Our trip to Lapland

04.04.2012 YFU

A few weeks ago about 40 YFU exchange students had the chance to go to
Lapland, and it was amazing there! So now I want to tell you something about
our week in Pyhä.

We left Helsinki on a Monday morning in March. Our bus travelled all the way
through Finland, and after 16 long and quiet hours we finally arrived in our
hostel near the Pyhä fell. The snack was served and the beds were made, so we
were able to check in, eat, talk a bit or just go to sleep.
On Tuesday we started our program with a visit to the “Arctic Husky Farm”.
It was very nice, because we had the possibility to go mushing. After this, we
watched all the dogs and the puppies. The operators gave us information about
the dogs, and how they train and feed them. 

After having lunch at the hostel we visited a reindeer farm. There we went for a
reindeer sleigh ride and got our own ”reindeer sleigh driver’s license”.
So now we have a five-year permit to drive such a sleigh. 
Afterwards we could feed the reindeers. While we were having a cup of
coffee and some sweets, our guide showed us photos of the animals. She told us
how the reindeers live free in the nature and lots of other interesting stuff.
Every reindeer farmer has his own special pattern or a mark which they cut in
the ears of the reindeer babies, so they are always able to recognize
their own animals. 

In the evening we saw a shaman show. I thought it was funny because the guy who
was doing it had a quiet black humor.

We started our days with a good breakfast, including lots of porridge.
Seriously, I don’t know if any other nation eats “puuro” in the morning. 

After this we had the possibility to choose between downhill skiing,
snowshoeing, cross country skiing or ice fishing. I hope I can speak for us
all, when I say, that every activity was just a lot of fun.

In the evenings we went to sauna, ice swimming and had a little snack in the dining room.
I guess the week’s highlight happened on Friday. After our daytime activities, we went to Sodankylä to hear a presentation
about the Northern Lights. It was very interesting and when the speaker
finished her oration, we were like under a charm. We all really wanted to see the
Polar Lights – and we were lucky! We saw them in blue, red and green. They were
dancing over us in the sky. It was just awesome! I am sorry, but I can´t describe this experience in words. 

The next morning was very said, because we had to leave again. But I hope I
speak for all of us when I say that this week was one of the highlights of our whole
exchange year.
Kiitos paljon, to everybody who made this trip possible!

Text and photos by Anna Endres

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