Day 2 - Summer comes early to Lapland!

>> Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I'm having fun on my way down the piste :-)
Late this afternoon, an old Finn remarked to me during a conversation we were sharing that he had been living here in Levi for more than 30 years and in all that time, he had never experienced a day like today in early April. What was so special about it? Well, it wasn't quite the sort of day we had been expecting either. As the day had gone on, we realised that it was turning from chilly first thing, to warm and then warmer still, all in brilliantly bright sunshine and blue skies.
Heading up the chairlift in brilliant morning sunshine.
View of the slopes above South Point.
Almost at the top of Levitunturi fell. What a scene!
Olivia on run 5.1, a steep red. 
Back at the top of the heated chairlift. Hardly needed today though!
Stylish Anna :-)
View to the south, Lapland in all its beauty!
Sandy on his way down.
And Olivia too.
For us, we skied and sunbathed all in one! We also explored almost right around the fell, starting at South Point not long after breakfast, taking the heated chairlift to the top point of the slopes on the south side, and enjoying some quick runs down to the trees, then on through the forest to the bottom of the hill. After a few runs, we decided to take a different direction, and headed round to the westerly side, where Anna, Sandy and Olivia all experienced T-bar lifts for the first time. From the top of lift 11, we headed right over the top of the mountain to the link run that links all four areas, and headed towards the main village of Levi.

On the way, we diverted to the north-east slopes and enjoyed a very challenging red run, 5.1, before coming back up to the top of the hill on lift 5, and heading on towards Levi centre, where we had drinks once we came back down the front slope. Here, we came across dozens and dozens of Finns sitting in the strong sunshine, hardly believing how warm it had become. For many of them, after 6 long months of winter up here above the Arctic Circle, you could hardly blame them for wanting to sunbathe and top up their vitamin D levels! We drank up and headed back to South Point on the bus, where we once again enjoyed the best of the sun skiing various ways down to the chairlift, and enjoying drinks in the sun too.
Time to head off after a fantastic day on the slopes.
The Front Slopes behind Sandy and me.
In Levi centre.
No wonder the snow's melting fast in the village!
Once we got back home at about 4pm, Sandy and Olivia set about digging a hole through a massive mound of snow outside the front of our house, while Anna and I relaxed in the sunshine on the balcony at the back. About an hour after they started, S & O shouted for us to come and see what they had done, and we saw an impressive tunnel had been made right through the mound.
Back home, about to start digging a hole!
I never thought I'd be sitting in warm sunshine at the end of the day in Lapland!
Relaxing by the house. 
View through the trees.
Taking a break from digging!
Where we're staying!
The tunnel progresses!
Thermometer outside the door, with Sandy and Olivia busy behind. 
After a dinner of Finnish sausages and rice with vegetables, we enjoyed the sauna once again and relaxed aching muscles from a wonderful day. Amazingly, it appears it will be snowing again tomorrow, which right now seems almost impossible, as the temperature climbed right up into the teens centigrade this afternoon!


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Silja Line - Sweden to Finland

Silja Line - Sweden to Finland
A fantastic way to arrive in Finland is by using the Tallink Silja service from Stockholm in Sweden. These are magnificent boats which take you overnight into Helsinki's centre, and to travel by car with a good quality sea-view cabin is relatively inexpensive. Buffet dinners are outstanding!

Viking Line - Sweden to Finland

Viking Line - Sweden to Finland
An inexpensive way to arrive in Finland is to take the Viking Line ferry service from Stockholm to Helsinki. This overnight service gives the opportunity to sleep in a spacious cabin, taking your car, and arriving the next morning in central Helsinki. This service operates at the same time as the Silja Line service each day.

Finnlines - Germany to Finland

Finnlines - Germany to Finland
On several occasions over the past few years, we have used the excellent FinnLines ferry service from Travemunde in Germany, to sail right up the Baltic Sea to Helsinki. It's an expensive option, but it is a truly memorable journey on what are very modern and extremely comfortable boats. Highly recommended!

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