Lapland - Arrival

Trip Start Mar 15, 2008
Trip End Mar 22, 2008

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Where I stayed
Akaskero Nature Resort (near Akaslompolo/Kittila)

Flag of Finland  , Lapland,
Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lapland - an Arctic Adventure - Arrival

Exploring the Arctic in winter had always been a dream of ours. Lapland offers just that. A mere 200,000 people live in finnish Lapland (the size of Netherlands and Belgium taken together). Far from the nearest human settlement, the Pyllas Nature Reserve surrounding Mount Akaskero, offers a few log cabins from where unique adventures can commence.     Riding dog sleds (husky mushing) through the wilderness even for several days, wandering cross country with snow shoes or skis, driving a snow mobile, fishing at ice holes,   watching the northern lights and enjoying complete solitude.

The journey to this remote region of the world is not a short one. (The cost was around EUR 2700 for 2 persons for a week including flight). We started from Frankfurt with a Lufthansa flight at 2 p.m. directly to Helsinki.  After a 3 hour stopover, we continued with a FinnAir flight to Kittilä (Lapland) which is located around 800 km and a 1:15 hour flight north of Helsinki. Kittilä airport was tiny and completely snow covered. We were picked up by our accomodation's shuttle service, which took us within 45 minutes, driving at a horrendous speed over the snow and ice covered side roads, to the Äkäskero Nature Resort. "Resort" is a bit exagerated. About 9 log cabins and a main lodge with about 22 rooms,  and simple meals served on 4 days a week. The "resort" offered no TV, telephone, internet, newspapers, or any other type of access to the modern world. The 50 sqm heated but traditional log cabins did provide  a very spacious living  room  with a log fire place and a beautiful view of  Mount Äkäskero and the frozen lake beneath it.  A small kitchen,  bedroom, bathroom with an electric sauna were also part of the deal. The 12 sqm rooms in the lodge only offered beds and a private bathroom.  A public sauna for the "resort's" guests was available to all guests and located next to an water hole in the frozen lake.

Arriving at 11 p.m. we did not see any of this. It was a clear, star filled night.  The landscape was snow covered. The temperature must have been -16°C. We had to pull our luggage by sled to the log cabin (Mukkit) about a hundred yards away.  A young Swiss lady welcomed us and led the way.
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