Finnish Lapland (Part 1)

Some time ago we were deciding on a holiday destination and came up with the idea of going to Lapland in the dead of winter.

After much research (as usual, thank you Nathan for your hard work) we settled on spending two weeks in northern Finland (in Finnish Lapland) and then some time in the Lofoten Islands.


As a tropical girl experiencing four seasons for the first time when I moved to Australia (even then, a milder version of four seasons), the thought of frolicking in sub-zero temperatures in the snow was unthinkable.

We started our holiday in a stylish Airbnb. I can’t believe how deep the snow is! And yes, you can see how rugged up we are..
The days were short (starting at 10am and sunset at 3pm!) but we were very cosy by the fire.
The calm before…
The snowstorm (it’s not as bad as it looks).
We are always fascinated when grocery shopping in foreign countries. I love seeing what’s on the shelves in different supermarkets!
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After a long year of work (this was the end of Nathan’s year as an intern – goodbye long hours! For then…) we welcomed the opportunity to just sit back, relax and enjoy nature and all it had to offer – solace, peace and beauty.

P1090072The famous town in Finnish Lapland is Rovaniemi, where the famous glass igloos are. (and that’s apparently Santa’s hometown.) They’re not only expensive but quite the tourist attraction in the region, so we opted for somewhere a bit more remote.

Fetching water for our sauna – a typical Finnish pastime. With snowy winters like these I totally understand how they’d stay warm and relax by sitting in a room full of steam.

P1080223We didn’t spend the entire two weeks in Muonio though. We made plans to learn how to ski, so we also decided to go to two skiing towns in the area: Saariselkä and Ylläs. (More about that in Parts 2 and 3!)

Our goal was to catch the Northern Lights, and it was proving to be more elusive than we’d hope. While the nights are much longer, winter meant cloudy weather – which means poor sky and aurora visibility. Nathan became well-acquainted with the Finnish Meteorology site and was (and probably still is) monitoring KP levels every night. Seeing the aurora borealis isn’t as easy as you think it would be – just because it’s dark it doesn’t mean you’ll see it. You need the combination of clear skies and geomagnetic activity – which is incredibly random and variable.