#10yearsagotoday Day 72: As Eurovision performances in Helsinki dominate TV, we walk around "town" a bit, spending most of the time at the Saami Museum, SIIDA. Bondi is clearly enjoying the snow, but after a couple of hours outside prefers to join me indoors when I go off to look at some craft shops.
There’s a swift flowing river on the other side of the hotel, which Bondi runs up and down by, the snow and sleet pelting him.
The afternoon is used to nap, read and pass an hour at the hotel's piano, trying not to embarrass myself with my getting-longer-out-of -practice fingers.
At dinner I discover that all 3 tables are populated by people from Australia, a retired trio from the Sunshine Coast and a retired couple from Sydney area. The first three have done the Trans-Siberian Railway ("the world's longest garbage dump" one pronounces).
#10yearsagotoday Day 71: Kajaani - Rovaniemi - Inari
I've decided to make a push as far north within Finland as possible, over 650km to Inari. I know there are places to stay there, and I can check road conditions for the direct route to Kirkenes.
Around Pudasjärvi, the landscape does start to change more perceptibly. The birch is thinning out, being replaced by fir, and now there are drifts of snow by the road.
Not much later, and it's our first frozen lake. The next big stop is Rovaniemi, perched on the rim of the Arctic Circle, a good place to call ahead for accommodation in Inari.
Kauppayhtiö cafe is a godsend on a day like this: the coffee is excellent, the ambience eccentrically friendly - and I quickly locate the hotel I need. I telephone, "a room tonight for you and your dog, no problem, when are you getting here?" The deal is done.
At some realm of Santadom marking the Arctic Circle everyone wants to greet and talk about Bondi, from the stores' staff to a Romanian journalist (wearing an Sydney 2000 Olympic shirt) "I've covered the Tamworth Country Music Festival" and his daughter, to the people at the Arctic Circle "Information Desk". I think an hour evaporates there without much difficulty, but everyone is so kind. I stop in at a LIDL for some fruit and dogfood. Its stark aisles are a small town's recreation alley for bored teens thumbing through booby magazines and laughing at the sound of sweets rattling in their containers.
The 40km run from Ivalo to Inari is spectactularly, soul-nourishingly beautiful. The lake Inarijärvi is frozen over, all thousand-square km of it, dotted with thousands of ice-locked islands.
Reaching Hotel Inarin Kultahovi, I impulsively elect to stay 2 nights, a decision later supported by viewing the hotel restaurant's excellent menu.
My room looks over the fast-flowing river behind the hotel.
This time three years ago, lake Inari was already open from the shore. Next week has promised colder weather, so ice fishing season continues and snowblanket will carry wanderers on the forests for a while. Spring of surprises... #juutuanvuono
Probably. The. Best. Stew. Ever. Quite a stew lover but stew never tasted this good until that's all you're given for lunch in -20degC weather. Quality of the photo looks pretty terrible probably because of my quivering hands in the cold while snapping this shot . 😌☃️❄️ #throwback#finland#inarijärvi#inari#traveldiary
Lunch by the open fire. This was an exceptionally memorable trip because I got lost encircling around the X-country skiing track, with no one in sight (most exited the track by then) except snow-covered trees that look completely identical. Clearly, it was difficult to tell where the start and end points were. Don't even bother using your mobile GPS (which I tried) to detect location and get help as the phone battery would probably die on you shortly due to the -20degC weather. Just immensely grateful for our short orienteering course the day before that got me navigating my way out of the enchanted icy forest. #inari#inarijärvi#finland#throwback#traveldiary
Hello @rottiefanclub. Here is my favorite pic of my dog Capo. Capo's mother is pure Rottweiler and dad is Siberian Husky. He just Turned 11 years. In this pic we are icefishing on #lakeinari at Easter. #finlandlapland#inarijärvi#maximumpure