Thursday, April 23, 2009
greetings from lapland!
i spent last week on mount levi, in lapland. it was my first time ever; i've traveled the world quite a bit, but somehow never managed to make it up north in my own country.
i expected reindeer, but the fact that they roam free had escaped me, and i was stunned to see them grazing by the side of the road. i had figured they'd be confined in large areas by some sort of fencing, but was proven erroneous.
our cabin was rustic and large and had a magnificent view of the mountain. there were six of us (excluding jorma) and there was ample room in great company.
i am not exactly an outdoorsy person (surprise!) and my previously established plan was to tap away during the day and spend the nights at, ahem, after ski. it turned out that half of the people were homebodies and only three took to the slopes. we entertained ourselves with wii fit and books.
we weren't completely deprived of fresh air. on the first day we took off with some snow mobiles. i've got an innate fascination for gadgets and motor operated vehicles of all sorts, but i fear them, as well.
needless to say, i tried my best to avoid facing my fear on numerous occasions, but finally ended up on my own speed racer. i was ready to quit after we climbed a very bumpy slope to the top of the mountain, but bit my lip and made the whole trip. next morning everyone woke up with a sore back and i think my thumb still feels numb...
a safer option was the toboggan. i've downhill skied as a child and snowboarded for a few years until i wrecked my knee whilst snowboarding in canada. since then my days in the slopes have been few and fragile, and these days i prefer the kiddie way of enjoying the snow.
and what a genius invention the toboggan lift is! we were able to avoid every bit of racing heartbeats by just sitting steadily in our little plastic containers...
i also tried cross-country skiing for the first time in years. i was quite a little skier when i was young, but gave it up in my teens. nevertheless, i had another go at it later in life: i was recruited to the cross-country ski team in my high school in canada on the assumption that all finns can ski. you wouldn't believe the surprise they got! i took part in one race and ran the whole way with skis stuck on my feet...
at levi, we took a 10km run around the lakes and i felt no need to have another go at it.
the idea of corporeal luxury tempted and, therefore, we also tested one of the spas in town. since my friend and i had no idea what a salt room was, it became our priority to find out.
we were given some green robes (no light sabers, unfortunately) and we sat in a humming room with salt coated walls for 45 minutes. i felt the substance on my lips, but otherwise the effect remained a mystery...
but the greatest mystery of them all was the predominance of mint green houses on the way to lapland. i am serious: mint green of the 80's.
after jyväskylä the number steadily increased and all shades of pastel green, from greyish light hues to neon mint, were present. anyone living around there care to explain?
next year we're going back. this time the lodge will be grander and hopefully poor jorma won't get lost in the jänkhä...