Finland, a mystery so close, but often never unfolded. What lies behind the fence that distinguishes the perimeter of your home? The most interesting scenery can be found right in front of your doorstep, but it is too close for it to look remotely interesting. Who is to say one must travel to see more? The following images have been taken in the forest that borders the flat known as my ‘garden of safety’. All photos remain untouched to intensify the reality of the beauty of nature. My solitude of boredom lead to an epic adventure that changed my perspective on the neighbourhood I live in. The long Finnish winters prevent the trees to expand in width and for vegetation to grow tight together. This created the opportunity to abandon the trails and get lost in mosquito land.
Finland, the arrangements were made. The morning sun is shining bright, but still the temperature is way below zero. This holiday is definitely not made for resting, but peaceful it sure is. The owner is already waiting to give instructions on how to work a snowmobile when we care to ask if a driver’s license is needed to come on the tour. After a small hesitation the answer is among the lines of “Just be careful on the road”. I guess this is one of the advantages of planning a holiday far from tourist, or even human civilization. Laws are made to be forgotten, if they even exist in a village of three families!
Instructions are less than those of the dog sleds. In fact the only important one is to lean when turning. Funny enough the first turn is taken slightly wide resulting to a snow, powder, mountain collision. Luckily there are no trees involved, but unfortunately it is not the first amateur incident as the snow mobile refused to start in the first place! Scary? Maybe…Intense? Only slightly, but there is no turning back now! Ironic, because I am not sure I even know how to do that on a snow mobile.
We are riding towards the middle of nowhere as fast as I just went off topic. More layers of snow are visible on the trees when we drive further up a mountain. Crossing frozen lakes and racing through the wilderness with up to 30 kilometres an hour is exhilarating. Sometimes it is noticeable that the guide (whom is on a snowmobile in front of us) is pointing at a wild animal, but there is no time to look. “Must focus on where I am going,” It is only the trees I am worried about, seeing that this part of the forest is as remote as it can get. Luckily the bright sun is providing only happy thoughts and even the adrenaline and heat coming from the wheel of the snowmobile is making the ride very enjoyable.
Finally, after a two-hour drive the top of the mountain is reached. The perfect time for a traditional Finnish hot, red, sweet beverage. There is one small hut built on the peak that carries along a large history. Previously it was used to spot Russian troops, but after the war the place was ideal to locate forest fires. People would survive in this tiny hut for months, with nothing to do but to keep the fire going. Still the hut is open for the public. Some locals make use of the place when they track through the wilderness. The altitude is so high that the trees look like snow statues cut by professionals. Nonetheless it is just because the snow hardly melts and so it is just stacking on top of each other.
So this is what the top of the world feels like. This is what peace feels like. If only it wasn’t so hard to reach the world would be in great shape.