Winter wonderland - Finnish Lapland
January 10th, 2016
I have to admit, I'm a lover of the cold. Winter is my favorite season and snow is my element. If there is snow, there is also a smile on my face. Ok, at least most of the time... I don't remember when I've seen these snow covered trees that bend down through the heavy weight of the snow, for the first time. But I was fascinated by the shapes they build and by the tons of snow that create this Winter Wonderland. It was clear that I want to go to this place and experience it by myself.
The Riisitunturi National Park is located in the southern part of Finnish Lapland, just south of the Arctic Circle. Last January I've spent some days there and it was a trip to one of the most beautiful winter landscapes I've ever seen.
After a hike along one of the few trails into the National Park you get to a plateau. The trees get smaller here and the snow on their branches becomes thicker. The snow makes the trees look like dinosaurs or figures out of a fairy-tale. Due to heavy snowfall I found an untouched winter landscape and on the first day we haven't seen another person so we could enjoy it all by ourselves.
The days are short this time of the year up north and the sun barely rises above the horizon. In terms of photography that means beautiful light for hours and you can easily lose track of time. Most of the time the temperature was below -25°C and even dropped down to -32°C at one point. Hard wind made it even more challenging to handle the camera and from time to time I needed a break in the shelter of one of the trees to warm up again and have a hot tea out of my Thermos bottle. Back "home" in the cabin a Finnish Sauna brought back the feeling into my body!
Those who follow me know that I'm addicted to Northern Lights and of course I was out in the dark to chase them. Unfortunately this time I wasn't so successful. It was cloudy most of the time, so the view was blocked. Only once a small green bow showed up on the horizon but after a few minutes of clear sky it got cloudy again. After a couple of images I lend back against a tree and enjoyed myself in this wonderful place.