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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Rovaniemi July 28th 2014

Rovaniemi just south of Arctic Circle in Finland/Lapland 27 July 2014 We arrived in Rovaniemi at 7.30pm after driving almost 700kms which was the biggest drive in one day for us since being in Europe this year. It was actually 8.30pm because Finland is in a different time zone to Sweden. We hadn't had dinner, so after booking into the camp site which was just over the other side of the city, we found a restaurant just up the road, which had some entertainment. We enjoyed our dinner - Tom had salmon and I had sauté reindeer. The reindeer was like a strong flavoured beef. When we were driving towards Rovaniemi, we saw a sizeable electrical storm in the distance. When we got into the city, the ground was wet. We had missed it completely, fortunately, ... read more
Arctic Circle and Santa Clause Village 8 kms nth of Rovaniemi Lapland  (25)
Arctic Circle and Santa Clause Village 8 kms nth of Rovaniemi Lapland  (26)
We chatted to Santa in his grotto on the Arctic Circle and Santa Clause Village 8 kms nth of Rovaniemi Lapland

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Enontekiö July 26th 2014

Last weekend of July I say goodbye to the farm that hosted me for almost a month, for lovely Carles who hosted me and my friends from time to time and start moving from Tromso to Kilpisjarvi and further down to Enontekio (Lapland, Finnland). From here, I hitch-hike and then walk, didn’t know really where, just knew Hetta Husky farm (the one I’m supposed to volunteer at) is somewhere on one of the roads. Mosquitoes and midges were much worse in here than in Norway, so I just kept moving till finally got to the farm. As the previous one, this farm was huge as well the main difference was that it’s based on huskies- 160 of them. Also expected me to be a strong Scottish man, people should definitely read my profile instead of guessing ... read more
P1010871
P1010872

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 16th 2013

Oh dear, another rather gloomy day in Menesjärvi, but at least it's not still twenty degrees below zero; it's positively mild at only minus 3°! After breakfast I wrote up some more of our Lapland adventure and Bernie taught himself how to upload our videos to YouTube and then how to add the links into our travel blog. He has added video footage of us snowmobiling on Lake Menesjärvi at the end of the entry for the 11th of December and footage of our fabulous dogsledding experience at the end of the entry for the 12th of December. About 11.00am we geared up again and went out for a snowshoe shuffle along the track through the forest. I thought that we were going to do the short hike that we did with Toni on Friday night, ... read more
Korpikartano
Forest Walk
Tree in the forest

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 15th 2013

The weather is rather gloomy today with a grey and overcast sky so this morning we were pretty lazy. We decided that we couldn't spend the whole day indoors though so, about 11.00am, we put on our outdoor gear and went down to the ski boot room to pick up some ski boots for another go at cross-country skiing. Our lesson with Lynda yesterday afternoon cost us €30 each, but we can now make as much use of the equipment as we wish for no extra charge. Outside we collected the skis and poles and carried them down to the lake. For our own safety we are not allowed to use the skis on the road or on downhill slopes. That means walking down to the lake and putting the skis on where it is nice ... read more
Bernie (Upright this time)
House near the Hotel
Houses by the Lake

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 14th 2013

Aaahh, the first of our three extra days to do as we wish. This morning we farewelled our English companions who flew up to Ivalo with us on Tuesday. They were dressed again in their civvies - no more onesies for them! - in preparation for their flight to Helsinki and then on to London. Sophia and Matt then have to drive up to Nottingham and won't be home until about 8.00pm so they have a long day of travel ahead of them. We hadn't put all of our gear on to wave goodbye but, even so, we decided to walk quickly down to the lake for a quick look. Bernie had the Sony camera with him so tried out its panorama function again. It really does make it super easy to take awesome panoramic photographs ... read more
Bernie in sunset
Aurora
Aurora and Geminid Meteor Shower

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 13th 2013

This morning I ached allover from yesterday's dogsledding!! My upper body hurt from my driving efforts and what didn't hurt from that was bruised from bouncing around in the sled as a passenger! A reindeer skin may be warm and waterproof, but it doesn't provide very much cushioning between your butt and the sled. Dogsledding is certainly not for anyone who is not prepared to come away from the experience with some aches and pains and a few bruises! Not to worry, there are no broken bones and the rest will fade in a day or two ... and I still think it was one of the most fun things I have ever tried. This morning Toni drove us to the Porotila Reindeer Farm which is only about five minutes along the road from the hotel. ... read more
Huh!!
The herd
Deer Herder picnic

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 12th 2013

After breakfast this morning we piled into the Ford Transit for our visit to the Siberia Husky Farm that is owned by the local dog whisperer, Tinja. We were really, really looking forward to going dog-sledding. We tried to go dog-sledding when we were in Alaska, but bad weather conditions prevented us from being helicoptered up onto the Mendenhall Glacier from Juneau to the dog sledding venue. Today the weather was quite good and the husky farm was much more accessible as it can be reached by road. When we arrived all of the dogs started going crazy with excitement, sort of like - the tourists have arrived and we are going sledding!! Tinja welcomed us to her farm and started introducing us to the dogs. We were told that all of the Siberian Huskies and ... read more
Settling the lead dogs
Hurry Up
Snuggy

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 11th 2013

Breakfast this morning was at a very holiday-friendly 9.00am. It was still dark outside so there's not much point to rising any earlier as it is still night-time! At breakfast I did some carb-loading to make sure that I had energy to burn for this morning's activities - muesli followed by toast and jam! After breakfast we donned all of the gear that we were allocated last night and met Toni out by the snowmobiles. After a very rudimentary lesson on how to turn it on, how to turn and brake and, most importantly, where the kill switch is and we were off onto the lake on our snowmobiles with Bernie in the driver's seat of our vehicle. At the other end of the lake Toni showed us how to drill a hole in the ice ... read more
Ice Fishing
Slight Glimpse
It's starting

Europe » Finland » Lapland December 11th 2013

Day 111 10th December 2013 - Rovaniemi This week has been difficult both emotionally and physically and I have been miserable and a nightmare to be around, poor Steve, I just couldn’t bring myself to do entries each day as I knew they would be negative. So now that I sit in a nice warm cottage in Rovaniemi, our Northern most destination, I feel that I am able to write again. There have been a number of factors that have contributed to the difficult week, this includes; weather, not seeing any sites or anything due to the weather, long driving days and nothing being open because of the time of year. If it has not been raining it has been snowing or very cold. Due to the weather being poor we have not been able to ... read more
Frozen Stan
Poor Stan
Norrfallauiken

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 10th 2013

Brrr, minus eight degrees at Helsinki Airport this morning ... and minus 16 degrees in Ivalo which is where we will be heading later today. Well, actually, Ivalo is just the airport that we fly into. Ultimately we are bound for the Hotel Korpikatano in a remote place called Menesjarvi. There we will spend the next seven nights watching for the Aurora Borealis and our days dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing and going on a reindeer sleigh-ride (when will we sleep?). I use the term 'day' very loosely here because the sun will not show itself above the horizon while we are inside the Arctic Circle!! So it will be either twilight or dark for the next week. A new experience for us; we have been in Alaska in July and seen the midnight sun - ... read more
Ivalo at last
On the runway




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