EuropePolarVirtual Travel Tales

Finland

Trees covered in snow at sunset, Lapland

Writing this the morning after the northern lights before, it’s even more evident that the world is a much stranger, more beautiful place than most of us realise.

Leroy and I spent most of the day flitting between Helsinki and Australia, costing us nothing in travel time but causing a bit of discombobulation as we switched from Finland’s icy capital to my warm, windy home town. One minute we were in the Design Museo in Helsinki, confirming to ourselves that mid-century Finnish design was pretty special; the next we were compiling platters of food for my mother’s birthday party and chatting with relatives and family friends. Leroy, of course, was a hit.

After the party wound up and the debris had been corralled, Leroy and I set off for Lapland – the huge wilderness area in northern Finland, home of the indigenous Sámi people, the Aurora Borealis, reindeer and (apparently) Santa Claus.

Ensconced in a glass igloo buried in the snow at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (which, incidentally, boasts the largest smoke sauna in the world) we basically stayed awake all night watching the mesmerising ebb and flow of the aurora. A phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed.

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