My memories of Lapland continue to put a spell on me. Despite being back at my desk for more than a week now, the magic of this immense, white winter wonderland and its absolute silence continues to work on me.
Magnificent. Such is the stage of northern Finland, or Lapland as it is. Along with its sheer endless, snow-covered forests, lakes and hills. For those of you with only the slightest inclination for winter magic, a trip to Lapland should definitely be on your list – bucket or else!
Today, let me take you down memory lane to some of the most bizarre and surreal images in the east of Lapland. We learn that …
1. No one ice is the same.
Ice is very, very relative. Sometimes pastel blue, then urine yellow, turquoise, grey, brownish or even rose-colored: Never before have I seen frozen water in such a spectrum of colours! All white up here in the high North of Europe? Prepare to be surprised.
2. Frozen waterfalls are made for climbing.
As well as to be absolutely blown away by. If you really want to get a hands-on feeling of what Mother Nature is capable of, head to your local “Lapland Safari” agent and ask to be taken to places such as Korouoma National Park in the east of Lapland. Here, we get to watch a group of brave explorers abseil at immense, frozen waterfalls. Check this out.
3. Steam is capable of building entire bridges.
Seen during our easy snowshoeing hike at Oulanka National Park in Lapland: Truly out of this world is the following image. If you look closely, you will realize the formation is entirely due to frozen steam from weeks and weeks of cold rapids passing underneath! Never seen anything quite like this.
4. Huskies love it the snowy way round.
Huskies really are a dog breed of a kind. Even, or especially, at temperatures below -20°C or -30°C, they continue to run around happily. Their truly thick fur protects them from the biting cold even when they sleep! Such is the view of their sleeping quarters during our visit at Erä Susi’s husky farm.
5. People are similar – but rather spend the night inside ..!
Check out this magnificent mountain hut (lodge?), as seen high above the hill at Ruka-Kuusamo.
6. You will always be stopped in your tracks by those magnificent views.
Skiing in Lapland is a true experience of a kind: For me as a life-long snowboarder with more than 20 years of experience, the sport itself is nothing new. However, to rent equipment here and ski downhill at 60°C latitude North, with differences in climate, temperature, snowfall etc. is obviously different. Even, or especially, when “normal” lift facilities appear to be once more, “out of this world”!
7. Sunset is all afternoon here in Lapland.
Just another Polar circle fact! Even though the sun does indeed rise above the horizon, it does so taking hours and hours to rise and go down. Thus, we are treated to golden light and the famous “blue hour” for long, long stretches of time. Another (happy) distraction from skiing in Lapland. Check this out.
8. Evening time is Sauna time.
Each Finnish house I’m told has a sauna. But there is only one spot (in the whole wide world?) that owns a real ice sauna: “Rukan Salonki Chalets” near the adventure hotspot Ruka-Kuusamo have built an ice sauna from the very frozen lake it stands on! More about this spectacular phenomenon and how it works in another article here on the blog.
9. Watching the Northern Lights is among the most beautiful sky phenomena I have ever seen in my whole life. Must-see-do-feel!
After watching seemingly millions of stars in the Atacama desert of Chile, gazing up at the Northern Lights in Lapland is another dream come true. Late winter nights are an especially good time, we are told. And man, have we been lucky to see them right at 7.00 p.m. already! Euphorically, we make our way to dinner in Ruka: Who would have thought that we’d see the famous Aurora Borealis even from the centre of a small town?
10. The “morning after” is always pretty here in Lapland. No matter whether you’ve partied, watched Northern Lights or simply slept through the night.
Up here, you simply have to hold your breath. Feel and enjoy the silence: Nothing, absolutely nothing, penetrates this vast blanket of whiteness in front of the window. If you are looking for a spot, albeit a little cold, for meditation .. Lapland offers you plenty.
Fancy watching even more Lapland photographs? Here they are. See you soon in Finland! 🙂
Disclaimer: We have been invited by VisitFinland on this trip to Lapland. All opinions are my own.