Hey guys! Another Travel Blog!! This time we’re going to a -30 degree weather which is Finland. Travelling here from Amsterdam was quite long ( around 3 hours going to Helsinki ) which leads us to 4-5 hours layover going to Rovaniemi. Finland has been a travel goal for me not because it’s freezing but I want to go here to experience riding the huskies, visiting Santa in the Santa’s village and to see and experience the Aurora Borealis. Let me start my storytelling by sharing some facts about the Aurora. A mix of blue and green lights flared up the horizon; the negative degree temperature allowed my mouth to emit cold smoke. The northern lights took me back to when I was in the Philippines feeling the humid air prickling my skin and the smoke from vehicles almost choking me while I once dreamt of going to Finland to see the famous aurora borealis. For our Europe trip, we were originally set to visit only three countries – Netherlands, France, and Switzerland. But it was perfect when my travel buddy Kris sent me photos of Lapland, Finland. And from there, I instantly fell in love and it dawned on me how Finland was one of my dream destinations ever since. While I was watching how the mixture of blue, green and purple swirled around the night sky, I couldn’t help but comprehend how beautiful Finland is. The Aurora Borealis, I believe, makes everything about Finland more magical, more of a utopia.
The Aurora Borealis is said to be caused when charged particles during solar flares (from the Sun) strike atoms in Earth’s atmosphere. This makes electrons in the atoms to move to a higher energy state. When these electrons go back to a lower energy state, they release light. This process creates the marvelous northern lights. Also, specific atoms create specific colors – oxygen emits greenish-yellow or red light; nitrogen produces blue light; the mix of these gives off purple, pink, and white. Having to wait for 3-4 hours before seeing the fantastic lights of aurora borealis, I was awestruck when the lights finally danced in front of me, swirled in the night sky, and lit up people’s paths toward betterment. In my experience it only occur 3-5 minutes and good thing our camera is ready. See the pictures below from my #DeegeeFinland uploads on Instagram it was taken during our Aurora Tour.
Our first experience of seeing the lights was actually on the second night which leads us to book a Aurora Tour in some of the agency near our Hostel ( Hostel Cafe Koti ) forgot the name but it’s around ( 80 Euros ).
Before that we visited Rovaniemi, a city in Finland, where we explored to visit different boutiques, shops, and restaurants. As the capital of Lapland, the city is filled with hotels where tourists lounge and stay to warm themselves up. We experienced a temperature of negative 20 to negative 30 degrees Celsius during our stay in Lapland. We were literally freezing and shuddering as we ventured the streets of Rovaniemi covered in thick snow. Our winter boots were covered with white snow, like white powder enveloping our feet.
While we’re there, we stayed in Hostel Cafe Koti which, for me, is one of the best hostels I’ve ever lounged in. I like the minimalistic interior design of the room; the simplicity exuded a more relaxing ambiance which matched the over-all aura of the city. We stayed there for 2 days to experience the city life in Finland. More interestingly, the hostel boasts of its cafe with its simple design that struck me as elegant. People in the city are laidback and chill which clearly reflects how the design, patterns, and architecture in Finland are created and organized. With the fusion of hostel and cafe, Hostel Cafe Koti delivers and serves as a home away from home for tourists and guests especially for those who love coffee, like me. I enjoyed how everything is so serene and chill amid the winter season. Pick your fave – a hot latte or a red wine – to warm yourself up during a winter night.
Since Rovaniemi in Lapland is considered the Official Hometown of Santa Claus, we decided to experience the winter wonderland in the Santa Claus Village where I personally met Santa Claus (Ho Ho Ho!). As snow fell from the light blue sky, I realized how this only used to be a childhood dream. I’ve imagined seeing snowflakes falling from the sky while making my way toward Santa’s village. In Finland, that dream came into reality. Every day, any season, you can meet Santa Claus. Almost two months after 2018’s Christmas, I knew that it was never too late to visit Santa and experience a wonderful White Christmas in Rovaniemi, in the heart of Finland. It was as if we relived our childhood aspirations. With great company, it’s as if every day it’s Christmas. ( More visuals below )
The glowing lights in horizon kept on flashing back to me. Doing the Aurora hunt with Kris, we trek along pavements and roads filled with thick snow in order to seek for the popular aurora borealis. With our cameras and drone ready, we walked as the snow imprinted our foot prints, sharing stories, keeping our eyes open for a sign of light from the sky. We had waited for around 3 to 4 hours before seeing the lights swirl in the sky. Magical. Marvelous. Magnificent. I’m still trying to put whatever I felt into words.
From the Aurora Cabin in the Apukka Resort was where I also saw the aurora borealis. I just stared at the sky for minutes, trying to make sense of how beautiful this world is. With the panorama glass roof which is heated, we marveled the beauty of the arctic scene; from the warm and cozy interior of the room, we could see the glowing night sky, the snow falling, and the pines, mountains, and tundra. After that, we also booked a glass igloo for 2 nights where we had a beautiful sight of the scenery as well. ( Booked the hotel in Agoda ). We also booked a Husky Tour around 180 Euro each and it was really dreamy yet freezing!! You should really experience this when you go to Lapland!!
As I savored the view and felt the cold air grazing my whole body, I thought of how perfect it was to live in Finland. However it was really intense if I live here. For me it was a really for vacation purpose only. But everything is worth to experience and remember. Because sometimes we need to travel to other countries with a different climate and experience their culture. I want it also to be experienced by my family and friends. It was quite expensive for me even the flight going to Rovaniemi ( around 400 Euros Airplane Ticket ) plus the hotel, tours and food you should really be ready and maybe a thousand dollar budget if you want to experience the good sights and tours. Knowing they’re only 60,000 population in Rovaniemi it will be a tough challenge to live here based on my experience. But everything’s different from where I live and I only want to experience this because it was one of my goals to go here. Hopefully you can too!