At the 11th hour we were lucky enough to bag a cosy cottage in Finnish Lapland over the Christmas period. I had all kinds of preconceptions about what it would be like – and I am delighted to say that they were all true!
50k from the nearest shop, we were remote enough to feel blissfully isolated, but within reach of civilisation should we require it… and we didn’t!
For 7 glorious nights we watch the moon rise at 3pm, casting twisted shadows of the forest onto the glittering snow beneath. We’d dash outside with a glass of Gloggi and marvel at the icy wonderland, lighting outdoor candles which would cast a warming glow over the frozen landscape, making minus 38 degrees Celsius feel a little warmer. After a warming evening meal and a log fire, we’d walk hand in hand through the moonlit forest at midnight, falling over into chest deep snow drifts, and laughing like teenagers. Covered in bumps and bruises we’d pause when we came to a rare piece of open sky and we’d lie in the snow together, star gazing and awaiting the Northern Lights. They never came… but it didn’t matter. The moonlit evenings were an absolute joy – to wander in the forest at midnight with nothing but the moon to illuminate the way is simply magical.
The days were short, and we quickly became accustomed to life in the arctic circle and slept through the darkness, waking late morning to a warming cuppa and dashing outside in PJs to put the Christmas tree lights on and review the temperature for the hours ahead. After a hearty breakfast, the afternoon would consist of sledging, snowman building or a hike across the frozen lake – all punctured with opportunities for photography.
To say it was cold was an understatement… we love the cold and survive well in it usually. The coldest we’d experienced prior to Lapland was minute 36 degree Celsius in Harbin (China). Here it was minus 38 degrees. Your eyelashes would freeze within a few minutes and the cold would eat away at your toes causing incredible pain should you stay out beyond 45 minutes. I could not get my head around the fact that this incredible experience was just a 3 hour plane flight from Manchester! I realised then just how privileged we are to be ‘so close’ to the Arctic Circle in the UK. We will be back!
Photographs from our trip to Lapland are available in our online Taraji Blue Finland photo gallery.