As promised, a post about our extremely short trip to Lapland. We left Jyväskylä on Thursday night and were back on Sunday morning already. Therefore we didn’t do much besides travelling. We took the (insanely comfortable) night train from Tampere to Rovaniemi, where we were supposed to immediately take the bus to Levi. Due to a combination of misunderstandings and our lacking language skills, however, we missed it and had to wait for 4 hours in Rovaniemi. So we went to see if the places we visited last year were still there. And they were! Here’s just one example:
This place is rather special to both of us, because last year I got this there:
But soon we left and caught the bus, as we had booked a night in a glass igloo! We were hoping for nice weather (read, clear skies), as we were hoping to finally see Aurora Borealis. But, the forecast had not been good, and as you can see skies in Rovaniemi didn’t really raise our hopes. But on the way to Levi, the town nearby which the igloos are located, the clouds suddenly vanished and we were driving to a most beautiful and rather long sunset (forgot to take pictures, though -.-).
When we arrived at our accommodation, we were very warmly greeted by the staff (even though we were more than half an hour late and they had to wait for us). The igloo itself was surprisingly spacious, warm and luxurious (it even had a rain shower!).
We booked a “superior igloo” and were a bit disappointed to be in the third row (also because the igloos were rather close together). It wasn’t a problem in the end, though, as we could see almost the whole northern sky. We went to walk around a bit and went close to the first row of igloos:
I guess you would have to buy the even more expensive package to get those, and when we were there it seemed like they were not occupied. After that we went for a nap, and when we woke up at around 9pm we saw Auroras! Very faint and low on the horizon, but nonetheless! The photos didn’t turn out, though, so you will have to take my word… We were watching the lights dance across the horizon sitting in our warm and cozy beds until about midnight, when the sky began to cover up again. Perfect! That way we didn’t have to feel guilty about sleeping and we had a restful night’s sleep. It was the right decision, too, as when we woke up the igloo was covered in snow.
After checking out we went to see what Levi is all about. It turns out not much, thought there are several skiing slopes and lifts.
Having grown up near one of the (in my very biased opinion) most beautiful skiing regions in Switzerland I wasn’t that impressed, but there was definitely more snow than there is currently in Switzerland. The town itself consists of two main streets with the usual touristy shopping and restaurant options. Architecturally it looks just like a village you would find in the Alps:
As there was not much to see and we weren’t interested in either shopping or skiing, we soon left again for Rovaniemi, where we were to take the night train back. While walking town around a bit we came across this:
They had made a big hole in the ice with a 25m competitive swimming area. As we were passing, they were giving the medals and I could hear that some competitions were for 100m! I was shivering despite wearing very warm clothes. After dinner it was already time to leave Lapland and head home.
Even though we didn’t do as much as last time and even though we stayed a lot less, I loved our trip! Of course seeing the Aurora had a lot to do with it, but it was also the reason for the trip:
This was not a wedding as such. We went and had our registration at the maistraatti (register office) with our witnesses (two close Finnish friends) and their kids. After that we all went for dinner and that was it. Our families weren’t there and we didn’t exchange rings. All of that is for the big celebration we are going to have after I finish the thesis and have time enough to organize. This time it was just for the two of us.