Blogs from Luosto, Lapland, Finland, Europe

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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto November 26th 2018

We checked out of our hotel and caught the 11am ski bus back to Rovaniemi Airport, which takes about 1.5 hours. The flight to Helsinki took just over an hour and we viewed gorgeous crimson sunsets through our plane window. There was just enough time to have a quick snack in the lounge before our next flight. Before take-off, our plane had to taxi to a section of the tarmac for de-icing. This was interesting to watch as you pull into an area, with 2 trucks on either side. The trucks have a crane on the back with a box at the top where someone sits with a big hose. They spray some sort of foam mixture on the main wings and on the tail. It only takes a few minutes to do once you are ... read more
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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto November 24th 2018

During the night, we finally had snow so we woke up to about an inch of fresh snow on the ground outside. The trees were also coated in a dusting. The morning was about minus 3 and we had no activities booked so we decided to have an easy morning lazing in our room, repacking our bags and enjoying the views through the ceiling. Around midday, we walked into the village and went for a walk around the lake – about 2kms in length. The scenery was really pretty with the snow on the fir trees just like on Christmas cards. Shelley even lay down and made a snow angel. After our walk, we went to the Bistro at the Luostotunturi Hotel for lunch. The afternoon was spent relaxing in our igloo, watching the sun go ... read more
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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto November 23rd 2018

After breakfast, we were picked up at 10am for a visit to the Kopara Reindeer farm. It was minus 6 degrees, with a windchill of minus 9, so we wore our hired ski jumpsuits and boots. Our guide gave us a lot of information about the area and reindeer. He collected some lichen for us to feed the reindeer with. In Lapland, there are more reindeer than people (200,000 reindeer and only 180,000 people). He was of Lapis origin, rather than Finnish or a Sami (native). At the end of the tour, we were taken up to see all the huskies (both Siberian and Alaskan) in their pens. There is no snow at the moment so they are allowed out of their cages to run around for exercise. When there is snow, they get enough exercise ... read more
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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto November 22nd 2018

It gets light very late in the arctic so we had a lazy morning in bed and went down to breakfast about 9:30am. Breakfast is buffet style and there is a section of cereals, breads and toasts with jam, some sort of unidentifiably porridge type mush, baby sausages and what looked like scrambled egg but tasted like baked custard… There were also croissants and several cheeses, cured meats, tomato, smoked salmon and cucumber to choose from. Following breakfast, we collected our clothes (ski jumpsuits and boots) and went back to the igloo to try them on for size. We didn’t think we needed them today so we put our own thermals and clothes on and went for a walk into the village. It is only a few hundred metres down the road and there is another ... read more
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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto November 21st 2018

On Tuesday night, we stayed overnight at the Novotel at Heathrow airport so that we would be close to the terminal for our early morning flight. We were up just after 4am and the hotel taxi took us to terminal 3 at 5am for our first flight to Helsinki. We went into the Cathay Pacific lounge for some breakfast prior to our 7:30 flight. This first took almost 3 hours and we had some lovely views of southern Finland towards the end of the flight. There are a surprisingly large number of lakes and waterways in Finland. We had a transit of around 4 hours so we holed up in the Finnair lounge prior to our flight to Rovaniemi, which took 1 hr 20 mins. It gets dark in Finland around 3:30pm so we had a ... read more
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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto February 25th 2016

Today was all about sledding; getting dragged around by dogs and deers. What a day! We started out at the husky kennels, where the local guide Saara gave us driving instructions for the husky sleighs before we went to meet the dogs. All the dogs were harnessed to the sleighs, excited and ready to go. With about twenty sleighs, and six dogs each, that's a lot of canines, all howling and barking and raring to go! We were assigned our sleighs, two to a sleigh, and met our dog teams. One of us was the designated driver, the other along for the ride and we switched in the middle. Pretty soon we were off! The dogs took off like rockets, racing after the guides on their snowmobiles or the sleigh ahead. We really picked up some ... read more
The Dogs
Cheese!
Reindeer

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto February 24th 2016

We had quite a day today! After breakfast we got dressed in full winter gear and headed out in the falling snow to the snomobile center, just a short walk from the hotel. There, after standing in line in a small, crowded shack we got helmets and face masks. After trying them on, and a final pee break, our large group was divided into three smaller ones. Each group got a local guide and instructions on driving a snomobile from said guide (nothing too complicated), and we saddled up. Soon we were off, driving through the snow. I was very happy to learn that the snowmobiles have electrically warmed handlebars! Ethan, sitting behind me on the machine wasn't so lucky, so every time we stopped on the way I had him remove his gloves and defrost ... read more
Ice Fishing
Deer dogs
Snowflakes

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto February 23rd 2016

We got up very early this morning and got on Bus #2. The driver told me 'Kaakse' and raised two fingers. So obviously I said we can't start at two, what is 'One' in Finnish? It's 'Uukse', by the way. By the end of the day I got to three. So, one two three, uukse kaakse kolme! Between my Finnish lessons the driver took us to Kemi, on the Gulf of Bothnia. There we boarded the Good Ship Sampo, a Finnish icebreaker. Sampo was built in 1960 and kept the Finnish shipping lanes opened for many years, until the cargo ships got too big for her. But instead of retiring her they turned her into a cruise ship. She is the only ice breaker in the world used for tourism! We boarded the Sampo and wandered ... read more
In the sea!
The Sampo
Entering the Castle

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto March 16th 2013

Geo: 67.1571, 26.9157The night before we had been taken by snowmobile pulled sleigh at minus 24 degrees to a snow restaurant. This was a huge igloo with tables and chairs made of ice- don't ask if it was cold! There was a fire in the middle but you couldnt feel the heat especially if you were sat by the wall of the igloo. The meal consisted of mushroom soup, salmon, veg and potatoes and a blueberry cake and coffee. The drink on the table was berry juice which got colder and colder. Fortunately I had taken our flask with cherry brandy in it which made the berry juice palatable. We all ate the food rapidly before it too became cold and then as one we all stood up ready to be taken back to a warm ... read more
Going up the chairlift
At the top of the red run
great snow on the slopes

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto March 15th 2013

Geo: 67.1571, 26.9157It was probably the most uncomfortable ride so far as we were sat at the back of the sleigh which got more of the bumps. We had expected it to be pulled by a reindeer, but as I have eaten most of them we had to make do with a snowmobile. This took 6 of us up to the top of the highest hill where we went into yet another log cabin for coffee and had a talk about Amethysts and how they are mined locally. So lots of lovely rocks to look at. Then it was down the mine we went and armed with a small hammer we searched for amethysts. Everytime I found an interesting looking rock our guide looked at it with his torch and told me it was worthless quartz. ... read more
The opening to the mine
On top of the Finnish world
The Amethyst shop




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