Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good Food, A Light & New Snowshoes

What have we been doing at Christmas? First, eating good food, of course! Eating looots of good food such as finnish salmon soup, moose roast, with own potatoes from our garden, couscous sallad and for dessert blueberries with joghurt and cream . Other than that we burnt a lot of candles. Here in Sweden people light up big candles or flambeaus and put them in front of their houses, which looks pretty neat actually. As it's dark throughout most time of the day any kind of light is welcome.
After having eaten so much good food we had to burn some calories as well! We tried out our new snowshoes, which don't only look cool but also work pretty well in deep powder snow and you know what? Snowshoeing is pretty much fun to do and a real fat burner! :o)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Light Pyramid

These light pyramids decorate most Swedish windows at the moment. Most people keep them in their windows for about 1,5 months from the beginning of December to mid January some even longer.

We are looking forward to a peaceful and quiet Christmas holiday with loads of snow, good company & food plus nice trips enjoying the great outdoors. Merry Christmas everyone! :o)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Endless Sunset Feeling

We have approx. four hours of daylight at this time of the year and while days are short and cold there is not much enthusiasm for outdoor photography at the moment.

However, on a clear day like this one was the light truly is spectacular. The sun stays at the horizon for about two hours until it sets again. It doesn't come up any further, thus the 'endless sunset feeling'.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

River Walking

We arrived at the bridge crossing the Pite River (Piteälven) at the E45, parked our car and started walking. Crossing the bridge was quite easy as the snow wasn't too deep. On the bridge we had a lovely view over the Pite River Valley.
Due to cold temperatures of below -20°C throughout the last weeks the entire bridge is coated with a layer of ice. It hasn't been snowing considerably for many weeks. But the air is so clean that the snow is still white even at the side of the roads.

We walked a few kilometers upstream where the river is more calm. To our surprise we saw that the river was already entirely covered with ice and a thin layer of snow. It was thick enough to walk on. We were walking on the river, which was pretty nice and less exhausting due to less snow. River walking is not unusual to do in January/February but in the beginning of December?
The entire way we had the river for ourselves. It was just us and a few moose tracks. This will change soon though when people will park their snowmobiles on the river to go ice fishing - most likely in March when days are longer again. That'll be fun!

Here is another photo of the streams further down the river.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Forgotten Cars, Picnic?, Snow Plough and more

Days are getting shorter but unlike common thinking it's not completely dark in Lapland at this time of the year. The sun still rises and then stays at the horizon for a couple of hours until it sets again. Still enough time to go for a walk on a frozen lake and take a few pictures.



 Snow Plough

 Animal Tracks

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Extreme Temperatures in November

Lately we've had constantly cold temperatures around -20°C, which is quite unusual for this time of the year even for Lapland standards. Normally we have those temperatures in January/February. The question is how cold will it be then? Below minus 30°C now and then is normal in the beginning of a year but hopefully not for many weeks! ;o)

Last night we broke another record this winter. We had -32°C at our cottage (near Arjeplog) and in our neighbourhood apparently a drain pipe was frozen. These guys were pretty occupied for some time to fix the problem.

Sorry for the bad quality of the pictures. Better luck next time, I guess! ;o)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Winter Driving

Driving on snowy or icy roads at this time of the year is normal course of life in Lapland. Something you gotta get used to as a mid European. Hard to imagine that even main roads like the E45 are not snow or ice free. Enjoy the ride!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Modern Technology Has Reached Us... more hand work...well, at least much less. After four winters in Lapland we thought it's time to modernize our method of clearing our land from snow. ;-)

While our neighbours use snow clearers such as the ATV or snowblower we shoveled snow by hand. No problem with a few cms maybe but if we get 30-50cm of fresh snow in only 24 hours it can be very exhausting. Especially if you have a long entrance...

So Jan did some handicrafts and the result is that we have a walking tractor with a snow blade now. Isn't that cool? ;o)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Cold Night in November

Last night the temperature went as low as -28°C in some places here in Lapland. We measured a max temperature of -21.9°C right at our house wall last night. We don't recall we ever had such low temperatures in the beginning of November since we moved up here but we might as well have forgotten about it. Anyhow, considering the coldest time is yet to come in the beginning of next year we are already doing pretty good so far... ;-)

We'll keep you updated with more records of this year's winter!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

October in Lapland (video)

We have a new video for you. Our October video. A five minute video about the beginning of winter in Lapland at the Arctic Circle. Watch and enjoy! You are welcome to share this video with others.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What to do with Lingonberry

The lingonberry might not be the most popular berry eaten raw, which is due to the fact that it has quite a sour taste compared to the sweet bilberry or cloudberry.
BUT, I'll let you into a little secret.;) Wait until the first frost has come or the second or so. In any way they should be dark red when eaten raw. There is another advantage of not picking the first red lingonberries. You don't need to add as much sugar, which gives it a more natural sweetness.
Probably the most popular ways to process the lingonberry here in Lapland is to make jam or juice of it.

Another tipp: Homemade jam with moose meat. Delicious!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blue Ice

Blue Ice
Originally uploaded by LapplandTimes
Today it was blue ice that caught my attention while standing at a streamlet. Been shooting until my fingers were blue themselves! ;o)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ice Skating in October

Yesterday was the perfect weather to go ice skating here. Far away from the elegance of figure skating but it was a lot of fun to have the lake all for yourself and to skate in this scenery. The ice wasn't mirror-like this time but that didn't minimize the fun!

Ice Skating in October / Lapland, Sweden from LapplandTimes on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wintery Pictures

Snowy TwigsWe have a few more pictures for you. Basicly it's been a mix of cold nights with the lowest temperature of -15°C, snowfall at around zero and some melting during the daytime.

Frozen Rocks We did a couple of nice walks in the snow so far. No need for snowshoeing just yet but some locals were very eager to start the engines of their snowmobiles for the first time this season.We still have too little snow to drive through the forest and although many lakes are frozen already the ice is still too thin to carry a snowmobile.

Gray DayIf it doesn't snow too much the next days there is a good chance to go skating on a frozen lake.
The lake on the last picture is actually frozen!
Every year around this time Anne goes skating on a frozen lake just before the snow will cover most of the ice for the rest of the winter. Very exciting to go skating on a lake and see stones or grass under the frozen surface.

View over Kakel LakeThe pictures were taken on different days in different locations. For more information click on the pictures.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

View over Piteälven in October

A couple of days ago we went for a walk at the Piteälven (The Pite River) only a 10km drive from our house. When you turn right from the E45 there is a forest road going along the river with plenty of resting places right at the river. These places are pretty occupied by campers during the summer time or by locals in spring winter to drive snowmobile over the frozen river, do ice-fishing or a fire on snow to grill sausages or suovas (smoked reindeer). But at this time of the year you have the river all to yourself.
As you can see it was a lovely sunny day. Temperatures around zero, the sun felt warm on that day (almost like spring but with much less snow:) but you could tell by the partly frozen riverside that winter is on it's way...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Hike to Delliknäs

A week ago we went hiking in the Dellikälvens Nature Reserve at the river Laisan, which is about 50km west of Arjeplog. It's a good day tour when you start from our cabin.

Größere Kartenansicht

It was a 10km hike into the past visiting the historical settlement Delliknäs. We took some homemade jerky (dried moose meat) with us as provisions for the day hike.

The tour started at the river Laisan where you had to go over a bridge and then 5km through virgin forest, most of the time slightly uphill.

It was a grey autumn day. When we arrived in Delliknäs the landscape looked kind of spooky but it somehow fit into the atmosphere of the place.

Delliknäs was established in 1892 and inhabited until the 60s. Hard to imagine how tough life must have been under the climatic conditions. People who made a living through livestock breeding (mainly sheep) and farming.

Some buildings were already collapsed others restored. This would probably the perfect spot to experience real wilderness living. Far away from the next road and amenities. A long way from any luxury really.

In our modern world there is a snowmobile track on which you can travel to the place during the winter. Would be interesting to see what the place looks like then!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Beginning of Winter

It's been a busy week and if you follow us on Twitter you've probably already heard the news about our first snow here in Lapland at the Arctic Circle.

Yesterday, we drove on snowy roads again after about six months of ice-free roads. Luckily we had changed tires just the evening before cuz otherwise it wouldn't have been much fun driving on this snowy road!

First Snow in October (2010)

While yesterday it was grey and windy today was a much brighter day and not wet at all in the inland. We had about -1.5°C during the day with bright sunshine. Perfect conditions to go for a short walk on an island near our winter house and take a few winterly pictures.

Snow on Pine Twigs

Sandy Bank Freezing

The Beginning of Winter

Finally, the winter season has started! Welcome to Lapland!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Trip to Båhttsá

Yesterday, we went outside to enjoy the great outdoors near our cottage. This time we decided to walk in the  close-by Ståkke-Bårgå nature reserve. On our way there we met two reindeer herds. We parked at the end of a forest track and  started off into the wilderness. When we arrived at this beautiful lake called Båhttsá we had this wonderful view with hills of 700-800 meters surrounding it. The wind was a bit chilly though and we had to keep on moving to not get cold.

There is also a trail leading to an old farm at the other side of the lake, which we have walked earlier but this time we wanted to explore the other side of the lake. No trail and thick forest were a bit tricky and we got lost at one point even though we had our map with us. Lesson learnt: Better learn to read a compass to take with next time when walking off the trails.

Next summer we want to go canoeing on this lake.

This time I'll add a short unedited video to end with.:)


Important Copyright Notice: The photos, text and videos of this blog remain the copyright of the Authors (Anne, Jan aka Janne). Under no circumstances should the photos, text or videos be used without the express written permission of the Authors (Anne, Jan aka Janne). Please contact us at lapplandtimes[at]yahoo[dot]com if you wish to use or publish photos, videos or text from this blog.