Day 4: A feast of skiing

>> Thursday, April 09, 2015

Sunshine. Serenity. Stillness. Silence. Skiing aplenty. And finally, snow. It has been a day which has had almost everything we crave and love about this fantastic country.

This morning, we realised that we were starting our 4th straight day of skiing, meaning that we are running out of days left here. After today, only two more days left to ski. And tomorrow, it'll only be in the afternoon, as we are spending the morning on a husky and reindeer farm, and going for rides in sledges pulled by each of them.

Leaving the cottage in sunshine first thing. 
So, we set off to Zero Point after breakfast hoping for a calmer day on the slopes, as yesterday had been windy in the afternoon. We weren't disappointed; it was absolutely calm and still as we headed up on the third T-bar taking us towards the top of the fell.  In these conditions, it's easy to fall in love utterly with a place like Levi. The sun was beating down, and although it was still around 0C, it felt remarkably warm and pleasant on the slopes. But it was the silence that struck us. Away from the front slopes, and far from South Point, where hundreds ski each day at the other side of the resort, you find yourself on deserted pistes that are immaculately groomed and a delight to ski down. Stopping half way down to admire the amazing views allows you to consider whether you are actually in a populated place at all, the sound of silence is so loud.
 Looking to slope 6.1 from Levi Golf restaurant.
Cross country skiers stop for a break.
By 11.30 we had decided to stop for snacks and hot chocolates on the Eastern Slopes, by Levi Golf course, which is still deeply buried under snow of course. I wonder what it's like to play golf here so far north in the Arctic... yet some Finns I have spoken to earlier this week have already told me it's a crazy yet wonderful experience teeing off at 10.30pm at night during the summer, with the sun still beating down on the 1st hole. I can imagine!

We enjoyed our snacks so much that we returned to the same restaurant at the foot of lift 6 for lunch - a buffet of delicious reindeer soup, a multitude of salads and pizzas, as well as many different types of bread, all for a most reasonable price of €12.90, which is less than £10.00 at the current exchange rate. Superb value!
Enjoying the delicious reindeer soup :-)
 Time to pack up for another day.
 Zero Point rental area - returning the skis and boots. 
By early afternoon, it was suddenly snowing, and pretty hard too. We headed over to Anna's favourite runs by South Point and skied there until about 3.30pm, when we caught the bus back to Zero Point, where we left our skis and boots. On the way home, a bit of souvenir buying, then sauna sessions in our cottage completed the array of things beginning with the letter "s" for today!
One of the best parts of the holiday - relaxation in the sauna. 80C heat, sweat pouring off the body, pores cleansed fully, ready for tomorrow!


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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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