Week 9 Incredible Lapland Experience

The beginning…

Saturday the time was there, the beginning of our week to Lapland! After packing everything, and of course missing space J at 20:00 o’clock we gathered the Turku Cathedral where the bus picked us up. After putting all the stuff in the lower part of the bus, and found my place in the bus, the adventure started, but first … a 14 hour bus trip…

The bus trip went over quickly, because I slept a lot. During the trip we had a couple of stops and went further to Lapland.

Sunday around 10:00 o’clock we were in Rovaniemi. In Rovaniemi we visited Santa’s Village and had a picture with Santa. This Santa knew something to say in almost every language. After the visit to Santa, we drove by bus to restaurant RAX to have lunch. Near the restaurant was a dog show, and I went for a quick look. It was a dog show of “Swedish Elkhounds”.

After lunch we drove to Levi. In the bus they announced the cottage division. I was in cottage number three together with Lynn, Sigrid, Fabian, Sophie and Bjarne. To be honest I thought it was a bit disappointing, because I hoped to meet new people and now I was with all familiar (and Dutch speaking) people in the same cottage.

The cottage itself was clean, with sauna, laundry machine, dishwasher and two three-person rooms. It made me remind of a Centerparcs cottage. (Holiday park in the Netherlands)

After unpacking all my stuff, we got our ski gear at the rental place. I got ski’s, ski-sticks and a helmet. We put all our ski gear in the “shed” near the cottage.

Afterwards it was time for dinner, the menu of today was fish soup K because I don’t eat fish, I ate in the vegetarian cottage. They had vegetable soup in here.

First skiing experience Keizer blog 3_2

Monday, the first day of skiing. At 10:00 o’clock was the skiing lesson on the “practise hill”. Essi and Juuso were the teachers. We were with the four of us: two Turkish guys, a Canadian guy and me. I was very happy with my own skiing shoes and the skiing lessons I had in the Netherlands, because the skiing went very well. The other ones had skied before.

Around the afternoon, they said we all could ski so well we could try a real slope. We went by ski lift (also a new experience) up the mountain and skied towards the slopes. The way to the slopes was really amazing, but when we arrived…

They accidentally took the wrong turn and now we were standing on the edge of a red slope and there was just one way down… I never been so scared in my life! (also because my fear of heights). The guys already went down and Juuso tried to convince me to ski down, but he had to go to the Canadian guy that fell. Then I was alone up there, on that high mountain. I slowly walked down and halfway I met an English women that took my skies down and told to the guy down that I was halfway the mountain.

He came to me on a snowmobile. I stepped on it, he turned around and the whole thing fell over and I sled down. Then I tried again, only now the snowmobile was faced down. I stepped on it, hold myself tightly and we went down really fast. I was never so happy to be down the hill again! 🙂

Afterwards I just skied a bit on the “practise hill”. In the evening there was a sauna race, but I was so tired of all the new impressions I experienced today, I fell asleep and woke up the next morning.

Second day of Skiing

After all the new experiences of yesterday, I started again on the “practise hil”, but I spoke in the morning with the two Turkish guys and they said that at the other side of the mountain, there were fun and easy blue slopes. We had to take the bus for it to get there.

After a couple of hours at the “practise hill”, I was done with it, and asked Lynn, Sigrid and Fabian if they liked it to go with me to the blue slopes. Lynn had her first skiing lesson today, and Sigrid and Fabian were snowboarding for the second day.

We bought a bus card for the whole day and went to the other side of the mountain, to the “south slopes”. The slope was perfect! It was steeper than the practise hill, but still easy and you didn’t look into a cliff/hole, like with the red slope. We spend the whole day here and had a lot of fun! J

At night we went to Immelkartano, Immelkartano is a sauna, with ice swimming and a Jacuzzi. After a day of skiing it was great to be in the sauna and Jacuzzi.

Third day Keizer blog 3_3of Skiing Today there was also cross-country skiing (langlaufen), but I chose to just go skiing. We went again to the South slopes and had fun. This time we also wanted to go to the higher slope, but this was still a bit too high for me, luckily not only for me but also for Lynn, so we came down really slowly. J

Besides the skiing we also went to a wooden lodge and had something to eat and drink halfway the slope. The hot chocolate was delicious, and it was the first time I tasted reindeer. (Wrap with vegetables and reindeer meat).

After skiing we ate and prepared ourselves for the party, because tonight is Karaoke party in club Hullo Porro. It was an amazing night and one big party! J

Fourth day of Skiing and Snowmobile excursion

Today almost everyone went snowshoe walking, but i just chose for the slopes, i think skiing is awesome! After skiing I took my ski gear back to the rental and went souvenir shopping.

At 15:00 o’clock we met at the “big cottage”, for the snow mobile excursion. I’ve kept my skiing clothes on, because its warm and waterproof. At the snowmobile company we got boots, a helmet and for the people that didn’t wear skiing clothes, they got an overall. We went in pairs, the first one drives to the reindeer farm and the second one drives back.

I was together with Elke, a Belgian girl, we were on the first snowmobile, behind the owner of the snowmobiles. I drove towards the reindeer farm, and she drove back. It was awesome! After a drive of one hour we arrived at the farm. Too bad my camera was frozen and I couldn’t make a lot of pictures, but i could borrow the camera of someone else. At the reindeer farm we got hot chocolate and a donut. Besides that we could take a look around the farm and then we went back.

To be sitting at the back of a snowmobile is really strange, I was making pictures with Elk camera and was half turned when she drove over a couple of bumps. I almost flew of the snowmobile, but I stayed seated. I really liked the snowmobiling and the next time I will be going to the snow, I really want to do this again.

After the snowmobile safari I took a shower and wanted to have a powernap before the summer party, but I didn’t see the party anymore.

Husky safari

Friday, husky safari today! J I wore my skiing clothes again, because people warned me it could be really cold. We drove by bus to the husky farm. We got an explanation of the owner and she told us they don’t work with huskies but with Alaska huskies. After the explanation we went to the already harnessed teams and I could choose my own team.

Also this excursion was in pairs and I started at the runners and Lynn went in the seat of the sled. Halfway we changed and I put one of the lines of the wheel dogs good that went loose. It was incredible to be on a sled with five dogs in front! After we came back, we made some pictures, too bad we couldn’t see the puppies, but these were still too young to visit Afterwards we ate a sausage above campfire. J The husky safari was a unique experience!Keizer blog 3_4

At night we were busy with creating a toga for the toga party. The only thing we had was a sheet and safety pins. After trying a lot of things, we all had a toga. The party was in the big cottage, and it was a nice party, but the karaoke party we had earlier this week was amazing.

The end

All things has an end, and also this incredible Lapland week. At 7:00 o’clock the ESN-IAC guys woke us up because we had to clean the cottage. The day before we already packed, so we could stay a bit longer in our bed. After cottage inspection, we could already put our stuff in the lower part of the bus. A group picture has been made and then we left.

Originally we would go to Kemi’s snow castle on the way back, but because the weather was above zero, it was to slippery and dangerous so the snow castle closed. Instead of the snow castle we went to Arctikum (museum). It was a really nice museum, which showed the history of Lapland, the nature of Lapland and the animals of Lapland. This was a great ending of an amazing week in Lapland!Keizer blog 3_1

We went back into the bus and after about 5 hours, we stopped for dinner at restaurant Koskihovi. Just like the restaurant on the way to Lapland, it was a buffet and the food was really good. After dinner we went back into the bus and mostly I tried to sleep. Around 4:30 AM we arrived in Retrodorm and then we had to walk up the “mountain” with all our stuff :(. In Retrodorm I unpacked my stuff, did the laundry, had breakfast, said hi to everyone and then I went to sleep.

Text and pictures: Michelle Keizer

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