“I´m a wanderer”

I´ve been watching few clips of the new Moomin series which was just released. When my son was small we used to watch the older version, made in the 1990´s all the time.  One day in June 2010 while traveling in Lapland with my parents, we had already had a fun day hiking on Pallas fells. My son was nearly five years old. We started driving the road circling the other side of the Pallas fells. At that time, if my son saw a sign of a walking path or a national park or anything similar, an immediate scream came from his car seat. Stop, I want to go walking! We had already walked many kilometres that day so all the adults were a little sceptic when the scream came. But my son was still looking really energetic so we stopped. We were changing our shoes before starting and my mom asked for the last time from my son. -Are you sure you are not too tired to walk? We have all ready walked so much today? He gave my mom this look like she just doesn’t get it, turned on his heels, started walking the path and yell in a very calm voice to us: “I’m a wanderer”. It´s a line that Snufkin says in one of the episode when Moomin mamma asked him is he all right hiking that long.

The path was a short, 3,5 kilometres long, circle road called Pyhäjoen luontopolku. Little river flows next to the path. We soon came to this really beautiful place filled with ferns just about to open for the summer. The pale green colour surrounded the forest was really beautiful and I still remember very well my little fellow walking in the middle of it way a head of us. Bird cherries were blossoming and some of them bent over the path.

Tha path also run by a little lake. We had some rain drops on our jackets on the shore but it didn´t start to rain. All the spring flowers which had all ready blossomed at home were now blooming in Lapland like kingcups and cloudberry. A little swamp we walked by was full of the delicate white cloudberry flowers.  When we got closer to road again the path walked through this little meadow area where junipers grew together with meadow flowers. The area is taken care by the Metsähallitus, otherwise it would be growing bushes and trees after some years. The field was used by the Pallasjärvi forest keeper long time ago.

Afterwards we have driven past this place so many times and never stopped but next time we will! It´s such a pretty place. Spring is not so popular time to visiti Lapland because the weather can be unpredictable but I love the season when nature starts to wake up after the long winter.  Soon that time will be here again…

 

Holiday time at last!

Last week of February was finally our winter holiday. We spent it again in Enontekiö in northern Lapland, near the Swedish border in village of Kuttanen. This time the weather was really different from last year and there was half of the amount of snow also, about 50 centimeters. Most days were really warm, between +3 and -7 degrees Celsius, so it was perfect weather for spending lot of time outside.

My family was there together with my parents. The village maintains it´s own skiing tracks for cross-country so we skied everyday. The circle track was 5 kilometers long, just enough ups and downs, by which I mean no too deep hills for a not so good skier like me..

My son spent most of his days outside with his snowboard, since the cottage was up on a hill-top and he could make his own slopes in the sparse forest. Our dog would have been outside all the time too, especially at this little hut where we made fire in some evenings and had some sausage to eat..

We also visited swedish side at Karesuando,since there was the nearest shop and at Hetta few times which is the “city-center” of Enontekiö. We also went skiing there. The road we used every time we left the cottage, finally leading to Kilpisjärvi and all the way to Oulu, has a lot of truck traffic, especially foreign trucks which get stuff from Norway. The road is very narrow. We could see many places where had been trucks on the ditch and had to be pulled up. There is even a website where the fallen trucks are posted since it happens so often.

During the last two nights we also got to enjoy some amazing northern lights, I haven´t seen so beautiful ones for years. Here are some pictures but I still don´t have a stand for my camera so they are really bad.. But I hope you get some idea. They are so beautiful when they spread like a flame through the sky. And there are no lights there to bother the colours. In the last morning the temperature also got back to normal and we said goodbye to Enontekiö in -20 degrees Celsius and sun. When we had driven about three hundred kilometers it started to snow and rest of the drive went quite slowly. There were also few accidents, nothing serious but it slowed down the traffic. The skiing holidays are divided to three weeks in Finland depending where you live and those weekends the traffic on the roads to north is the busiest. And not everyone remembers to drive safely!

Now it´s time to wait for the spring and enjoy the last winter days at home and hopefully make little trips closer to home. Atleast until the summer comes…

Winter holiday 2018

It´s again time for our winter holiday in Lapland. We are going to the same destination like last year, again to Enontekiö. Winter this year has been really different from last year. Snow came late here and also to Lapland and for a long time southern Finland had more snow than Lapland. Then the snowy weather moved to Lapland and we got the rain and plus degrees. Now it´s been changing every five minutes. Couple of days ago we had plus degrees and rain, then a snow storm and yesterday -25 degrees Celsius cold and sunny. Today it is warm again, plus 7 degrees and the plus degrees should reach all the way to Lapland. So it seems we are taking the warm weather with us to north.  I just really hope it won´t last there very long. Keeping my fingers crossed for a cold winter holiday! I will add few pictures from this week here and then repost last years story. Enjoy the snowy pics from last February!


Happy Spring days! The sun is shining and life starts to feel great again! And by again I mean that both our blog and life have been on a hold for a week since I, my son and mother got influenza as souvenir from our Lapland holiday. We had to cut down our holiday few days as well as cancel our trip to Lahti to see the World cup competitions at Nordic skiing. So not the best start for March but after some really dark days everything starts to feel ok again. I promised some more pictures from our trip to Lapland so here they are.

First photos are taken from car window on the way to north. So don’t mind if there are some flaws there. I started taking pictures from the car on our last holiday to Lapland and even thought most of them are not any good I got some really nice and funny shoots so I decided to do that again and also the journey goes faster that way. Our route went on the western side of Finland to Oulu, Tornio, Kolari and finally to Enontekiö.On the way we spent one night near Oulu in our camper van and watched northern lights over the sea. During the night the temperature went down to -28 degrees Celsius but fortunately our car heating system worked nicely and it started well in the morning. Well, we didn’t leave right away in the morning since we HAD to watch the Olympic games 50 km skiing, glad we did since Finland got the only gold medal by Iivo Niskanen who won the race.

We had rented the same cottage where we stayed last easter, the location was just so great. The amount of snow was as great as  last year and the trees had beautiful snow cover. We used most days just around the cabin spending time outside cross-country skiing, walking with snow shoes and just enjoying the view.

The morning temperatures were around -20 degrees and the dawns and sunsets were beautiful from the hill-top where the cottage stands. I really like Enontekiö area and skiing holiday time is just so much more peaceful there than in the southern Lapland.

Our dog was with us and she enjoyed a lot again, climbing to the snow piles and guarding the scenery. It was almost full moon so the evening walks with the dog were beautiful in the snowy silent forest without the need for flashlight!

 

Hepoköngäs water fall

The weather here has made quite dramatic change. The snowy January is gone and currently the days are on plus degrees. Not a typical February! Last night was warmest for 60 years (for the time of year) in some parts of Finland. The snow has melted a lot, we still have a lot but I think the amount has decreased to half.  I really hope this ain´t the end of the winter but it looks bad since warm weather is promised to last until the beginning of March.  And the southern part of Finland is now full of melting snow and water, Helsinki has had a lot of problems with that since they had even more snow than we had here in the middle Finland.

One week to school´s winter holiday left when we get to go north, hopefully there will be colder, keeping my fingers crossed!

But let´s write about something less depressive than melting snow. I chose few pictures here from a waterfall which we have visited many times. It´s called Hepoköngäs and it is one of the biggest waterfalls in natural state in Finland when measured in fall hight. Even thought it doesn’t really look big in my pictures.. Photos are taken in summer time and the water level was quite low. The dropping high is about 24 meter´s straight down.We have visited it in autumn also when more water was running but I couldn´t find those pics anywhere. Hepoköngäs is located in Puolanka municipality in Kainuu region.

A nature path (very well taken care of) goes to the area and I think the path up to the waterfall can also be reached by a wheelchair.  The path is 1,4 km in total. At the top there´s a lean-to where you can make a fire and there are also toilets. The forest around the river is mostly in natural kind of bruce forest, it´s  nature conservation area. You can walk down the hill to down side of the waterfall and when the water is running more than in this picture´s you’ll get nice mist to you face from the dropping water.

 

Last time we were in the area we also visited this nice sightseeing tower on the top of a hill between the area of Ukko-Halla skiing resort and Paljakka nature reserve. I just can´t remember the name of the hill, we just saw a sign when driving the road from Ukko-Halla towards Paljakka last summer and stopped by.  I´m not too keen on high places and this tower was pretty big for a wooden one.. But it was worth the climb, the view was beautiful to surrounding forested hills, typical for Kainuu region. And the short path to the tower went through a really pretty forest.  Another example that you can find beautiful places that you had no idea about but when you just travel with time and patience and depart from your original route.

Lake Inari

Couple of days ago I was helping my son with his geography homework because he didn’t find something from a map. When he got on with his school work I was still examining the maps. I started looking at the amount of lakes in our country. Of course it is obvious that we have lots of lakes but when you really look into it and compare to other places the amount looks even bigger.  The area from southwest Finland all the way to eastern border and from there to Lapland seems to be covered with blue colour. And that´s just the bigger lakes, the hundreds of tiny ones were not even showing in that scale of map. It´s no wonder why Finland calls itself the land of the thousand lakes. Counting all the lakes bigger than 500 m², we have 187 888 lakes. More than 10 prosent of our country is covered with lakes and rivers.

I will tell you now about one of my absolute favorite lakes. Lake Inari, our third biggest lake, covers an area of 1084 square kilometers. It´s located in northeast Lapland. There´s lots of holiday cabins on the shores but the eastern part of it is still remote and wilderness like. In the summer time you can take a little cruise from the Inari village to the island of Ukonsaari which is the most well know island in Inari. It used to be a sacred place for the Sámi people.  It has a really unique shape and you can see it from really far. We have also visited this cruise on our honeymoon twelve years ago and my son went there again with my parents a year ago. So here are some pictures from both trips.

The shores of lake Inari are mostly rocky and the water is really clear. And cold, last summer was the only one I could imagine myself swimming there.

I will also add here some pictures of the little church of Inari. Me and my husband visited there while my son was on the cruise.  It´s located by the lake in Inari village and looks like a typical Lapland church. Many of the churches in Lapland, burned during the World War II, were build again at the same time so they are quite similar with each other.

There are many kinds of lakes in Finland from rocky to sandy beaches and wetland lakes. I love them all but there is something so beautiful in the roughness of lake Inari. I am sorry I don´t have any winter pictures from there to show you, but I haven´t yet  visited there during winter. Hopefully someday I will get the chance. I have seen it frozen thought but it was in June..

It´s Runeberg´s day again

Today is Runebergs, our national poets, day.  It´s snowing again as it has done for several days. Every day a little bit more snow, we have more than half meter now. It´s a good amount but more is also welcome. Last year we made a blog text about the Runebergin torttu, the pastry that´s named after our national poet so you can find it here or from the archives. Instead of posting it again I copy here my favorite poem from Runeberg and few pictures from last couple of days.  The poem is called the Swan. I have to confess I don´t know anything about poetry but I think this one sounds beautiful at least in finnish langue. So I hope you like it in english! Happy Runeberg´s day!

 

 

 

The Swan

By Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877)

 

(Translation of Eirikr Magnusson and Edward Henry Palmer)

 

From cloud with purple-sprinkled rim, A swan, in calm delights,

Sank down upon the river´s brim, and sang in June one night.

Of Northland´s beauty was his song, how glad their skies,their air;

How day forgets, the whole night long, to go to rest out there,

How shadows there,both rich and deep, ´Neath birch and alder fall;

How gold-beams oér each inlet sweep,

How cool the billows all;

How fair it is, how passing fair, to own there one true friend!

How faithfulness in home-bred there, and thtlher longs to wend!

When thus from wave to wave his note, His simple praise-song rang,

swift fawned he on his fond mate´s throat, and thus methought,he sang;

What more? thought of thy life´s short dream

No tales the ages bring,

Yet has thou loved on Northland´s stream,

And sung songs there in spring!

 

 

As a big fan of ski jumping I have to write here at the end, that yesterday the greatest ski jumper of the world, Matti Nykänen passed away at the age of 55. I think everybody in this country knew who he was, from his impressive career or from his colourful personal life. It´s been only few month´s since me and my sister were watching him singing at Ruka. Legends  are never forgotten! Fly free Matti!

 

Siikavaara

Last days has been mostly ploughing snow. It has snowed now everyday. But I don´t mind. It´s a good excersise piling the snow and the trees look so pretty with the heavy snow cover. 51216147_2437333936504198_6078305861250318336_o

The last photo from the blog post of my favorite travel photos I haven´t written about yet is this picture. Is taken at Siikavaara nature reserve area where we visited last July.IMG_1399

We had no idea where we were going, we just saw the area in a map and searched it from the internet. It was hot day again and we wanted just a little walk so we chose a path that we had to come back the same way if we wanted just a short trip. It was called sienipolku, a mushroom path. The site said the path has lots of ups and downs but it´s easy to walk. Well, it really wasn´t, not in that starting point anyway. Or then they hadn’t updated the site for a while.

The beginning was ok. The path started right away to rise up in a spruce forest. The trees gave a nice shadow from the burning sun. For a spruce forest located in Kainuu it was really lush.  From the trees you could see easily that they carry a massive amount of snow in the winter. We didn´t walk long until the first fallen trees came unto our way. First it was fun to jump and climb over them. Our dog was really enthusiastic. The forest looked so beautiful when the sun light came down between the trees and the forest was so natural like. And with all the different shades of green it was like another world.

But with the temperature showing something around +30 degrees Celsius the jumping and climbing over the trees on a path going mostly uphill, it was kind of exhausting.  I know that´s not a big number plus degrees for many but for someone living in Finland and used to our normal summers, it really is a lot. And when the trees started to be so mixed up together so that we had to walk side from the actual path to even go further we decided to go back. I was constantly behind my family because I wanted to take so many photos. But since I had the car keys they just had to wait for me…

My husband got a power boost from our dog at the end of the path since she got bored of the mosquitos and horseflies that had found us, so she wanted to hurry back down the hill.. Then I had to stop taking photos so I could keep up with them.

Viiankiaapa

Last night was the coldest one so far this winter, the thermometer went down to -29,7 degrees celsius. Lapland also had the record of this year at Sodankylä with -38,7 degrees! The place I´m going to write about this time is also in Sodankylä but my photos are from summertime. However here are few photos from the last few cold days.

I´ve been writing about the places I posted about in the best travelling picks last year and the one with the dragonfly is from a place called Viiankiaapa. It is one of the biggest wetland areas I have ever visited and it is part of the mire conservation programme as well as Natura 2000 network. Nevertheless a mining company is trying to dig minerals underneath it. It´s really sad how our mining laws are so weak that something like this can still happen even thought the area is protected. But many people are trying to fight against the mining and I hope they manage to save the wetland.

We have visited the mire many times but last year I made a walk there on my own since my boy was sick so he and he´s father stayed in our caravan car watching tv while I went for a walk. Viiankiaapa is a large aapa mire with raised bogs and bog woodland. 90 different bird species have been seen there 21 of which are listed threatened or near-threatened.

There was only one circle path from that parking place, you can go around but I didn´t walk all the way this time since my boys were waiting in the car. It had been a hot day and the evening was still very warm. The dragon flyes flew around me, they stopped every once in a while to sit on the duck boards in front of me. Most of them were these really beautiful blue coloured species that let me come really close to take a shot. Gorgeous injects!

Also in few places, the wetland birds, mostly with long legs and long beak, flew around me making warning sounds. That´s why I returned back earlier than I was planning to, I wanted to give them peace since some of them had little ones just by the duckboards.  I returned the same way and stopped to sit on a bench by little like for a while just to enjoy the summer and the nature around me. Even half on hour in that  atmosphere makes a big difference making you relaxed. It was quiet, I was the only human there.

I really hope this area stays untouched and the many species that use it as a home can return there every summer to raise their families.

Winter days

 

Last few days we have been enjoying a real winter weather! We got 15 cm more snow and the temperature went down to -28.6 at its’ lowest. Trees are heavily covered with snow. And the weather forecast promises more cold weather and snow, so there is hope for this beautiful winter weather to continue!

 

The nights have been really bright with the full moon and it´s been nice to walk outside in the evenings. Few nights ago  my son wanted to make a fire in our forest and we just spent time outdoors in the moonlight.  Twenty degrees minus didn´t bother at all. We watched the blood moon from the window though, since we had just woken up and it would have been too fast wakening to go outside to nearly -30 degrees weather… (Editors note: some of us had to go to work and could enjoy the blood moon while walking there…)

Days are getting longer really fast now and the cold days brought also the sun back. Now it´s much easier to stay at home since outside view is like a winter wonderland. But still a little part of me can´t wait to get on the road again..

 

 

From cold to hot

 

January can sometimes be a bit boring… I mean that the holiday season is over and there is still a lot of time before the winter holidays when you are able to travel again. The snow that finally came of course makes it more fun, we try to go cross-country skiing at least twice a week now that the tracks are finally ready.

The temperature can still vary from -20 to zero and this winter we haven’t had a longer really cold period. Only few cold days here and there. Instead of freezing winter pictures I will post about one of the hottest days of the summer. One of those photos was at my favorite picks of last year post. They are taken in Sevettijärvi and Näätämö area in northeast Lapland near the Norwegian border.

We spent couple of really fun and hot days there last summer swimming in these tiny lakes that are typical for Sevettijärvi area. They are small but mostly have sandy shore lines and after the next hill there´s more and more lakes. So it is nice to swim there, when the summer has been hot enough for the water to warm up and last year it really was. It is just a big shame that in places like that, you can also find glass on the beach. We tried to collect away everything we found. Piece of glass is not a nice surprise in your or your dogs foot.

We also made a little and really fast hiking trip in Näätämö one day. We felt like walking at least a little even though it was hot. There are several paths that lead to the Näätämö river area and finally to the longer paths to Kaldoaivi wilderness area  all the way from Näätämö to Nuorgam. We chose one of them that lead up to a little hill-top. We were hoping there would be a nice breeze of wind there.

At the start of the path there was a bigger lake and we wetted our dog there so it wouldn’t be too hot for her. We had to repeat that few times during the trip! First she was just eager to go walking  but during our walk more and more horseflies and mosquitos started gathering around us. And if you have read our older post you know horseflies are the thing our dog dislikes the most.

But we reached the hill-top and the bugs left us alone for a moment. So we to stopped and enjoyed the beautiful view to both lake Sevetti and towards Näätämö river. At first there was the little breeze we were hoping for but it paused nearly right away and the bugs came back. And on that moment our break was over.. Our dog just wanted to run to the car. So we were quite fast on the way back, she calmed down a little bit when we got to the forest and the horseflies left her alone for a while. Then she could sniff and enjoy her walk again.

Comparing now these hot days to the cold days we have now it makes me appreciate our four completely different four seasons even more. I just hope all of us can take good enough care of this planet so it will not change even more in the future.

Sunny winter day in Finland