Loma Vietonen – a special place

Day 27-28 (and day -4372 to -4357): To the origin of my love for being way up north.

Yesterday morning I was in Pajala, which is quite near to Finland and since I had some days left before I would spend a week on Solberget, it felt quite logical to cross the border to Finland. And I already had a destination in mind, just 150 km away.

But before I continue let’s enter a time machine and go 13 years and 17 days back in time.

That’s when I flew from Düsseldorf, Germany to Rovaniemi, Finland where I got a lift to a place called Loma Vietonen. It was the first time that I was way up north (The north peak of Denmark was the northernmost place before) and it was the first time that I experienced a real winter. The first meter-deep powder snow, the first temperatures round -35 °C, the first skiing on snowmobile tracks, the first time standing on the big lake Iso Vietonen and watching my first northern lights. I saw my first reindeers, ate my first cloudberries and took my first tours with snow shoes. I tried ice fishing the first time and made a dogsled tour the first time. And I was so touched by these experiences, that I probably would have moved to Finland if not the Finnish language would have been so hard to learn. That’s when my way-up-north story really began.

Back to yesterday: I was cheerful and in high spirits when I entered Finland, turned right and headed to Iso Vietonen. I just wanted to see this place again. When I parked the car it was a bit like coming to an old aunts house – so long ago but still familiar. I entered the main building and asked for a room. And I was lucky, they had exactly one room left for me including breakfast. Great!

I sniffed around, went down to the lake, took a picture of the house I was accommodated at 13 years ago and finally took my skis and just went on a snowmobile track. It was fun just gliding smoothly without thinking. What a difference to my 100 meters some days before! A Finnish folk song came into my mind.

And in the evening I even met Aira and Mikko, who ran Loma Vietonen when I was here the first time. The same Aira who sang that Finnish folk song and I played the piano.

Today weather was warm with temperatures round zero but it was sunny and quite calm. I did a ski tour, both following the trails, loosing them accidentally or on purpose, climbed the hill Sompanen, went down again and had fun.

But it’s funny because so many things became normal since I moved to Skelleftehamn in Sweden almost five years ago. Yes, we have snow, too, and snowmobiles and Northern Lights. The next ice fishers use to sit less than 200 meters away from my house, I use my skis in the forests we have. I eat cloudberries and even try to collect them. Last winter we got 83 cm of snow in 24 hours. Some things I still love, others became part of my everyday life.

But it’s great to be able to visit this special place, where it all started. Probably the origin of my life in Northern Sweden A good reason to feel a bit nostalgic today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 comments to “Loma Vietonen – a special place”

  1. Annika 2015-02-11 21:22

    Und ich bin immer noch neidisch: so viele tolle Sachen gleich beim ersten Mal! Wieso eigentlich Moltebeeren im Winter?

  2. Annika 2015-02-11 21:32

    So schöne Bilder!!!

  3. Martin 2015-02-11 21:46

    Tief verschneite, flache Winterlandschaft. Auf mehrere 100 km im Umkreis ungefähr die gleichen Motive, auch immer ein bisschen langweilig! Nur mit ein bisschen Glück atmet die Weite der Landschaft auch in den Fotos weiter. Der “huge lake iso vietonen” ist so schön langweilig!
    Auch bei dem grauen diffusen Licht in Pajala spüre ich was von Ruhe/Langeweile dieses Wintertages im Hohen Norden. Auch diese Bilder tragen eine Atmosphäre in sich, die wir hier vermissen.
    Gruß Martin

  4. Hannah Karlsson 2015-02-12 01:12

    Ja, sowieso neidisch: richtiger WINTER….
    Tolle Bilder!

  5. Jana 2015-02-12 08:50

    Witzig, genau das gleiche Bild vom Muonio hab ich auch gemacht, ist wohl Standard beim Grenzübertritt – bloß das ich nach Norden abgebogen bin. Wann fährst du denn nun endlich im Pallas vorbei? Deine Reiseroute spannt mich ganz schön auf die Folter, du bist immer kurz davor und biegst dann doch wieder falsch ab ;)
    Nicht das du am Ende das beste Stück Winter verpasst, wo du doch so luxuriös Zeit hast und quasi vor der Tür stehst…

  6. Sabine NL 2015-02-12 09:45

    Such a nice story. You dared to live your dream. Wonderful photos, they reflect the northern winter magic perfectly.

  7. way-up-north 2015-02-12 10:22

    Annika: Moltebeeren kann man prima einfrieren.

    Martin: Für spannende Motive müsste ich mehr in den Bergen und in Norwegen unterwegs sein. Ich mache die Reise aber primär gar nicht des Fotografierens, sondern des Erlebens wegen. Und da bin ich eben immer wieder an Stellen, die einen Landschaftsphotographen nicht gerade entzücken. Aber mir gefällt’s.

    Hannah: Na ja, im Februar würde ich mir die Bäume tief verschneit wünschen, aber Sturm und Wärme lassen den Winter hier wie Ende März wirken. Vårvinter.

    Jana: War Pallas-Yllästunturin (oder so) das, wo Du die Hüttentour mit Skiern gemacht hast? Vielleicht mache ich das im März, wenn das Wetter gut ist. Heute oder morgen geht es aber erst einmal wieder nach Schweden zurück.

    Sabine NL: Yes, I dared it. But it took many years until I was ready for it.

  8. Martin 2015-02-12 10:50

    Um kein Missverständnis aufkommen zu lassen – mir auch!

  9. Nils 2015-02-12 21:59

    Oh yes your right, if you’ve done all this experience, Lapland will change your hole life and you will never visit the south again :) .

  10. way-up-north 2015-02-13 07:38

    Martin: ;-)

    Nils: What is your story?

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