Europe, Finland

My Frozen Adventure in Lapland

Europe Finland

My name is Thommy and I am a French student and travel enthusiast. I would like to share with you my frozen experience of Lapland, Finland. I have always wanted to go there and last year, in March 2016, my dream came true. The journey began by an early flight from Copenhagen to Helsinki. I spent the day in the Finnish capital which I did not really enjoy because of the awful weather. If you want to visit Helsinki, go there in spring or summer, otherwise you will surely be disappointed like I was. Anyway, after a day of wandering around in the fog by freezing temperatures, I took a night bus for a 20 hour drive to my final destination. The Finnish roads look amazing in winter; those long straight paths going through the endless snowy forest are so soothing.

The first stop of the trip was the well known Santa Claus Village. Although it is a very commercial site, it is still beautiful and quiet. I really enjoyed it. I also got to meet the real Santa, who speaks a little bit of every language, and I saw cute little reindeers. After that, the bus headed to Levi, a charming little town / ski resort 170km north of the Arctic Circle. I stayed there for three days in a big wooden cabin with 9 other students with whom I became friends pretty easily, which made the experience even more enjoyable.

Those three days were quite busy. I had the chance to ride, and even drive, a husky sledge which turned out to be a wonderful moment. The dogs were so eager to run that it was hard to control them but the good part is that they know where to go so you just have to brake and worry about nothing but the breathtaking landscapes. The scenery is indeed magnificent in Lapland; tall trees coated with a thick layer of snow and the silence is so peaceful. I also went for a snowshoe hike and tested cross country skiing on a frozen lake. Strangely enough, I loved the hike but my non athletic body did not quite enjoy the latter. I guess the craziest thing I did in Lapland was relax in a sauna, then jump in the snow with just my swimsuit on. I did this several times! I highly recommend it to anyone, it is awesome! Last but not least, on the way back to Helsinki, the bus stopped at the ice hotel, which is -surprise- a hotel made of ice! It is a beautiful place with amazing ice sculptures and light effects.

I loved this trip! My only regret will however be that I did not get to see the majestic Northern Lights because of the permanent cloud cover. Anyway, I will keep many great memories of this trip and I will cherish them for a long long time.