From the day I decided to drive to Lapland , I was repeatedly confronted with the same questions. “Why of all things Lapland?”, “Isn´t it cold there?” or my favourite “Is there something else to see besides reindeers?”
To answer these questions I have to go further, at the very beginning……My arrival in lapland was different than I expected. Anyone who goes to the Arctic Circle expects cold in the autumn time as well. However, I found sunshine and 14 degrees .
I chose deliberately autumn to visit finnish Lapland, because of the “Ruska” that takes place in the last two weeks of September. That´s what call Finns the beautiful foliage coloration.
And I was not disappointed. The prevailling birch forests offered a colourful picture.
In fact, I can say that I drove 350 km straight on at one day without seeing another car or even a single human soul. That gives you an incredible feeling of freedom…indescribably. I`ve soaked up the Tundra. The nordic wilderness has something very authenticley, it feels like you could almost feel the old times and maybe even ODIN. The land of ancient gods and the last untouched wilderness in Europe.
About the finns I can say, they are basically quiet people and a little bit introverted which somehow fits to the landscape and is a very pleasent trait for peace seekers as well. It is therefore totally normal to remain silent in conversation. You don`t need to have a guilty conscience about that, it is considered politely.
And if we talk about “The Great North” we should talk about the wildlife too. I´ve certainly seen more reindeers there than sheeps in Ireland. The white one at the bottom of the picture ran across a path at a small bothy in the woods. I tought he would run away from me, but he was totally cool and striked a pose in front of my camera. He visibly enjoyed being photographed.
Obviously every person who lives there in the North owns several huskies. They are essential for people in winter as a means of transport, cultural asset and tourist attraction. I think they are just beautifully and I managed to capture the soul of the dog in a picture. That happend only a few times in a life and this shot was taken randomly, but it is my favourite photos of all……
As you can see in the photo he is very relaxed and enjoys the last sunrays of the day. Everday during the summer they will be trained about 30 km of running to get fit for the winter. The finns say the dogs love it and everything else would not be appropriate to the species. They are born for running and that`s what they have to do.
Of course, the last thing I can do is to talk about the northern lights and so the best for last. No matter how any pictures you have seen and stories you`ve heard, in reality it feels almost divinely to see the Northern Lights. And even though I don´t believe in god ( maybe in ODIN most of the time 😉 ), I guess…if he really exists then I`ve seen him.
People of earlier times perceived the Northern lights as something mystically, something like the souls of deceased ancestors.
Some even believed, if the Northern Lights touch you, it may be, that your dead relatives try to take you to the “other side”.
Legends and myths about the magical lights have always been told and will be in the future.
So why Lapland? This question is hopefully enough answered.
And I can highly recommend you all to visit the Great North. I was totally and utterly impressed of the landscape there and I´m thinking seriously about spending my pension there in a little “Mökki” on a quiet lake in finland.