There’s not much to Inari, Finland, except a lake, a few hotels and the chance to see the northern lights.
And that’s how we find ourselves lying atop frozen Lake Inari, staring up at the sky in -27 degree weather. I’m wearing 2 layers of Uniqlo heattech pants plus snow pants, a heattech shirt, wool sweater and goose down jacket, along with furry Russian style hat, a mask to cover the rest of my face, 2 pairs of socks and insulated winter boots.
It’s not enough.
Within 20 minutes, I start to feel the cold creeping through all my protective layers, whispering at my skin, like a ghost. I ignore it. I’m here to see the northern lights, dammit, and see them I will.
We walk as far to the other side of the lake as we can, in an attempt to get away from the hotel lights that pollute the otherwise dark sky. It helps a little bit, but I start to get freaked out by the total silence. This is when I realize that I’m a city girl at heart, not cut out for the wilderness at all. All this darkness definitely has my mind playing tricks on me. Is that a wild animal I hear in the woods? Are those shotguns I hear in the distance? or is it the sound of the ice cracking beneath our feet?
I pull Agri closer to the hotel lights. Back towards civilization.
It turns out that the light pollution actually doesn’t matter that much. Because when I next look up at the sky, a faint green glow is moving across the sky. Could it be…?
It is. 🙂 (I really wish I was a better photographer!)
Did you know you that Sweden also has a Lapland? Learn how to see the northern lights from Kiruna, Sweden in this super-informative post.
Where to stay in Lake Inari
We stayed at the Tradition Hotel Kultahovi. For 96 euros, we were given a cottage-y feeling room with twin beds, free wifi and breakfast. The hotel was adequate, the staff was lovely and they had a chilled out bar area with fireplace, complete with cameras pointed at the sky.
If I were to visit again, I might be inclined to stay at the Hotel Inari, which is located directly on Lake Inari.
Yes, the Tradition Hotel was walking distance to the lake, but it wasn’t THAT close, and in -27 degree weather, it would’ve been ideal to be able to take breaks to warm up. As it was, once we made the trek back to our hotel, we couldn’t face the thought of bundling up and heading out again.
Though it wasn’t all we expected, it’s a good thing we saw the aurora on our first attempt.
What no one wants to tell you about the Northern Lights in our next post…