I fancied the look of the lookout tower.

It turns out that the tower had just been rebuilt and inaugurated. For many years this point had been important for the triangulation of Finland: How to use trigonometry and geometry in mapping land areas. No wonder I was drawn to this pää. It was pure math.

Between 1860 and 1986 thousands of triangulation towers were built throughout Finland. Today, satellite positioning (GPS) has made the towers obsolete. In Kaunispää, it has been restored, in order to add measuring and mapping to tourism.

For the Diamonds of the Arctic Tour 2014, Kaunispää was an obvious part of the itinerary. At the local tourist office in Saariselkä we met the directors. We had a tiny disagreement. We were travelling the Santa’s Road between Rovaniemi and North Cape, while they were along the E-75 road to the Norwegian border at Utsjoki.

Nevertheless, Ms.Tarja Manninen stood in front of Angelo’s movie camera like a Hollywoodian. Kaunispää is one of these sites where you can see the Sun not only at midnight, but also in the morning, afternoon and evening. The view is 360 degrees panoramic. From this point Tarja, Angelo and I could see the destination of Saariselkä in all its magnificence.


The tower at Kaunispää


Ms.Tarja Manninen at Kaunispää


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Posted in Enare, LIFE, SANTA'S ROAD

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