This is what the Polar Night looks like just before Christmas in Lapland

Tankavaara, Lapland. It is a small village in the north-eastern Lapland where the Polar Night has just begun in the beginning of December. During the summer time you can search gold in Tankavaara but on the winter time this place turns into a winter wonderland!

Just from the backyard of Tankavaara Gold Village starts the nature paths into the Urho Kekkonen National Park and one spesific trail is open for winter hiking and leads to Big Tankavaara Hill which opens a beautiful view towards the wilderness.

I went cross country skiing on this 7 kilometer long winter trail to see how it looks like in midday now that the Polar Night has started. What it means is that the sun doesn’t rise at all for a certain period of time in the northern Finland. But it is not completely dark in fact it brings beautiful shades of blue, pink and yellow to the sky!

I was lucky and run into some reindeer wandering in the wilderness. Aren’t they cute! They looked just like from a Christmas tale.

I walked higher to the Big Tankavaara Hill and saw this magnificent view. Unfortunately I should have taken snowshoes with me as well since the snow got too soft and deep on the top so I couldn’t reach the highest point. I left my skis to wait at the crossing of the nature trail and the path up to the hill.

The sun doesn’t rise at all but there is some daylight a couple of hours and the colours are simply beautiful. In Tankavaara the sun rises next time in January.

In the night if the sky is clear from clouds the stars will shine and the Milkyway is visible. And with a bit of luck it is possible to see the Aurora Borealis. The following picture is some days ago taken taken from this same place on a snowmobile sleigh trip to the fells which is as well available for tourists visiting Tankavaara!

And finally these pictures from the Milky Way are taken on the way to my home. The camera captures the Auroras and starry sky a little bit different of course but still seeing the night sky with your own eyes is breathtaking. I feel lucky to live in such a place!

Photographing the Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland

I’ve seen the Northern Lights only a couple of times in my life before. Although they were slow and not so bright then the experience was unreal.

This time we had luck on our holiday week in Lapland and we did se pretty strong auroras! I’ve never got to photograph them before and I almost couldn’t figure which direction to point my camera because the lights were dancing above so fast. They were colourful and bright and I am at a loss for words to describe how amazing it was to see them.

I am so thankful and happy we got to see such strong Northern Lights but also to get decent pictures of them. And these are my first ones ever! Here they are, enjoy!

Ruijan tulet
Taivaan tulet

Throwback Thursday: The Beautiful Nature of Slovakia!

In Slovakia I found my love for mountains and I wish to return to these landscapes and places again many times in my future!

A couple of years ago I went to Slovakia as an exchange student and a little did I know then how good friends I’d make there and that I would return to this country over again. And with these friends I would explore the gorgeous mountains and nature of Slovakia. And there is still so much left to see!

Slovak people do like their nature and they have beautiful surrounings for hiking and climbing and just enjoying the nature. Like us Finns Slovaks like to go out and spend their time outdoors. In national parks you can see families having a weekend off in the mountains, young people, old people and children. I like this similiarity that I find connecting Finnish people and Slovaks.

In Slovakia I have seen three national parks so far: The famous High Tatra Mountains, Slovak Paradise and Small Fatra Mountains. My favourite is for sure Fatra Mountains though everywhere it is beautiful!

What connects nature activities everywhere in Slovakia is climbing one way or another. Nature is full of hills and mountains which makes the views very beautiful but it also means climbing the hillside and you will propably need to climb some ladders as well over waterfalls and gorges. There is hiking routes without climbing with ladders or ropes but uphill paths anyway. So for people with fear of hights like me there can be some difficult hiking trails! Many slovak people do proper mountain and rock climbing as well what I’ve seen!

(Above) The High Tatra mountains are on border of Slovakia and Poland and they are sometimes called to be the slovak alps. The highest point is somewhere 2,600 meters above sea level. Nature there is like in the mountains when you go high enough; lots of rocks and crazy mountain views. You can also spot beautiful mountain lakes and super cute goat-antilope that lives only in Tatra Mountains, Tatra Chamois!

(Above) The Small Fatra Mountains  are located on the north-western side of Slovakia and this national park is my favourite! There is great proper mountains and you will need to make some excercise to reach the top but they are small enough that there is still a lot of trees and green areas. The view from the up is incredible during the sunset! We also spend the night in the mountains in a kind of wilderness hut like what we have in Finland!

There is possibilities to choose from normal hiking paths to trails with a little bit of rock climbing!


(Above) Slovak Paradise is a national park next to the Low Tatra Mountains. The park is full of forests, waterfalls and beautiful hiking trails which leads you climbing some ladders over waterfalls and gorges. For me these ladders are a little too high but the views are amazing and it is no wonder why it is called a paradise! Here you will make an adventure for sure!

Where next?

In Slovakia I found my love for mountains and I wish to return to these landscapes and places again many times in my future!