Frisbeegolf anyone? I didn’t get to play this as obviously everywhere was under ten foot of snow, and I never got to ask what it actually is, so I guess I’ll never know, but Golf and Frisbee are not two sports you would naturally put together. A bit like skiing and snorkelling but hey, who am I to comment. I haven’t won too many gold medals in the sports arena although I did come first in the discus many years ago – y’know, when flexibility was still in the mainframe. We were lucky to see the Northern (or Polar) lights two nights running, but not clever enough to have taken a friend’s really posh camera so that I could capture the moment. But trust me, we did see them. Magical. All that stuff in the atmosphere wafting about – so cool.
What I did manage to photograph though, was this- yes yes, I know, it’s a rubbish photo, but trust me – wearing mittens the size of sleeping bags makes it hard to take a good picture. At least you get an idea of how dark it was. But not how cold. On our last night we went on a Reindeer Safari in search of the northern lights. What in essence the evening turned out to be was being towed around in a narrow sledge in an enormous field by a reindeer in the dark in minus 30 degrees. But wow! – the stars! and the lights! I don’t know why, but I was surprised when the tour finished and we clustered around a large bonfire which strangely wasn’t giving out any heat, and found we were covered in ice from top to toe. Balaclava an’ all. That would explain why the fire wasn’t that warm. The reindeer were lovely creatures – placid and calm, so it seemed incongruous to be offered a reindeer sausage to round off the evening.
The adventure was drawing to a close. On the last evening – once thawed from our snow trek, we worked our way through the brightly coloured rainbow of alcoholic beverages in the hotel bar, a sip here, a gag there, settling eventually on the local beer – which, as it turned out, was very drinkable. Who’d have thought.
The following morning we took our Onesies back from whence they came and had a lovely long chat with the lady behind the counter. Much was made of the wonderful weather – ie the constant sunshine and lack of wind (which could have resulted in a bit of snow blindness for the unprepared). “We’ve just come out of the Dark Period,” she said, and I felt a shiver run down my spine.
Although Finland is said to be one of best places in the world to live, I think I might go slightly loopy if I didn’t see daylight for six months. Here is Muonio in summer – looks lush!
So Hyvästi, Finland – until we meet again!