A week in Finnish Lapland
Day 1: Magic discovery
We fly from Helsinki to Ivalo in the morning, and arrived around 12 in the magic snowy Lapland.
We first did all the groceries shopping before heading to the deep countryside to finally settle after 10km in the forest in the most lovely chalet. The accommodation was a big chalet completely lost in the forest with the view on an iced lake. It was so amazing, peaceful and unrealistic. I didn’t expect Lapland to be so calm and desert. Because really, there was no one around. Absolutely no one. After settling we went for a long walk on the lake, the sun was going down behind the trees covered with snow, it was absolutely magical. We did some sleigh on a small hill and I had fun playing like a 5 years old!
Day 2: Friday was for ski.
We decided to go skiing in a small resort close from Inari named Inari Saariselkä
We took a three hours pass and ski all afternoon. The snow was good and once again, there was no one. It was much more fun then when you ski in a busy station and spend your time trying to avoid people. The view from the top of the mountain was incredible. The sky was pink, no filter needed, I know now that what I could see on social about Lapland was real! The sun was disappearing between the trees and there were trees everywhere around. No city, houses or any visual pollution. Just forest for kilometres.
Day3: Chilling on the snow
On Saturday we had a chill morning, walked on the lake, and went to Ivalo airport to pick-up the last member of the family joining the trip. We went fishing after that, on the frozen lake! I’m not gonna lie we didn’t catch anything (especially not me with my non-existing patience…)
But it was fun to dig the hole, to realise on which layer of ice we were walking.
Day4: Norway – a swim in the Arctic Ocean
Yes, we did it! To be honest, I was a bit sceptical about the trip to Norway. Why? Because in my mind there was already enough things to see/do in Lapland so I didn’t see the point of travelling 8h just to go in the ocean in Norway. But I was wrong. This was the most incredible experience and I will remember it forever. The trip to Norway was nice, the landscape were surprisingly different from Finland. Instead of forest, it’s rocks and lake that are not frozen. The houses are really lovely. We went to Bugoynes, a tiny village were we could do the swimming experience.
At the Jäämeren Sauna, the owner offers us to go in the sauna for few minutes to then run in the sea in swimwear in the cold! I never thought that I’d be able to do that!
The sensation of cold is not the same at all once you’ve been heating up at 100°. After that we had a warm tea with some waffles and head back to the chalet.
Day5: And ski again
Once again we went skiing. Same place but this time the temperature was warmer, the last time it was -25 ans at the top, sitting in the chair lift was really difficult. So, this Monday the weather was nicer although the view was less incredible as there was a bit of fog. The lists are quite easy, I manage to do a Black one, while in France I suck at skiing haha
(Well, still I manage to fall on my last way down.)
Yes yes yes! The day I was waiting for! I barely slept the night before, I was too excited and kept on waking up thinking that it was time to go. Doing dog sledding was a childhood dream and I haven’t been disappointed. First we met the huskies, they were all really excited and talkative. They also really love human contact and cuddles. We got familiar with them and then went for the ride. We had six dogs per sleigh and in each sleigh two persons. One was behind controlling and the other one was lying in the sleigh. We switch so I manage to do both. I think that being at the back is more intense in term of sensation and relation with the dogs. As for example when it’s hard for them to go up the hill, they will look at you to ask you to push to help them, or if you stop they’ll look at you like “what’s happening dude?!” It’s really fun how they connect with you. When they are ready to go you can feel how powerful they are, you can feel them trying to go, it’s an amazing sensation. I loved doing that so much, I could do it again so many times! And at the end we had lunch in the traditional house that was in use years ago, we had some fish soup with juice and it felt like another time, medieval age, sitting on the deer furs, on wood benches, eating soup that have been heated on the fire in the middle of the “house”. And they finally brings puppies of 5weeks that we cuddled before leaving.
Day7: Last day
For that last day we went to Siida museum which is the museum about Lapland history. With a mix of images and reconstitution we learned more about the Suomi and Sami people, how they were living at the start, how they were surviving in that cold. Informations were about the food, agriculture, their clothes and also about the weather and animals and vegetables survival in those conditions. It was interesting and it’s always good to know more about the place you’ve visited.
After that we stop near a road where we spotted some deers. We just said hello quickly, and left as it was already late, snowing and windy.
We left Ivalo the day after, sadly. I fly back to Helsinki and then to London.