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.
The 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.
We 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.