Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Finland Pt.1

Last week, a friend and I embarked upon some amazing adventures in a place called Levi in Lapland - North Finland in the Arctic Circle.

I was at the top of the 'F' of Finland.

Flew out on an Airbus A321.
35,000ft at 500mph!

Arriving at the hotel(li) is comforting in this very different land.

-21'c! (-6'F)
The temperature in Lapland rarely ever goes above freezing in the winter months... Brrr

The language barrier was a little problematic at times.
3 house-points to whoever can decipher this catchy little headline!

Levi town centre.

Time to hit the slopes and continue learning snowboarding.

Extra balance is provided from the ears... honestly :]

Me boardin' buddy Andy.
We talk the talk far better than we board... erm... the board?

Warning!!! Extreme crash footage follows.
NOT for the faint-hearted!

When I said "hit the slopes" I meant it!
Serves me right for such temerarious behaviour :)

A very frozen lamp-post up top.

A beautifully barren wasteland of ice, snow and trees.

The main north slopes back down into Levi town.

The temperature really plummets at sunset.

Reindeer roaming free on the fell.

There are many of these little huts called Kotas dotted around the hill.
Inside there's always a fire burning to warm up by.

This, believe it or not, is a bar!!!
Much to my surprise (and in a Tardis style) I opened the door to see a handful of people merrily drinking beer and even a waitress serving behind a little bar!

Extreme public toilets :0)

By the end of the week, I was riding with the aplomb of a pro boarder... Almost!


Probably one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life!
Witnessing the northern lights - The aurora borealis!


The aurora continually changes shape and size and silently dances around the whole sky

The aurora streaking across the top of the drag lifts

At the top

Against frozen trees

Looking North over Levi

Swirling over the peak

Dancing over the valley mist

Flowing out over the clouds


That's it for part 1 folks.
Don't miss part 2 next week!

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Getting caught blatantly staring at a woman's breasts in today's circuit training class! :[]
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 1.1/10

Today's Top Tip: Air travellers: Spice up the mundane task of going through airport security by walking bandy-legged like you're concealing something up your bottom*.
[* Will not be held responsible for any 'probing' that may follow]


Aoj and The Lurchers said...

Well, I was going to say how nice it all looked and then....THEN, you saw the northern lights!!?? DO you know how long I have wanted to see the northern lights, Phil? All my bloody life is how long!

Lucky git.

Oh...Welcome back! ;)

Phil said...

Well, you've seen them now... in my photos :]

They are absolutely stunning - well worth a trip up north, but it's just so dependant on weather / cloud. I went away for 7 days and saw them 3 times.

Cheers!!! :0)

Anonymous said...

Love the shots of the Northern lights!

Rebecca said...

Wow, those photos of the Northern lights were breathtaking!

Can't wait to see part 2 if this is anything to go by...

Phil said...

Why thank you good sir! ;]

Cheers me dear!
There's going to be a part 3 too LOL :)

Crystal said...

OMG Dogga, those are some of the most beatiful pictures i've ever seen! I bet it was a WONDERFUL experience! Not to mention getting caught looking at the womans chest, LOL! Hope you have had a BLAST!! Can't wait for part 2;o)

Lord Hutton said...

You lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky BASTARD! I am so jealous. Apparently the Northern Lights are 3 goats towing Thor to Valhalla, which sounds a little unfeasible
Well done for great unemployed hols and brilliant pics

Phil said...

Aw, thank you Crystal!
It was an awesome experience indeed :]

I know; I took so many pictures and I was honestly speechless for a few minutes when I first saw the aurora.
Ah, and I didn't know about Thor. In fact, I didn't see any Nordic gods at all :]
Thanks Hutters!!!

Linda Seid Frembes said...

All I can say is: wow.

Phil said...

Hehe, thanks Linda... That's about all I said when I first the Aurora ;]

Anonymous said...

I'm insanely jealous too!!! Maybe we need to organise a bloggers' holiday to Finland or Iceland to see the Northern Lights? My others great desire is to see a glacier up close.

glad to hear you've having such a great time!

Phil said...

A bloggers trip to Iceland sounds great! Count me IN :]
Cheers Snow...

kat said...

Haven't had time to read or view all this yet, but what fabulous, fabulous pictures.

Phil said...

Cheers Kat! It is photo opportunity heaven up there :]

Max said...

Great pictures - loved the northen lights. Going to change my desk top picture to these now I've seen yours.

Head line translation: Artic Goats attack convoy during bizarre mating ritual

Phil said...

Cheers mate!
I too have aurora desktops now :]

...and nice translation by the way - I never would of guessed that :0)

Anonymous said...

I'm about as jealous as it's possible to be! Can't wait for the other instalments.

Phil said...

Maybe plan a trip up there yourself Rob, now you know what to expect :]
Snowqueen suggested a bloggers iceland trip - now that sounds cool!

mellowlee said...

Amazing! The photos are gorgeous! I love the second video, especially your landing EXCELLENT! haha! You are so lucky to see the Northern Lights! Thanks for bringing them to us in photo. Em, how to you pronounce Levi? Is it like lee vi? or le vee?

PS I'm tagging you, that is if you haven't played this one already. Check my blawg k?


Phil said...

Thanks Mel!
Levi is pronounced "Lev-ee" or "Levy" :]

Ooh, a tag, ta! It's going to have to wait for a bit though and I don;t watch many films, but look slike ot fun to do. Mine may be a bit shorter than yours though!

Anonymous said...

Count me in for Iceland. Though I'm not sure I can afford a second mortgage...

mellowlee said...

Oh Leveeee ok :O) Thanks Dogga! BTW, your anwswer was correct, but the actor who played that part is Keifer Sutherland. Thanks for playing along. I can't wait for Finland Pt. 2 !!!!

Phil said...

There's three of us for Iceland then :]

Yay - Keifer Sutherland, ah yeah!
I'll try some more later, but nothing clicked apart from that one. I promise not to Google it :]

amyG said...

phil, i have a blog!!! =]

Phil said...

Well done dudette! :]

Anonymous said...

Wow... lookit those northern lights! Am I jealous? Yes I am! :)

Andre Veloux said...

Wow! That is fantastic, and great pics to Dogga. Hows the snowboarding coming along? It's great isn't it?

Phil said...

You'd of loved it up there Stu!!! :]

Thanks Andre - I much prefer snowboarding to skiing now. You can actually walk in the boots for a start!
I came on quite well and as the second video shows, that's as good as I got really :]
I'm sure I'll be reading how you got on soon too!?!

Me Myself and I said...

wow! amazing photos!! Notice the one of the plane wing, the horizon is slightly curved. Guess the earth really IS round! :)

The videos were great. I'm impressed with your skills in such a short time!!

Jeangenie said...

I sssooooooo want to see the Northern Lights, you lucky git! Tell me, do they move as fast as shown on TV or is that speeded up for dramatic effect? I can never tell.

It looks like yo had a fab time - you're enjoying retirement, then?

Andre Veloux said...

I can really relate to the falling over video, and that was a super gentle slope for your second!!! Is it always dark in Finland or something!!?

Phil said...

The Earth, round?Never :)
Cheers dudette!

The aurora moves quite quickly yeah, but does go faster and slower in bursts of life.
enjoying my 'break' indeedee :)))

Yeah, blue slopes only for me :) any steeper and I can't turn or end up on my bum.
Up there the sun isn't out for long and doesn't get very high in the sky!

Anonymous said...

Heh... I showed H the pics... winter holiday to Levi is on the cards :)

Phil said...

Send me an email before you book and I can tell you a bit about Levi, places to stay etc. :)

Phil said...

Send me an email before you book and I can tell you a bit about Levi, places to stay etc. :)

Fiona said...

Hi Phil, thank you for visiting and the lovely comments.
I have just spent a happy time reading yours. Top Tips are superb and the photos are amazing. Going to take all tips on board;o)
Since you have made me smile which is a tough job at the mo, I think you deserve an award. It's over at mine if you want to pop round.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic photos and what a great place. The bar looked like you might get a cool reception.

The newspaper headlines reads

"Firewood Supplies Arrive at Last - Life of Visiting Brit Secured"

Phil said...

Hello and welcome!
Glad you like the old blog and THANK YOU for the award!!!
I shall go and collect it and it shall live proudly on my sidebar forever more :]

Ooh, brrr, groan :)
...and thanks for clearing up the headline!!! Saved!

Anonymous said...

Incredible pictures Phil - and I'm damned impressed with your boarding skills too. Missing work? Yeah.....

Phil said...

LOL - not missing work no :]

Cheers Graham!!!