Ice in Iceland

One of the most impressive places on our trip to Iceland was the Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon. It is very easy to reach just by the main road and it is certainly worth to stop there. For photos the best time is sunset or sunrise. Here are some pictures from both sunset and sunrise.

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Overnight at Oratunturi

I did a one night trip to Oratunturi when I was staying in Sodankylä. It is pretty close to Sodankylä, but still a very nice location, where you have the feeling of being in the middle of nature.

Northern Lights close to Oratunturi

I started the late in the evening and was skiing in the dark. I was planning to just ski straight to the open shelter to sleep, since the forecast was cloudy until early morning. But the sky was quite clear already as I started skiing. There were some Northern Lights, but not very bright ones.

Moon rising behind the trees

And the moon was super bright. As I got higher up I didn’t even need my head torch to find my way. But it took me way longer to get to the open shelter, because I needed to stop to take pictures so many times.

Open shelter at Oratunturi

This is where I spent the night. A had two candles and I made a fire. It was really nice to sleep here, but it was much colder than I expected. The forecast was – 8 degrees Celsius, but it was actually – 23 degrees, because of the clear sky.

Sunrise at Oratunturi

It was a bit cold sleeping outside, but the sunrise in the morning made it more than worth it!

Oratunturi open shelter

This is the open shelter coming back from the Oratunturi fjell. I just love it when all the trees are covered with snow.

Enjoying the sunrise

Skiing back as the sun was rising was great. It was just a great trip. I really recommend just doing short adventures like this. And for this Oratunturi is a great destination from Sodankylä.

Iceland in January

I am just packing my things here in Sodankylä and ready to get back to Helsinki for the rest of the spring. Even here it’s raining now and the temperature is above zero. So it’s a good time to think about our trip to Iceland.

Solfar in Reykjavik

There are straight flights from Helsinki to Reykjavik and the flight time is only a bit over 3 hours. So it was easy to get there. This is Solfar in Reykjavik, in my opinion one of the coolest pieces of art in the city. Northern Lights in Reykjavik

On the first night in Reykjavik we could see the Northern Lights even in the city. THe next morning we picked up our rental car and headed along the south coast.

Strokkur in Geysir

First we drove along the famous Golden Circle. This is Strokkur in the Geysir area!

Gulfoss in Iceland

Gullfoss is one of the most impressive waterfalls I have ever seen!

Seljandsfoss in Iceland

Another great waterfall was Seljandsfoss. There is a path behind the waterfall, but eventhough we had spiked shoes, it was too slippery to go completely around.

Northern Lights at Skyrhusid Guest House

We drove along the south coast and stayed in small guesthouses. This picture is from a gueshouse called Skyrhusid close to the Vatnajökull Glacier.

I have so many good pictures from the trip, that I need to write a few more post from the trip. Here is the last picture from Reykjavik. You can take a lift to the top of Halgrimskirkja church. The views are really good!

View of Reykjavik from Halgrimskirkja

New Year skiing in Saariselkä

We decided to go skiing for 4 days around New Year’s. It’s still very dark and the days are short, but we were sure it would be all right to ski in the dark. So we drove from Sodankylä to Saariselkä and Urho Kekkonen National Park. There are open huts and you can also reserve a spot for a small charge. We didn’t know, if it was a popular time to be out there and we wanted to sleep inside. So we reserved the sleeping places in advance and picked up the key from Kiilopää.

Skiing in to the unknown, Urho Kekkonen National Park

On the first day we skied for 14 kilometres to Suomunruoktu hut. We were the only ones there so we could have stayed at the open hut too.
Skiing in Urho Kekkonen Nationalpark

The next day we started climbing up towards Tuiskukuru hut, where we had lunch. This pictures is close to Vintilä fjell. It was beautiful up there with the trees covered in snow.

Skiing in the dark in Urho Kekkonen National Park

Shortly after our lunch break it was already time to get the head torches out. We followed an old snowmobile track, which was still visible. It wasn’t too difficult to find our way in the dark. But it was a long day to Luirojärvi hut, about 23 kilometres. The open sauna for anyone to use was waiting for us thre and it was already warm as we arrived. A great way to relax and wash yourself after a long day of skiing.

Skiing in Saariselkä

The weather was cloudy all the time, so we didn’t see any Northern Lights. But otherwise it was really nice, around -10 degrees Celsius.

Blue moment in Finnish Lapland in January

I like the light at this time of the year a lot. It is a special feeling being outside!

Skiing after dark in January

The short days meant skiing in the dark every day. Going down hill is a bit more interesting especially, if it is a steeper and longer hill. A few times we just had to ski into the deep snow to stop our speed.

Snow covered trees

We spent the third night back at Suomunruoktu hut. So 23 kilometres also on the third skiing day.

 

A glimpse of the sun close to Niilanpää hut

On the last day it was just 14 kilometres back to the car. As you can see it was almost sunny. 🙂 This was the first time during the trip, when the sky was not completely covered.
We saw some other people along the way, but it wasn’t crowded at all. About 75 kilometres of skiing in 4 days. The second day felt pretty tough, but the same route back on the third day felt much easier. Just more skiing, so the muscles get used to working again. It was a great trip and a great way to spend New Year’s.

 

 

Northern Lights in Helsinki

Tonight the sky is clear in Helsinki and you can see the Northern Lights.  This doesn’t happen too often here in the south of Finland. To see them you need to get out of the city, because there is too much light pollution. I found this spot close to Sipoonkorpi National Park. Here are a few pictures.

Northern Lights in Helsinki

Northern Lights above Sipoonkorpi National Park

Northern Lights in Southern Finland

The Northern Lights in Helsinki

It was pretty cold, about -25 degrees Celsius. So I didn’t stay out too long, but it was really nice to see the Northern LIghts here in the south. On Sunday I am heading back to Lapland and hope to have the opportunity to take some more photos of them.