No ordinary land- How I fell in love with Lapland.

About the author of this post: Klaudia Zadębska. Polish. Hometown Krakow, but nowadays living in Rovaniemi. Studying tourism and completing my second Erasmus exchange in LapinAMK. Travel lover. Crazy in love – and not only with Finnish Lapland.

Autumn in Lapland

My acquaintance with Finland started in autumn and all I can say Autumn in Finland is WOW. I think I have never seen such amazing colors around me. Ruska time is beautiful. I was lucky to be living close to Ounasvaara hill from where you can admire the city skyline. I am a Mountain lover. I like hiking and I like it when the landscape has full feminine shapes. Rovaniemi and generally the whole Finnish landscape seems quite flat?! But the views compensate for the lack of mountains. First time I was breathless when I went for a walk and saw this:

Flat but breathtaking Rovaniemi landscape in Ruska from Ounasvaara tower.

Ounasvaara tower. (Picture by: Zadębska. K)

Every time I see this picture it brings a smile on my face. I think it was the first time I started to have some feelings for Rovaniemi.

Northern Lights

Anyone who has had the opportunity to see Northern Lights at least once in their lifetime is a very lucky person ­- not because they are rare but because they are the most beautiful phenomenon in the sky.

Everyone is charmed by them and I wasn’t an exception. The first time I saw them I was so excited and happy. I was with my friends on the bank of the Kemijoki River near Arktikum– arctic museum, I remember how in the beginning we were wondering if the lights in the sky were caused by our imagination, if they were clouds, or if it really was the aurora. And when the show really started we were all speechless for some time until the silence was broken by comments of how beautiful it all was. Northern Lights are really amazing, and I think they are the phenomenon most responsible for my falling in love with Lapland.

 

Amazing aurora above Arktikum

Northern lights above Arktikum in Rovaniemi. (Picture source: Pekka Koski- Visit Rovaniemi)

Winter in Lapland – Ok, but why it has to be so dark all the time?

So far I am just writing about how Lapland is amazing, and it is, but it has also some negative aspects such as the period between Ruska time and winter. You know this wet, ugly, depressing and slippery time? But when it is gone winter is great. Generally I like winter. I like it when it is cold and white outside. Winter is amazing and offers many opportunities. Ohh maybe just without this darkness things would be even better. Why does it have to be so dark all the time?! Ok, I know why, but still I miss the light and the sun. For a week it may be interesting, but four months of darkness is too much. Probably in summer I will be complaining that it is too bright (I am Polish so complaining is in my blood)

If you ever go to Lapland or somewhere else where the temperature drops to -30, try to make a soap bubbles or throw hot water through the window. You’ll have a lot of fun doing it.

The darkness is annoying, but when February is turning to March the light is coming back again, and you can see that even the Finns seem to get happier, and the foreigners doubly so. The landscape is not changing, there is still snow everywhere, but somehow everything just look nicer.

Even snow is freezing different in Lapland.

Arctic Circle Hiking Area (Picture by: Zadębska. K)

Winter activities in Rovaniemi

Finns are crazy about cross country skiing. I was convinced to try it this winter and to my surprise I liked it. Maybe Finland has a good influence on me. Unfortunately it looks easier than it really is, at least for me, so by the time I will learn to ski properly I will probably be very old.

Quite surprising and maybe a bit shocking for me was to see so many people doing different activities in Rovaniemi like walking, skiing, ice fishing, ice swimming or driving snowmobiles on the frozen river.

I also went on the ice, and it was a bit scary at the beginning to walk or ski on it and I was watching every single step to be sure that the ice is not cracking under me, but when I got used to this feeling it was exciting. It is amazing to see so many people on the river and during the weekend it looks like the whole Rovaniemi is there.

Sauna, Sauna, Sauna!!!

I would say that there is just one thing that Finns are crazy about more than cross country skiing. Yes it is SAUNA.

Sauna is for Finns a cure for everything.

But the biggest shock I had on Christmas. Before Christmas Eve dinner we went to sauna! I could not imagine something like that at my home. My mum is always crazy just before dinner and trying to prepare everything for the last moment. However, here I heard “Let’s go to sauna first, and when everyone is back we will eat”. Sounds crazy? It is a bit, but if you are here don’t think much about it, just take is as it is. Oh and rolling in the snow or diving into the lake after sauna is very refreshing.

Winter Sauna in the forest on the lake.

Moilala. (Picture by: Zadębska. K)

All year round

Everyone has their own unique Lapland experience, and I am sure that mine wouldn’t be so amazing if it weren’t for the people that I had the opportunity to share it with. I had a great journey, and the possibility to share it with my friends and the one that I love made it so amazing. Lapland is a beautiful place and you can meet wonderful people there. Travelling there might help you discover yourself and maybe find love. But for sure it will make you leave a piece of your heart there. I would have never thought that I would find home somewhere else than my hometown and my country. But I did. Rovaniemi and Finland are my second home. I am completely crazy in love.

 

Author: Lapland Safaris

This is the blog of Lapland Safaris, which is a company specialized in all sort of activities in Finnish Lapland both in winter and in summertime. In winter we enjoy snowmobiling, husky and reindeer-sledge rides, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing among other things. During the summer we cruise on river boats, visit the reindeer and husky farms, and hike in the forests. Do you have questions? Ask us anything in the comments of this post. We will be happy to help you!

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