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!