Thursday, 27 March 2008

Finland Pt.3

In this third and final instalment (sniff), I set out on two last adventures before returning home from Finland.

Reindeer are commonplace in the arctic circle, both roaming free and in 'use', kind of like a combination of a cow and a horse... and no, not like a corse or a how :]

We visited a local reindeer farm, where they told us all about the lives of their reindeer and then you're told to go and fetch one out of the pen.

Did you know reindeer shed their antlers every year?

White reindeer are believed to be reincarnated people and are kind of sacred up here.

They had a new stag that was very lively and slightly demonic looking.

Next we had to climb inside a sleigh and they hooked up a reindeer to it, as you do - and guess which one we got??? Yes, the demonic competitive stag :[]

There was a group of five of us racing across a frozen lake and all the reindeer were jostling for pole position, but not of them could take our lead position :)

It got very hairy at times, in both senses of the word - with antlers and hooves akimbo, you really had to tuck in and keep out of the way.

Oddly enough, these reindeer just know were to go, taking us all the way round the lake and safely back again without guidance.
Clever stuff!

Our following.

After our triumphant victory, it was back for hot drinks and biscuits around a much welcome open fire.


Next up was a 90km (56mile) snowmobile trek to the snow village and Ice hotel!

660cc snowmobile *drool*
Not much finesse about these beasts, but raw power :)

Opening them up on the straights was seriously good fun.

Riding time split 50/50, as a pillion passenger it was very bumpy on the back, but I did notice this cool fisheye style reflection in Andy's skid-lid.

Brum, brum - so this is how it was for 007?

There are proper paths for snowmobiles stretching for miles and even proper road signs.

After an hour so, we eventually arrived at the Snowvillage

Inside was remarkably large.

There were 26 bedrooms, each one uniquely carved!

And yes, the beds are made of ice!!!

The mattresses are not ice, of course, and pretty comfy too :}

The whole place was filled with amazing ice sculptures, like this mammoth.

The restaurant with it solid ice tables!

The Finlandia vodka bar with its huge bottle sculpture.

Even the glasses are made of ice!!!
No need for... ice.

I spotted this on the way out!
Now that's health and safety going a little too far.


...and a post of this length just wouldn't be complete without something for fans of my bottom...

Easily ranking in the top 10 'coldest things I've ever done' - I took this shot of my bum and the aurora in sub -20c temperature! Cold, butt worth it :0)
(Ahh, see what I did there)

The last evening consisted of a plenty of beer and a Finnish karaoke bar - probably one of the most surreal evenings I've ever experienced!


Today, I'm Most Angry About: Learning my car has almost halved in value in the two years I've owned it! Bummer :'[
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 6.3/10

Today's Top Tip: Feeling cold indoors this winter?
Simply pop outside for a few minutes without your clothes on.
When you come back inside you will really "feel the benefit".


Linda Seid Frembes said...

Phil! *gasp* At least you had the sense not to turn around.... =0

DoGGboy said...

LOL - Well, in that temperature, there wouldn't have been much to see anyhow :0)

John said...

You flashed the aurora borealis!

DoGGboy said...

Hahaha, yeah and as you can see, the aurora looks slightly embarrased ;]

Lord Hutton said...

All those great pictures and then you go and spoil it!
You had far more fun in Finland than I ever did: I just froze, oh, and had to call the police on my ex friend who was busy barricading the door of the room at the Youth Hostel in the middle of a drink and drug fuelled bout of paranoia

DoGGboy said...

LOL - I've had to call the police on a friend. Is that like a grown up version of telling your mom on someone :0)
That sounds pretty eventful though - no barricading to report from myself :[
Cheers mr. H!!!

mellowlee said...

Wow, that snow village is so cool! I want to go there! I love the additions of video to your blog. It's like you are taking us with you :O)

DoGGboy said...

The snowvillage was stunning - it melts and they rebuild it every year!!! Cheers Mel ;]

Fiona said...

The whole trip looked AMAZING!!!The ice bar looked cool too :o)))
You've changed your name ???

DoGGboy said...

Yeah, amazing places :]

I changed my name address etc as a lot of myfriends call me Doggboy or 'db' :] and too many people got the wrong idea when giving them my web address and refered to dogging *sigh*...
DoGGa still works etc and just redirects to DoGGboy!

kat said...

How fabulous! I want to go to the Snow Village.

Crystal said...

OMG!!!! This post was AWESOME!!!!!!!! Especially that hot guy in the last pic;P Love the view.

Max said...

Which half exactly is Nekked?

Great pics again Dogga

DoGGboy said...

You'd of liked the Snowvillage Kat :]

*blush* thanks Crystal!!! :0)

I kept my watch on; what more do ya want? :]
Cheers Max!!!

Gledwood said...

If I'd ever go to arctic regions FINLAND would definitely be my #1 place to go... no shadow of a doubt... all those beautifuil lakes and trees... the mysterious language... those "Sarni" (sandwich-eating?) people oop north... and so on and so on...

hey i know you don't know me but if you're up for giving advice to someone who jumped into your blog due to a pair of doggie blue eyes (we had a dog with similar such eyes in years past) please answer this query:

Re my place:~

I'm getting a new room in the same house.

Lots of clutter.

Do you agree I should just leave what I don't want even if it's half my clothes etc. and just move "lite" into the new room?...

Please RSVP ASAP at my gledwood2.blogspot blog:~ I'm desperate for advice! Many thanxx

DoGGboy said...

Hiya - Hmmz, I'm come across you before, but can't remember why :]

I would recommend Finland indeed, although I've never been to Norway or Sweden.
The Sarni LOL!!!

I love dogs with blue eyes and would like a blue merle myself :0)

I'll pop on over with some room advice...

Photogirl said...

amazing photos! I don't know if I could ever sleep in an "ice hotel"...brrrrr

Andre Veloux said...

Gasp indeed, you stripped off in -20°, that's one way to get yourself (frozen) solid! There are warmer ways.

So where next oh great traveller?

DoGGboy said...

Ya big whimp :]
Cheers Dudette!

It just had to be done though! :0)

Center Parcs in the UK and then France!

Rebecca said...

Firstly and inappropriately, you've got a great butt! *ahem* That's one delightful self portrait.

How come you get to do such cool things? Love the icy hotelness. And no I didn't know that reindeer shed their antlers annually, how odd.

rob said...

Well one thin in that post made me shiver, and it wasn't the ice.

Even the Aurora went grenn, and I'm betting it's not with envy!

I'd love to sleep in an ice room. Is it as nice and warm as the rumours say?

DoGGboy said...

Hehe - Why thank you miss :0)

I do cool things because of highly motivated friends and a bit of out the box thinking... I think? :]

I may have mad the aurora blush :]

As you can imagine Rob, the ice hotel was cosy as cosy gets, if you're cold blooded that is!

Andre Veloux said...

You know maybe I have a one track mind (I do) but I'm thinking you could maybe try dating one of those Finish girls/women, but under all that get up you probably wouldn't have any idea what they look like. You could get a nasty or a pleasant surprise.

Did you?

DoGGboy said...

Ooof, some of those Finnish chicks were really cute!!!
But you're right yes, LOL, under all those clothes, they could look like anything - it's the personality that counts anyhow Andre, the personality hehehe, or is it? :0)

...and no I didn't, although the karaoke bar on the last night had some Finnish ladies who seemed keen, but lets jusy say they could of done with some outdoor clothing on to sway things more in their direction :]

b o o said...

A tad nippy?

DoGGboy said...

LOL - It was a tad something, that was for sure :X

Kayla said...

Hi Phil,
Did you eat at the Snow Village? I wonder what they serve?
What an incredible experience to see the Borealis in so many different forms. I envy you!
I remember wondering as a child if reindeer were know, Santa Claus and all :-) They are unique looking, and I'm not surprised they shed their antlers each year.
The white reindeer is cool, and what a reincarnation belief! Do they use them as the other reindeer, or are they more to just look at?
Nice bum shot as always ;-]
*Thanks so much for your note*
:x Kayla

DoGGboy said...

No, we only stopped at the Snowvillage for a relatively short period - The main excursion was the snowmobiling really, although I would love to stop a night there.

There are all sorts of customs etc up in Finland - I think white reindeer are treated a bit differently, but not much from what I saw!

Cheers dudette :]

Andre Veloux said...

Just seen your "occupation" on your profile Dude. Like it!

DoGGboy said...

Yay, someone spotted it - LOL :0)