The further north you go, the more magical everything becomes. There is something about a thick blanket of snow that makes everything look so peaceful. The harsh temperatures have weeded out the weak and only the toughest are left standing, needless to say there isn’t much hustle and bustle in the Lapland forest, yet its’ beauty is out of this world. The sun sets almost as fast as it rises. With about only 3 hours of sunlight during the day you find yourself finishing lunch believing its time for bed already because their isn’t a ray of sun left in the sky. We witnessed the moon half-way in the sky as the sun was setting and leaving its last traces of oranges and reds, the moment between day and night is so early in the afternoon that your whole internal clock gets confused. Yet, there is nothing more beautiful I have ever seen in my life.
The trees haven’t given up yet. They stand tall with snow piled high on their branches. Even with all that weight weighing them down, they continue to stay in position and continue to grow. There is no underbrush that you can see. The snow and ice has taken over every space.
As for the cold, it is like nothing I have every experienced before. I used to think that the moment the thermometer hit 0° it was extreme, you intrepretation of cold quickly changes when you hike outside in -27° weather conditions. The only exposed part of your body is your eyes. Then, your eyelashes freeze, and start to stick together. Blinking becomes a task of concentration in fear of ripping out half of your lashes.
Despite being covered in multiple layers, it is near impossible to stay warm. Two pairs of wool socks and winter boots aren’t even enough to keep your toes cozy. Every 50m or so you have to stop and do a few jumping jacks just to keep the blood flowing (because hiking isn’t enough).
I loved every single moment. Sure living in those conditions for an extended period of time may not be on my Bucket List, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.