Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

Somewhere near Rautasjärvi, 2 pm-ish

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Writing on 2012/03/04 at 16:08

We are driving our snowmobiles across a large, windswept plateau in between the rounded, forest-clad mountain tops. It’s hard to tell now but our guide informs us that it is actually a frozen lake, that explains why it is so flat and lacks trees. The snow is has been packed by the wind and is hard and bumpy but the area is open so it is possible to drive at speed, the soft seat cushioning the bumps. The sensation of speed is strange, there is surprisingly little wind yet anything over 40 kilometers an hour feels like you are about to break the sound barrier, much thanks to the bumpy track. Despite being rather big and heavy – kind of bulky compared to road going scooters, the snowmobile feels skittish, it slides about from side to side and you have to fight to keep it straight, more so when going fast and this of course adds to the sensation of speed. Soon we are across the lake and enter the forest where it gets tricky, the track is skinny, with hills and humps, turns and dips; despite slowing down considerably, I have to concentrate to keep going without crashing.

Though different, both speeding over open ground and picking out a path through the forest is exciting and challenging at the same time; it feels adventurous, and a sunny day like this, having an adventure in the wilderness of Lapland is just the thing to do.


Outskirts of Kiruna 8:32 pm

In Place description, Poetic prose, Writing on 2012/03/01 at 20:30

I glance out the car window as we are going along and spot a band of colour floating in the sky, it’s pale green with a tinge of purple at the bottom. It takes a moment for my brain to realize what it is but when I do, I blurt it out in the middle of a conversation; the Northern Lights! We quickly find a place where we can stop by the side of the road and step out of the car to take pictures, too bad I don’t have  a proper camera with me because the one on the phone isn’t able to capture the floating light. Not to worry, these words will suffice as description, so I put the phone down and just enjoy the view. The classical way to describe the aurora is like a ribbon of silk, but I find it is more like pigment dissolving in a stream. I can imagine some giant  holding a fistful of green and perhaps a pinch of purple and dipping his hand in a small creek, letting the colours flow out between his fingers. It sweeps up from the horizon, over snow-covered plains, crosses the road in an arch overhead then swirls down in a spiral at the other horizon.  A few minutes pass then the pigment in the giants hand runs out and the aurora fades away and disappears. And just like that, we step back in the car and continue on our way like nothing happened.