We have turned our clocks to the winter time and the weather is just right for it. The thermometer was showing -13 degrees Celsius and tiny snowflakes were flying in the air. We don’t have any snow on the ground yet but some parts of Finland, also in the south already had some snow. But unfortunately this type of weather is not long lasting since the weather forecast shows rain and plenty of plus degrees.
Our last story was about our Autumn holiday couple of weeks ago in Lapland and this is the second part of it . The last photo of that post was from lake Inari. From there we drove a little bit south to spend a lovely sunny day at Nattaset in Sompio nature reserve. But on the way we stopped at Saariselkä. There we drove up to fell Kiilopää, just to watch the scenery. The view from up there to every direction is amazing and even thought I have been there probably hundreds of times I can’t get tired of it. I could just sit there and stare at the scenery. On our way to north the view was a lot different, just foggy!
So after our quick visit there (long enough for my father to have a cup of coffee of course, since if there´s a break it is also a coffee break for him) we drove further to the village of Vuotso where Nattaset are located. It’s really popular place to visit so we weren’t surprised to see the little parking lot full of cars. We managed to get ours there too, even thought some people had proven they can’t park a little car without taking the space of tree cars. Our camper van took lot less space. The first part of the route goes in the forest slowly rising to the fell. The duckboards were frozen and really slippery but luckily there was not a lot of them. When we reached the tree line we were able to see to the artificial lake of Lokka, used for creating hydropower. Or actually we couldn’t see it, since it was the first cold day of our trip, so the water was still warmer than air and the lake area was covered in fog.
Since our little groups age difference is big, my son was tired of waiting for the rest of us from time to time, but he knows already how to handle it. He carries snacks in his pockets and so he can have a break where ever. And if we reach him while he is still sitting on some cliff or a rock he tells us to keep on going and in a while he will run past us. When so high on the fell the evergreen trees are not growing anymore, the part with fell birches looks really bare when there´s no leafs anymore. But it is part of the attraction and one of the reasons why we want to come also this time of year to Lapland when it’s not really a tourist season. It is different. You can check our older post from Nattaset to see the difference to summer time.
On the top, there were many people already and the little hut was full, so we ate our snacks outside which wasn’t a bad option. We just had to find a place away from the little but freezing wind which was blowing on the fell. My son decided that we could not go back until we had climbed on top of tree different cliffs of rocks or how to call them. Nattaset is formed of rocks called red granite and the ice age have shaped them on the top in a unique way. We have been there few times before but never climbed to all these rocks, but my son saw this nature programme of people on the top of every one of them so he didn’t leave me alone until we had climed to all of them. Okay, one of them I skipped but that was not for me, I’m not 13 anymore like my son! But I climed to two biggest and well, easiest one..
After our walking trip we had to drive south to Sodankylä where we turned our car back to north but to the west of Lapland, towards the skiing center of Ylläs. We had planned to spent the next few days in a cabin there. And it really felt great to go to sauna after all the climbing. If you ever visit Finland there is one thing you just have to do and that´s going to real Finnish sauna. Spend a day outside, the colder the better and then go to Sauna. Then you understand me! Next morning we decided to stay nearby the cabin and go for easier walk somewhere in the Ylläs area. So we went to the Ylläs nature center where many of the paths starts but it was so crowded we decided to choose some other route. And of course my son wanted to go up again so we ended up driving to the other side of fell Ylläs where there is a few kilometre path straight to the top. Day wasn’t sunny but not very cloudy either so the whole fell was showing.
Break from the climing
View from Ylläs
But when we walked up, clouds started to gather on the top of the fell. The path went on a little road they probably also use for service purposes so it was easy to walk. And by easy I mean the surface not actually walking since the path started to go deep uphill soon and it was really good exercise..if you are in better shape than me, or any of us. For us it was more like one step towards and one back. But after a lot of breaks we made it to the top, although the view disappeared half way up and all we really good see was clouds. On top there is a restaurant (only open in winter season) where is a space where hikers can take a break indoors. Which was a great thing because on the top there was a really strong wind. The wind stopped again on the way down. Ylläs is 718 meters above sea level and lot higher than the fells around it so the wind gets to blow quite free at the top.
Our easy day wasn’t so easy after all… so you can easily guess what we did next?! Sauna of course!
I will write a third part to our Autumn story since there´s still one more great new place we visited on our trip. Now I just got to go out and enjoy this beautiful day.