Lapland 2007

Our second trip to the frozen north, a week within the Arctic Circle and again the Northern Lights fail to show up! Twice now I’ve tried to fulfil an ambition to witness one of nature’s wonders, the Aurora Borealis, and both times I’ve failed.

Despite being told that if you stay for more than a few days the chances of seeing them at least once are very high, I’ve managed two weeks there and still haven’t got a proper look! There was a rush of excitement on our first night there though. Not long after arriving someone spotted a patch of green in the woods near our chalet and we all rushed out into minus 20 degrees to see only the briefest flicker of green before going back in again disappointed.

Levi

The chalet in Levi was great, although it was so warm that we had to open the windows to cool the place down at night! Took us most of the week to figure out how the underfloor heating system worked.

The down side of the accommodation was the long walk each day up to the ski bus and the slopes. Poor Jill was a nervous wreck, falling flat on her backside the first night and struggling with the conditions all week.

Lapland

Here in Levi Jill took the bit between her teeth and attempted to learn to ski; tears unfortunately followed. A combination of difficult conditions, poor training facilities (and instructor), and Jill’s own lack of confidence conspired against her. The day she hurled her ski poles at me screaming obscenities after yet another fall while dismounting the drag lift, I knew it wasn’t to be! Lee, Mariska & Emily though took to skiing like ducks to water, making the rest of us green with envy.

 

Here are a couple of Jill’s more successful runs

Jill 1 Jill 2
Run 1 Run 2

 

Skiing conditions were superb; night skiing was floodlit, making the light snow look like falling glitter in a fairy tale Christmas card setting as we were towed up the lifts. By day we were treated to stunning sunsets, the last time we were here it was permanent grey twilight, but this time the scenery from the mountain slopes was jaw dropping at times.

My own skiing peaked on this trip, I’d never had such confidence and ability and even turned to a few party tricks, doing 180 degree turns while coming down the slopes and even attempting a few ski jumps. The final run for me was caught on film, but unfortunately the previous one wasn’t! I’d just done a superb run down the ski park, swooping and swerving gracefully, taking a ski jump perfectly, and coming to a pin point stop in a shower of spraying snow only to find out that Jill hadn’t been ready for me with the camera. I had to go back up again, but this time I mistimed the jump and hit the deck for the first and only time on this holiday. You can actually hear Jill laughing on the video.

 

Fall from grace
Jill 2

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