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Northern Lights in Lapland’s Lake Inari

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.

A faint glow

A faint glow

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…?

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It is. 🙂 (I really wish I was a better photographer!)

Where We Stayed
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, but if I were to visit again, I might be inclined to stay at the Hotel Inari, which is located directly on the lake.

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…

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Do you own all those winter clothes, or did you rent them? Clothing – or rather lack of – is one of the main reasons I daren’t venture anywhere really cold.

    April 11, 2014
    • Yeah, we owned almost everything already. Korean winters can be pretty brutal with the Siberian winds! I just had to pick up a pair of boots, but it was easily done here for about $30 with end of season sales. We were the same though…the whole cold weather gear part of things always deters us from traveling to winter destinations. I’d always rather the beach anyways. 😀

      April 13, 2014
  2. Sha #

    This have been on my bucket list for the longest time ever….I will make sure I get there for this…someday….haha…:)

    April 11, 2014
    • It does seem to one of those items that’s on everyone’s bucket list. We always said we’d get there someday, and we did, so I’m sure you’ll make it happen for yourself too. 🙂

      April 13, 2014
      • Sha #

        Haha, yes it does seem to be so. The funniest thing is that I wanted to go because a book I was reading had this in one of the scenes and then I realised everyone has already been including this in their to see list since like way before me! Haha but yes, definitely will make it there…:)

        April 13, 2014
  3. I really want to venture this far north but yeah, too far and too cold right now! Maybe someday. Thanks for the awesome pictures in the meantime!

    April 11, 2014
    • It was definitely cold that day! but actually I wish it’d stayed colder for longer. It would’ve given us a greater chance of seeing the lights again, but it got disturbingly warm after that, and even rained one day!

      April 13, 2014
  4. Is that -27 Fahrenheit or Celsius? Either way, not exactly comfortable! But the photographs are unreal, so perhaps it was worth it, looking back? 🙂

    April 12, 2014
    • -27 Celsius. Very, very cold. My breath was turning into icicles on my face mask!! Hmm, worth it? Honestly I am not sure. I’m writing about it for my next post, but the photos are much more dramatic than what you actually see unfortunately. 🙁

      April 13, 2014
  5. absolutely amazing!

    April 12, 2014
  6. Reblogged this on Something to Ponder About and commented:
    An amazing experience. The Northern Lights.
    Truly something I want to ponder some more about.

    April 12, 2014
    • Thanks for the reblog! 😀

      Yes, the lights are definitely one of those things that captures the human imagination!

      April 13, 2014
  7. Ahhhhhh!!! The post we had been waiting for!! You saw them!!!!! Soooo pretty and we SO wish we get to do this one day! Not the biggest fan of cold weather but think we can look past it for this experience 🙂

    April 12, 2014
    • Lol. Yes, finally!! I have no doubt that one day you guys will be standing under the northern lights! 😀

      April 13, 2014
  8. A big thank you to Amanda from Something to ponder about who brought me here! Great post!
    Love, Dina

    April 12, 2014
  9. They are a beautiful sight, aren’t they?

    April 12, 2014
  10. OH I am so jealous. How fabulous is this!

    April 13, 2014
    • It was pretty fabulous. 🙂 I only wish I’d been able to take better pictures, but my camera battery kept freezing! I had to keep warming it up in my pocket.

      April 13, 2014
  11. Nice to travel vicariously with you to the frozen north. I’m sure my blood is way too thin these days, to ever endure the trek myself. I think the icy temperatures and the total silence would really get to me. 😯

    April 18, 2014
    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the travels. 😉 Lol…I started to go a bit mad from the the total peace and silence after a while for sure…

      April 21, 2014
  12. Again, this is beautiful! Only if it is cheap to go to that side of the world….

    May 7, 2014
    • If only, is right!! It was really one of the most expensive places I’ve ever been. All I can say is they sure must make a lot of money over there… 😉

      May 8, 2014
      • Yes, sure they are!

        May 8, 2014

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