My Lapland trip was definitely my favourite one.
It was organised by Esn Tallinn, an organisation of proactive young students or workers who dedicate some of their free time to create amazing events and trips for Erasmus students.
We reached Helsinki by ferry (around 3 hours) and there we took a bus to reach Lapland (about 12 hours).
Our first destination was Rovaniemi, where I met Santa Claus and his faithful reindeers. The atmosphere was really weird: it was March but this place was stuck on Christmas time. I celebrate Christmas again and then we left for Kuusamo.
We spent two nights in Kuusamo college, a wonderful place surrounded by snowy firs. All the Finnish people that I met there were super nice and very talkative about their traditions. I learnt that the lowest temperature recorded in Kuusamo was -48 degrees, that the symbol of the town is a reindeer and that in Finland there are 200000 reindeers.
But the piece of information which struck me most was the following: in Finland there are 3 millions of saunas, unbelievable!!!
During the night I tried to admire the nothern lights, but unfortunately I caught the fever, so I had to come back to my room and I missed them. Some of my friends managed to see them and they told me it was a spectacular experience. I was really sad at first, but then I realised I have an excuse to come back in Lapland.
The following day we visited the husky farm. I did’t do the famous husky ride because I didn’t agree with the conditions in which the dogs are kept (there were around 200 huskies, each one closed in a very small cage). Anyway, I had a good time as I could cuddle some puppies and admire other animals, such as reindeers and horses, which, on the contrary, were kept very well.
Then we visited a reindeer farm and my impression about the animals’ condition was positive: reindeers there were kept in a wide open field and had a lot of food to eat.
We had lunch around a fire and the atmosphere was magical, even if I was really sick.
In the evening we tried the typical Lappish dinner: reindeer meat. I cannot describe its taste: some of my friends told me it tasted like deer meat.
During the last day we visited Oulanka National Park and it was one of the best experience of my life. I even saw a white squirrel, but unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to take a picture of it.
After that, we tried the typical Finnish sauna. As I was still feverish, I couldn’t jump in the frozen lake as my friends did. It was really strange to see people after sauna playing in the snow, with only their swimming suit on. I will regret not having this peculiar experience too.
Finally, we came back to Tallinn and I felt really happy. If you are going to be an Erasmus student at Tallinn University I suggest you should go to Lapland: the Esn trip cost only 290 euros all included and it will be the best trip of your life!