Laponia 2002/3 - Part 1

Laponia 2002/3 - Part 1 | Laponia 2002/3 - Part 2 | Laponia 2002 - Northern Lights | Laponia 2003 - Summer

At the turn of the year 2002/2003, we were in Laponia. Or more precisely, in Rajamaa in the village Muonionalusta, located on the island Pitkäsaari in the border river Muonio - near the Finnish town of the same name and 200km north of the Arctic Circle. The island is already on the Swedish side. Lars Malmströn was our host in Rajamaa and accompanied us throughout the days (his Finnish wife Kaisuu cooked very well). The reason for the trip was the 50th birthday of Astrid's sister Birgit at New Year's Eve. We were able to celebrate the turn of the year twice, which was a "specialty" of this trip: First in Finland on a Finnish island in the river Muonio (before that, we had a great meal in Rajamaa), then again in Rajamaa in Sweden. This trip included a dog sled ride in Muonio and a visit to a Lappish reindeer herder in Finland. The temperatures were between -15 (rarely) and -36 degrees Celsius (mostly between -20 and -30 degrees). We were able to see the Northern Lights twice.

See also:

BTW: End of June 2003, we visited Rajamaa for a second time, having nearly "tropical" temperatures. This time, the sun did never go down...

Situation of Muonionalusta, our destination

The main building, where we had our meals; Lars' VW van had problem with its battery

Day one: Astrid in her new "winter dress"


Gerd with frozen beard

Barbecue at a hut (slogbod) - Lars tells stories...

Birgit and Astrid

Both together with Hans-Georg in front of our hut in the afternoon (fairly dark already...)

Astrid taken with a flash light in the afternoon. It was already so dark that a flash was needed.

Gerd ditto

In the afternoon, still not completely dark

Our hut in the afternoon

Next day: In Muonio at the river Muonio at an "ice bar"

An ice room with ice furniture

The river Muonio was completely frozen, as it seemed

Actually, it was not frozen everywhere, which was very dangerous

We made a tour with Husky sleds in the early afternoon

Our Huskies were eager to start. Astrid steered, and I lay on the sled and took photos, ...

... such as this one ...

... and this one!

Warming up after the sled tour in the nearby Hotel

On the third day, we visited a Lappish reindeer herder. Later we would ride these snowmobiles

The landscape around the farm

Fences for the reindeers

The reindeer farmer and his son

The first half of our group rode to a Laponian tent, while we stayed at the farm for some "entertainment."

Explanations how to use a reindeer sled (in case the reindeer could be motivated to pull the sled...)

Off they go ...

... but very slowly!

Unpacking after the ride (Birgit)

The reindeer farmer's dog

Now, we moved on with the snowmobiles ...

... to a Laponian tent

It was already getting darker outside (early afternoon)

Inside the tent a fire was burning and ...

... we got a warm Laponian soup - ...

plus lots of stories and ...

... perhaps another portion of soup.

Outdoors, numerous reindeers passed the tent ...

and we had a look at them (flash photo!)

But it was already too dark for photos!

And it was getting darker and darker before we returned to our bus!

On our way back, ...

... we, were "downloaded" at a ...

... Laponian "tourist trap"...

Laponia, December 2002/January 2003 - Minolta Dimage 7i

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