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Lapland in Winter
Finland & Norway


 Lapland in Winter?

[travel logue] [lapland winter-tips

How I had the idea of going to Lapland, the northern most region of Europe in February? This idea was born when sitting together with some fellows of my university, which had enough of the boring winters in Vienna. We wanted to experience a "real" winter, with a lot of snow, cold temperatures and northern lights. It was clear that we wanted to make also a skiing tour in Finland to have enough time to feel and enjoy the landscape.

So one day we began to organize this voyage. Alois - one of the fellows - knew a colleague which already made a skiing tour in Finland. Because of his experience, we decided to make our skiing tour in the Urho-Kekkonen-National Park in northern Finland. In this national park you will find a dense system of huts with distances of about 15 to 25 kilometres between the huts, so that you don't have to sleep in the tent.

We reserved Finish hunting skis by e-mail in the near the national park situated town of Saariselkä. We choose to stay in the youth hostel at one of the entrances of the park, called Kiilopää Fjell-Centre. The maps we got from a good sorted book store in Vienna (Freytag und Berndt, Am Kohlmarkt, A-1010 Vienna, Austria).

We got some cheap flights to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, with Czech Air (CSA) and the Hungarian airline MALEV. First we planned to go by train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi in the North of Finland, but all the night trains were full at this time. So we choose to take the plane to Ivalo, the northern most airport in Finland. We bought stand-by tickets, which are available for persons below 25 years.

The second part of our journey trough Lapland was by car. Even it would had been cheaper to reserve a car from Vienna trough a travel-agency, we decided to do not so, because of a higher flexibility (we didn't know when we would return from our skiing trip). But because of this we had quiet big problems in getting a car at all ... but more about this and our wonderful journey to the north cape in the travel report.

Our journey

With the plane we flew to Ivalo. In the south of Ivalo situated Urho-Kekkonen-NP we made a skiing tour (marked by the red square).

Our car trip led us from Ivalo to Sodankylä (southern most point of the journey) and to Tromsø at the Norwegian coast. From there we followed the coast line to Alta and to the North Cape.

From the north cape we drove to the capital of the Norwegian Sámi, called Karasjok. The last day we drove back to Ivalo.

After some training weekends in cross-country skiing in Austria, we really flew to Lapland - so enjoy with me this beautiful land in the North of Europe [go to the pictures].

 14 Feb 2002    Flight to Ivalo
 15 Feb 2002   
Saariselkä and Kiilopää
 16 Feb
Skiing tour, day 1: Kiilopää - Suomunruoktu
 17 Feb 2002   
Skiing tour, day 2: Suomunruoktu - Tuiskukuru
 18 Feb 2002   
Skiing tour, day 3: Tuiskukuru - Ampupäät - Tuiskukuru
 19 Feb 2002   
Skiing tour, day 4: Tuiskukuru - Suomunruoktu
 20 Feb 2002   
Skiing tour, day 5: Suomunruoktu
 21 Feb 2002   
Inari and lake Inari
 22 Feb 2002   
Car journey, day 1: Kiilopää - Sodankylä - Tromsö
 23 Feb 2002   
Car journey, day 2: Tromsö - Lyngenfjord - Alta
 24 Feb 2002   
Car journey, day 3: Alta - North Cape - Karasjok
 25 Feb 2002   
Car journey, day 4: from Karasjok back to Ivalo - Flight to Helsinki
 26 Feb 2002   
 27 Feb 2002   
Farewell from Finland





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