Lapland is a place many people have not heard of. In fact, Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region, a sparsely populated area bordering Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea. It’s known for its vast subarctic wilderness, ski resorts and natural phenomena, including the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. It is the homeland of the indigenous Sami people.
I was fortunate enough to spend Christmas there and enjoyed dog sledging, reindeer rides and much more.
The central place in Lapland is a town called Rovaniemi. I stayed there a few days and found the weather varies greatly. I often walked down to Kemijoki River (the longest river in Finland) to enjoy the views. In December, the days are extremely short (daylight from about 10 am to 2 pm). This image was taken as the sun rose, and steam rose from the river as the sun hit. Interestingly, the river was not frozen over in the coldest part of the year. I was told it was a combination of current but even more that their winters are milder than they have ever been! Regardless, it is an area of absolute beauty and loads of winter sports for anyone willing.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor