The Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis, the dancing lights in the northern sky, is a phenomenon I’ve always wanted to see. I think I first read about it when I was about eight-years-old. I saw a picture and description about it in a geographic encyclopedia my parents had given me and I was awestruck. I promised myself that I would one day see it. That day may happen this week! I’ll be in Lapland (the part of it in Finland) for the next few days, in Ylläs to be precise. Located about 150km north of the Arctic Circle, in Finnish Lapland, I should have a pretty good chance of seeing the Northern Lights in the resort of Ylläs for two reasons: the winter of 2011/2012 is the peak of the eleven-year cycle of the Northern Lights, and Lapland is one of the best places in the world to view it. From what I’ve heard, the Northern Lights have been dancing around in the sky almost every night in the past few weeks. As you can imagine, I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed that they’ll keep dancing when I’m there and that the sky is clear for an unobstructed view.
I’m also looking forward to many unique experiences in Finnish Lapland, like a ride in the Sauna Gondola. I had an inkling of what it would be when I first heard about it but the idea seemed too far-fetched – lo and behold, my thoughts were soon confirmed. Yes, it’s a Finnish sauna in a gondola or cable-car! This video should give you an idea!
I’ll also be going on a snowshoe trek across the hills around Ylläs, a husky safari and I’ll be staying at the Snow Village where everything, from the rooms (igloos) to the restaurant and bar are made from snow and ice. There will also be opportunities to experience an authentic Finnish sauna and a quick plunge in an icy lake! Oh, and for the ultimate Arctic ‘indulgence’: an Arctic peat bath at the Ylläs Saaga Resort! I’m not exactly sure what that is yet but I’ll let you know as soon as I find out!
All in all, it promises to be an amazing four-day trip. My bags are packed with loads of warm clothing, my camera batteries are fully charged and I’m ready to go. I’ve never been this far north and it would certainly be a dream come true if I get to see the Northern Lights. It’s going to be freezing cold – temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius or minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit were recorded in the past week – but I’m sure it’ll be an experience of a lifetime!
A huge thank you goes to Visit Finland for hosting me in Lapland. Follow my trip to Finnish Lapland on Twitter via the hashtag #VEinLapland or via the Twitter feed below (tweets in the feed below may load slowly during busy periods):