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Clare
Clare

Day 5: Walking in the woods outside Äkäslompolo

Today we decided to re-do one of our favourite walks from last year, in the woods outside Äkäslompolo. Given how cold it has been over the past few days, we got dressed up in our warmest clothes this morning, prepared to brave the Arctic conditions once again. I was wearing my new pink waterproof trousers :D 

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As soon as we stepped outside though, we realised that.... it wasn't actually that cold :o  The air didn't feel painful to breathe, even without a neck gaiter. Sure enough, when we got as far as the main thermometer in the village, we saw that today the temperature was a mere minus 2. You could definitely feel the difference!

The path we were looking for starts from one of the side roads leading out of the village. Last year we got a bit lost when we were looking for it and managed to walk up a hill in the wrong direction, but this year we found the correct road without any problems.

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After a few minutes we turned off the road and onto the path, which starts out quite wide to begin with.

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As with yesterday, everywhere we looked we were surrounded by beautiful snowy trees :) 

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After a while the path crosses a ski run and becomes more narrow, as it begins to lead through a little valley.

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It's really beautiful here, and again almost completely silent; we only met a handful of other people walking the whole time we were out.

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It wasn't snowing while we were out but it obviously had been overnight, because there was a fresh layer of powdery snow everywhere. It was quite difficult to walk in at times; we should probably have brought our snowshoes!

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It was a really magical place to walk though, even if it did feel like hard work at times :)

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The path leads towards a small restaurant hut for skiers, which is about 4km outside of Äkäslompolo.

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From here, the path circles round back towards the village again.

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This part of the path leads through a denser part of the forest and we saw lots of trees which were bent under the weight of the snow.

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Some of them definitely looked like they would be able to spring back once the snow melted....

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...whereas others looked like they had been snapped completely...

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...and others we weren't completely sure.

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We carried on through the forest.

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Eventually the path goes down quite a steep snowy slope. Tim decided to take the running approach...

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...whereas I went down more carefully :D

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After this, we were back on the same path as before, leading up through the valley.

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It was just as beautiful going in the opposite direction :)

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As we got closer to Äkäslompolo, we could see the light starting to change. It was after 2pm by this point and starting to get darker, so the photos almost looked like they had been taken in black and white.

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We were starving by the time we got back to the village and so we decided to go out for a meal. We both had pizza this time, and they were huge!

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All in all we've had another wonderful day in the snow :)

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