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Clare
Clare

Day 4: Äkäslompolo

I had a lie in until after 9am this morning, but it was still pitch black dark when I woke up :) As soon as the daylight started to arrive we got kitted out in our thermals and set off to make the most of it. Having spent some time consulting the map of Äkäslompolo last night, I had a theory about the whereabouts of the elusive lake, and I wanted to see whether I would be proved right...

The first thing that caught our attention as we left the apartment was this huge pile of snow, which presumably has arisen as a result of clearing the pavements. It gives you an idea of quite how much snow there has been here, despite the fact that the winter is relatively mild this year.

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We were also impressed by the amount of snow on the roof of our apartment building!

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Now that it was daylight we could start to see some of the small hills which surround the village and are used for downhill skiing. Some of the ski runs are illuminated once darkness falls so that people can continue skiing.

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We walked to the supermarket and followed the track we had taken last night. We walked through the wooded area and then I pointed out to Tim that the path took a sudden dip down into the "field". The "field" was remarkably flat and devoid of trees until you reached the far side, where the path took a sudden jump upwards into the forest. Furthermore, the "field" was in exactly the location where the lake was marked on the map of Äkäslompolo...

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When we caught sight of a small boat house, complete with canoes almost buried in the snow, it confirmed what I had thought; we hadn't spent the evening walking across the village playing field but across the frozen, snow-covered lake. Wow!

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It turned out that there wasn't just a walking path across the lake, but also a snowshoe route and two cross country skiing runs.

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There was only one place, right on the far side, where you could see the actual ice and there was a sign warning people not to walk on it.

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We stuck rigidly to main path and enjoyed the views of the surrounding countryside. There were some beautiful colours in the sky.

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Safely across the lake, we continued following the path through the forest.

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So much snow and so many trees :)

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Some trees were rather weighed down by the snow.

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After walking for about an hour, we emerged into a bit of a clearing, from where we had a view towards what we think is the largest hill in the area.

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It was after midday by this point, so time to turn around and head back to the village for some lunch. Tim chose the pulled reindeer burger :o

By the time we had finished eating and done a bit more shopping it was dark. We went back to the apartment to relax for a while before we set off for another walk in the darkness later on.

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