In December 2012, Gareth and I visited the Finnish arctic circle in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis, or northern lights as they are more commonly known. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the lights, with the possible exception of a greenish glow in the distance glimpsed only by myself while out walking in the wilderness. Although the whole purpose of our trip to Finland was to see the aurora, we nevertheless had a fantastic time with all the activities hosted by Ylläs Adventures. We went snowmobiling, husky-sledding, reindeer riding and snowshoe walking.
We had booked another snowmobiling trip for our final night in Äkäslompolo. In retrospect, I would have had us rather do another activity. After a week, Gareth and I felt like old pros on the snowmobiles and apart from the fact that this last outing didn’t end as spectacularly as the first, the night was pretty much an exact duplicate of our maiden snowmobiling experience. Our guide was also not a native Scandinavian, and for some reason that was disappointing, although he did mention that the aurora had been visible the night before, which lends some credence to my belief that I had seen it.
It was with heavy hearts that we packed up the next morning and said goodbye to the lovely little wooden cottage we had stayed in. Although we were both secretly relieved to get out of the extreme cold, Finland had found a special place in our hearts. I would love to come back and explore the country further, perhaps in the summer this time. While flying back to Helsinki from Kittilä, we saw an amazing expanse of lakes that must be absolutely beautiful from ground-level, and of course Helsinki itself, of which we have just seen the in-transit lounge at the airport, is a must-visit. And as said, we still haven’t seen the northern lights, so there is always another reason to go back one day...
|Waiting for our flight out from Kittila airport.|
For more posts in the Winter Escape 2012 series, click here.
Labels: Arctic Circle, Finland, Winter Escape 2012