After St. Petersburg there was one more big Erasmus trip – Lapland! Visiting this place is must-do when you happen to be in any nordic country. We were there in 3. – 8.12.2015. There was a lot of snow, reindeers, huskies, fun and amazing people!
Thursday – Rovaniemi, Santa, Saariselkä
During waiting before departure at 00:45 we had fun in karaoke bar, which was really nice start of the trip before pretty long bus ride. First important stop was in Rovaniemi, where we visited Arktikum museum and also Santa´s village. In village we went to Santa´s post office and then to meet real Santa. He was really cool! Speaking with us in different languages, knowing interesting information about our countries, etc. 🙂 Then we also went to stand or arctic circle.
After arrival to our destination, holiday area Saariselkä (250 km above the arctic circle), we set up fire in fireplace, had dinner and spent first night relaxing also in private sauna 🙂
Friday – cross-country skiing, reindeers
Second day we went for cross-country skiing. It was pretty cool to do it after at least 8 years. We also saw reindeers just walking in forest. In the evening we visited reindeer farm, where we did ride on sleds and then had barbecue in very nice traditional hut. Local sami guy Max told us something about their way of living, reindeers, etc. For example, in his home village there lived 3000 people, … and 20 000 reindeers. In his current village there are 300 people and 8000 reindeers 🙂 90% conversations in pub are usually about reindeers. Rest 10% about snowmobiles 😀
Density of population is 2 people per square kilometer, so if somebody does something good or bad, everybody knows… it is more reliable than Facebook! He also explained to us traditional costume, which is always unique for every village. Man´s hat has tail, which has quite practical usage – if it is on the right side, it means that he is married. If it is on the left, Americans would say “available”.
Saturday – hiking trip
Another day all my cottage-mates left to swim in Arctic ocean. My plan was to enjoy empty cottage, sleep 2 hours more, have a breakfast and then relax in sauna. But then I saw clear sky and wonderful sunrise outside and plans changed! It motivated me so much, that I immediately (without breakfast) started trip to hill above the city. It was still a little dark, but it was wonderful to just walk in those snow plains, where I also saw couple of reindeers. Views were amazing! After the hill I walked to the city and then with my friend just for short walk to forest. After coming back I got lunch and then… sauna! 😀
Sunday – husky farm, skiing, last night
Quite early in the morning we went to husky farm, where we did amazing ride on sleds, heard something about whole farm, huskies, etc. and also played with husky puppies! 😀 Ride was whole in dark, which was a little pity, but it had also some magic. It was great that we could try both sitting in sleds and also driving the sleds, which I liked more, but you have to be really concentrated!
After the ride we listened to some information from local men taking care of huskies and asked some questions. In total they have 290 dogs there! They work 6 months a year and 2 months is for training. The rest they relax and take up some weight. For sleds there are usually 5 or 6 dogs and the whole team has to work perfectly. Sometimes it might be hard to put correct dogs together. Usually there are mentally strong dogs in the front and physically strong dogs in the back line.
After huskies we had lunch (schnitzels 🙂 ) and then we went to ski in local ski complex. After that somebody went to snowshoe trip and then we had last night´s party in cottage. After midnight it was my birthday and my great friends sang happy birthday to me and then took me out and threw me to snow… Thanks! It was cool refreshment 😀
After everybody left we went to sauna to relax a bit and then to sleep quite late.
Monday – cleaning, spa, bye
Morning was funny 🙂 We managed to clean quite fast and well that even our delegate was surprised and said: “Well done boys, good job!”
Than we went to city and to spa and after dinner we started our long (about 11 hours) journey by bus back to Jyväskylä.
It was amazing experience and I am happy that there were so many great people, so we had sooo much fun! 😀