Finland is crazy, cold, expensive and ultimately excellent. I spent a week or so skiing with family and friends in 2008. Apart from generic snow, I didn't really know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by the constant roaming around of reindeer and stunning scenery - mountains, mountains, mountains, trees, mountains, trees, a distinct lack of aurora borealis, mountains, mountains etc.
Our log cabin was cosy, if boiling beyond all reason - to the point that I spent some nights standing in the snow at regular intervals in my PJs to cool down - and came with its own (minuscule) sauna, which was fun.
The skiing was...strange. There were very few runs at the resort, and they were all sort of...short. So short that you didn't even have to snake your way down, you could just bomb it straight down the middle of the slope as fast as you could go, and it was still fairly easy to stop at the end. Thankfully, this was not a busy place.
Aside from skiing, there were a couple of other things to do in the area. Like eat reindeer. I wasn't going to try it. I certainly wasn't going to like it. But then I ate it, and ate it, and ate it. As much as I didn't want it to be, it was absolutely delicious.
Almost as good as husky sledging in fact, which was insane. Without any real instructions, we were given a sledge with a couple of the crazy things tied on to it, and off we went, stopping only when the huskies decided they really needed to eat some snow.
Most of our ride involved my mum screaming at me as I attempted to steer with one hand and take pictures with the other. I didn't fall off though - score.
At the end of it, we got to meet...tiny baby huskies! Well worth a day off the skiing for that. Go Finland.
- SING - Mika songs to yourself whilst skiing.
- SPEND - an afternoon husky sledging through the forest.
- EAT - reindeer. You won't regret it.
- AVOID IF - you're not a fan of snow, or indeed, snow-sports....
- Check out Food and Drink for more info on this country.