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Clare
Clare

Day 3: Saariselkä

After darkness fell last night we decided to go outside again and see what Saariselkä was like at night.

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The sky had been clear during the day and so we were hoping that we might have a chance to see the northern lights.

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Unfortunately for us, by now the sky had clouded over and it had begun to snow.

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Everywhere was still really beautiful in the dark though.

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Though it did still feel really, really cold!

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We walked into the centre of the village...

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...and passed the church again, which was nicely lit up at night.

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Then we went back to our cabin to warm up!!

When we went outside this morning, we could see that it had snowed a lot overnight.

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The snow was quite high in places!

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The fact that it was cloudy meant that it was nowhere near as cold today as it had been yesterday, though. The thermometer outside our house showed that it was around freezing.

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Saariselkä is situated on the edge of the Urho Kekkonen National Park.

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This is one of Finland's largest national parks, stretching from Saariselkä all the way to the border with Russia.

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We walked through the village, to a small car park from where trails in the national park start.

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It was difficult to find much information about walks online in advance - at least, it's difficult if you don't speak Finnish - but I'd found a description of a short trail called Aurorapolku which was described as being an easy winter walking trail.

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We found the starting point, which indicated that the trail was only 2.1km. That did sound pretty easy!

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The countryside around Saariselkä is quite hilly though, so that 2.1km involved a reasonable amount of up and down.

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We crossed a bridge across some frozen water...

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...and began one of the steeper uphill parts.

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I think I look like I was finding walking in the snow quite tiring :D 

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Once we got to the top of the steep part, we had a view back towards one of the main hotels in Saariselkä which is just next to where the trails start.

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And we had some beautiful views of trees.

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Lots and lots of trees!

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My absolute favourite tree of the day was this one. There was so much snow on it!

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As we walked along the trail we occasionally passed little downward pointing lights. I think from what I read that the trail is illuminated after dark.

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The trail continued mostly level for a while, before looping around to take us back to where we'd started in Saariselkä.

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It might only have been a couple of kilometres but they felt like quite a strenuous couple of kilometres! We walked back into the village, stopping off at the supermarket to buy some more supplies, before going back to the apartment to warm up. Tonight we're going to head out again and see whether we can find somewhere good to eat in Saariselkä :) 




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