Thursday, 28 April 2011

Finland- Arrival Day

As mentioned in the previous post, the next few posts are going to be a look back at our recent trip to Finland. My plan was to just summarise our trip… however once I got writing I found breaking down the fabulous things we did into a summary just didn’t do it justice! So the next week is going to be a day by day report on the amazing activities we got to do in the snowy wonderland…

Arrival Day

The first thing I will always remember about Lapland is stepping off the plane and taking that first breath of cold, dry air as I looked at the sign that read ‘Welcome to Lapland’. I turned to face Ben with a huge grin and a hundred emotions ran through me from disbelief that we were actually here, to slight nerves of the week ahead to pure excitement! The sun was getting low in the sky and it sent long shadows across the ice covered runway. At that moment I think I knew that this was going to be a special trip.

Kuusamo Airport

After meeting our group and leader for the week Eki, we hopped on a mini bus and flew along roads of packed ice- thank god for studded tyres! The scenery was like a fairytale book, thick snow every where, glistening and sparkling in the early evening light. We saw Ruka ski slopes from the mini bus- strange to be looking up at the tall red and white tower that I had been watching on the webcams for months.

Pulling up at Basecamp, seemingly in the middle of no-where, the main lodge looked cosy and inviting built out of locally grown logs and smoke coming out of the chimney from the huge open fire inside. Our room was lovely, on the ground floor so shame we missed out on the balcony, but the front was huge windows and a glass door, looking out through the woods and over the frozen lake. It was also fantastically warm- a little bit too warn as we found out later and I was surprised we slept with the temperature down at about 15ÂșC most of the week!

View from the Dining Room

Basecamp Oulanka loans out all the gear you need for the week, so we really didn’t need the 15kg bags we had taken with us, but had decided to supplement some of their stuff with our own. Getting the Salomon gear was really exciting, but I’m glad we took our own thermals- not for the cold but because it was too warm in their fleece thermals!

Dinner that evening was our first taste of Elk, a meat we became accustomed but not bored to during the week. Basecamp is as Ecological sustainable as possible, sourcing locally wherever is feasibly possible. Beef and Lamb, our staples in the UK are not farmed so far north, where snow covers the ground for about 6 months of the year, so Elk and Reindeer, whilst exotic to us, are quite the norm!

We also tasted some fab Finnish lager “Karhu Olut” or Bear Beer when translated.

As night fell, our nightly vigil of Northern Lights gazing began, hoping for even just a quick flash of green- but alas nothing, so it was off to bed filled with anticipation of what lay ahead tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment