Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Trekking in Lapland

This July we were able to go to Lapland and do some excellent trekking. First we walked from Kilpisjärvi to the meeting point of the three Nordic countries. Most of the time the weather was really unpleasant and we hardly saw anything. That made the 25 km seem like an eternal walk! The point itself is nothing special: just a big yellow mark in a small lake. About 500 m from the point there is a small hut for trekkers, otherwise only nature.

When I was 4 years old, I climbed one mountain, Saana, with my parents. I've some very strong memories from this time. Now, many years later, I was able to go back there! It was a marvellous walk to the top. I also realised the strengt of the old memories; without knowing I have always been attracted to the areas where there is only very low vegetation. Each time we do trekking somewhere, I make a point of the tree limit, for example. I just feel that then The Real Thing begins. Saana mountain, or tunturi, and the whole Käsivarsi wilderness is like that; the vegetation, when you have some, is just some 20 or 30 cm tall once you get higher than 600 m.

We followed the Arctic trail (Kalottireitti or Nordkalottleden) to the direction of Halti and did a breathtaking four-day trekking there. Quite soon after the start, we heard some noice behind us: a herd of reindeers was coming towards us! A bit later we crossed a couple of kota of sami people. Only in Lapland...

In July it doesn't get dark at all. The picture above was taken past midnight! It's surreal when you are not used to having day-light all the time. Great advantage was no need to worry about the arrival time before dark!


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