This last week I went to the Finnish Lapland with the international student group at my university. We left early Sunday morning and drove up to Stockholm where we took the ferry for a 10-plus hour drive to Helsinki, Finland.
We got to spend the day in Helsinki, but since all the museums were closed I ended up cafe hopping with some friends in search of the best coffee and Wi-Fi. At the end of the day we hopped on a bus for an overnight drive to the town of Rovaniemi where we visited the Arktikum, an Arctic science and history museum, as well as Santa’s Village. By the end of the day everyone was so tired and we were grateful to hop back on the bus and get to our final destination – Saariselkä.
I spent the remainder of the week in a spacious cabin with four other girls. We had a full kitchen, a fireplace, wifi, and best of all … a sauna! On my second night there, my cabinmates and I decided to partake in the traditional Finnish ritual of siting in the sauna and then running out into the snow. Of course, we had to do it the traditional way – without clothing!
On my third night I went on a snowmobile safari where I managed to get a tiny glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Overall this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! This was my first time seeing more than an inch of snow on the ground and I had tons of fun making snow-angels and snowmen as well as trekking trough the knee-deep snow. If you ever get the chance to go to Saariselkä or just Lapland in general, I would definitely recommend it!
10/10 would go again!
Abbey Whitley is an English major at SDSU. She will be be studying at Linnæus University in Växjö Sweden for a full academic year.