Hello fellow readers!
Shiva finds a new friend on the way back from Oulu to Helsinki. That 7 hour train ride wasn’t really all that bad, given how crowded it was with everyone returning home from the holidays.
Let me get you caught up! My daughter, Victoria made it to Helsinki without incident, and I met her at the airport on my own (without incident). There were tears a’plenty at the airport. When we finally dried our tears, we made it back to the apartment, fed her, unpacked the goodies she brought from the States, and repacked. And then we headed back out to Helsinki with Shiva.
After some hours of wandering amidst the crowds at the city…which I think she might have enjoyed more if she hadn’t been running on no sleep for the past 24 hours, we headed to the train. We squeezed into our little sleeper cabin, she, me and Shiva. To be fair, as old and small as they are, the cabin was surprisingly comfortable, at least to sleep in. She promptly fell asleep for the next ten hours, soothed by the rocking and sounds of the train. Once she woke back up, we marveled at the scenery some more. I am so glad that I found someone else who will think that the winter is endlessly beautiful!
We made it to Kolari with only one close call…I had a list of the stops that the train makes so that I knew when to time taking Shiva out for a walk (Oulu, in case you’re wondering, which I’m sure you were), and the train stopped after the last stop listed before Kolari. So, while Victoria was getting ready, I took Shiva out to the door, got it open, she jumped out…and before I did, I took a glance up and down the train to see we were still in the middle of nowhere!! I got her back on board, and fortunately Victoria hadn’t shut the door to the cabin…we were still an hour from Kolari and I have no idea why the train was stopped, but it was a good thing we didn’t get off them! Whew!!
So, Kolari. We get here, meet everyone, get in the RV, and head out to the reindeer farm for our sleigh ride. It was such a neat place, and Victoria got to see some reindeer up close (we even got to see some ‘in the wild’, crossing the street earlier!), and then trekked across the river (literally) to where our safari would start.
Interesting trivia: When the rivers freeze over, they become ‘roads’, and traffic control signs on installed along the way. How cool is that? (see above picture)
This is where I find out that my lovely, colorful rainboots are THE WORST thing to wear in the bitter cold, as the rubber traps the cold (why doesn’t it trap the heat from my feet, I want to know). Yes, my toes were cold and numb at the end of this. BUT…and this is important…I have yet to fall on my ass wearing those boots. I’ll put up with the cold toes in exchange for not landing on my rump. I can (and will) just add another pair of socks!
We are now at our cabin at Pallas-laakson Lomamökit, and it is lovely! Victoria is in love with it, especially the heated wood floors in her bedroom. We love the all-wood construction, and she has declared she wants to live here…even with all the snow. I did assure her that there is green in the summer, but I hear the mosquitoes make the Louisiana ones look rather small by comparison. And the running joke is that the mosquito is the state bird of Louisiana, so that is saying something!
(pictures in the next post…they are on her phone, not mine)
Last night, I was looking out our bedroom window (which I can do while laying in bed…lovely!), and finally saw them! The Northern Lights! I yelled for Victoria, and she came running upstairs, and she was lucky enough to catch the show, as well! These were a brilliant greenish yellow, and danced around in a circle, and probably lasted a full 15 seconds. She ran downstairs to get her phone (camera) and came back up, but the show moved off behind some trees, and she could see some through there, but not enough to get a good angle for a picture.
So, we made a decision to get dressed (layers upon layers–it’s 30 below here!), and, of course, we got outside, and by then, clouds had moved in, and we didn’t see them again. Boo. But, it is supposed to clear up before we leave, and we should get another shot at them. Still, she did get to see a good show, and I’m so grateful for that!
I took Shiva out for a long walk this morning, without knowing that Risto (Wellu’s mom’s husband) had taken her out earlier. Apparently, she did her business with him (thankfully!), but we did get a nice little hike in. I wish she’d wear her snow boots and sweater, but apparently, she’s doing fine without them.
Still doing the blog updates on a borrowed computer and my phone, so the format is a bit wonky, as are the pictures. Once I get home, I’ll be more organized. 🙂