Friday, July 31, 2009

Dreaming Lapland

Tell me if I am being ungrateful??? During the cold winter months in İstanbul, I was constantly dreaming of Datca, sun, heat, sea and all the things related with that. And here I am and now complaing about the heat and dreaming about winter and snow.

Last winter we did not have snow in İstanbul, and the year before that while there was a snow storm in İstanbul for a full week, I was in Sri Lanka. Where?? On a beach again complaining about the heat.So I miss snow and the cozy days in the house, it brings along... And I also miss gluehwein (hot wine with spices), my tradition in the snow.

But my best snow memories are from Finnish Lapland which I have visited 7 years ago. And it was started with a funny story. The plan was to stay in Jyvaskyla at a friends house before flying to Lapland. As there was no direct flight, the route designed by my travel agency was İstanbul - Stockholm - Jyvaskyla. After using the Stockholm airport as a transit passenger for couple hours, I peacefully flew to Jyvaskyla. When I reached there it was around 10 pm and I was the only foreigner on the small plane. While all my fellow Finnish passengers quickly left the airport within couple minutes, I started to search for a single soul in the airport to show my passport and officially enter the country. But guess what ? There was absolutely nobody. No customs officer, no guard, no body. I felt like I was in a horror movie where everyone dissappeared suddenly. After waiting for 5-10 minutes for somebody to appear with passport in my hand, I finally decided to leave the empty airport.

And on the way back to İstanbul, I took a ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm. No passport control there either. So I can clearly state that up to now no Finnish offical is aware that I was in their country.

So if we come back to the main subject of this post, Lapland and snow were just great. As I was a lousy skier, I opted for safaris. My first one was reindeer safari. I still remember the cuteness of my reindeer with no horns. Do I advise a reindeer safari? Well, not really. It is very slow and after a while you are starting to freeze.
But the real deal was husky safari. It was so great. Try to do it once in your life if you get a chance. First it was really scary to be in the wild, with 9 dogs alone, for more than 2 hours. But luckily they were very smart and tourist friendly animals and also a snowmobile from the farm was checking for me at certain points. And the huskies knew their way back home and they were extremly patient with a foreigner who was trying to give them orders in English or Turkish while they only understood Finnish. On a husky safari, all you have to learn was to stand on the sledge and use the breaks when necessary.

It was an extremly cold and snowy day where the batteries of my camera were frozen. Even the owners of the husky farm thought about cancelling the safari for a while. But for my luck, they have decided against it. Whole trip was such an adrenaline rush. And on my return, they welcomed me to a small cottage with a big fire and offered some hot wine and a big slice of bread with butter and blueberry jam on it. It was so delicious..


  1. Hey Hi,
    Nice blog u have... I love the snow and love your photos..
    Thanks for dropping by My Travelogue. Glad u liked it. :)
    Thanks for following it as well...
    Pls vote for my blog at this link. It requires signing up with your mail id. Hope u'll vote for me. Thanks in advance.. :)

  2. What a magical enchanting adventure. It is a part of Turkey I was so unfamiliar with. I can't wait to show this post to my husband when he gets home from work this evening!!

  3. Oh how neat! I just learned about gluehwein from the show "Says You" on NPR on Saturday. Glad to see someone out there that likes it! - Your snow photos are great. I can tell that y'all had lots of fun. Hope you can find a happy medium in temps. Maybe low to mid 70's with little humidity?

  4. These pics are great. And you are not alone. I think everyone yearns for the opposite season. That's just human nature.

  5. The grass is always greener on the other side. So they say.

    You are so fortune to be able to travel to all these amazing places. I look forward to all your wonderful posts of far away journeys!
    xxx kim

  6. I love the heat, so you'll get no sympathy from me! But keep telling your stories, they're great. So funny that there was no official in Finland to let you in or out.
    I would love to travel like you do, and I'm glad you share your stories with us.

  7. Best times now, best times ahead....your adventure trips look so magical and straight outta dreams...have a great weekend ahead :)

  8. Istanbul, Sri Lanka, Helsinki... everywhere you go is very exotic to me and I'm thoroughly enjoying your photos and stories. I'd no idea Turkey is so beautiful! And thanks for the photo of that reindeer's sweet face.

  9. Growing up in Switzerland I used to go to the mountains for winter holidays (and drink Gluehwein!), but I never have spent the winter somewhere else, northern Europe must be very special! As to being ungrateful... I don't think so. It's more that often times we think if this or that were different (including the weather), we'd feel more comfortable, life would be better and so forth..., which of course is an illusion. Have a great weekend...

  10. Oh grt !
    Snow all time fun place to move in kashmir we have a place GULMARG,where it snows at least to a height of 7-8',and that time is always awesome..


  11. A husky safari?! That sounds so amazing. I really don't like the cold, but I would get over it for something like that. :D What an experience!

  12. Hi!
    I just noticed this post - sorry to come here this late
    I'm a Finnish expat woman living at the moment in Cairo, Egypt.

    It was so funny to read your experience in Jyvaskyla. I know the feeling you had. It's like horror movie, nobody anywhere...

    I'm not at all snow person - I like much more Cairo's sun! :)

    Have a nice weekend!



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