Monday, June 28, 2010

Midsummer Month

June is the month of midsummer in Lapland. Right now we have 24 hours of daylight at the arctic circle. Last weekend we celebrated Midsummer Night. The weather was perfect, a warm summer breeze. Local people like to spend this time of the year in their holiday homes in the countryside.

Yesterday evening Anne sorted all video material from June and today it's ready for you to see! Enjoy our 5 minute video of the month about our hiking trips in the wilderness of northern Europe (Sweden).

Midsummer Month from Janne@LapplandTimes on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Climbing Up That Hill

In case you haven't noticed: We LOVE hiking. Hiking through nature has a lot of advantages. It keeps you fit, you can spend valuable time together, discover a lot of wildlife and explore the great outdoors. Yesterday we hiked a small trail to the top of a hill called Erik-Larsaberget.

Größere Kartenansicht

In the beginning of our hiking trip we discovered a couple of ponds with several different sized frogs in them. They were enjoying the sun heating up the pond and they had enough food - mosquito larvae.

We crossed over a creek. Then the hard bit started. The climb up. Climbing up Erik-Larsaberget (571m) is a fairly easy exercise. A few hundret meters of some more or less steep climbing - just to get warm. *ahem*

But the rewarding view over the landscape after an exhausting climb up is just enough reason to repeat the exercise a couple of times a year.

On top of the hill there is a look-out and a small log cabin. It's open to the public equipped with a wood stove, a table and a few benches. In the winter you can also go up that hill with a snowmobile (there are snowmobile tracks). Not as much exercise maybe but worth a try to enjoy the views over a winter landscape.

Before the climb-down we made a campfire, to boil water in a small can & keep away the mosquitoes, drank some hot tea and ate a few cinammon rolls.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mosquito Repellent Tips

Yesterday we went for a 13km hike through Lapland's wilderness. We saw reindeers, a hare, moose poop, a fox and looots of mosquitoes. Summer time is mosquito time in Lapland.

During the summer we never go for a walk in the forest without being 'armed' with a mosquito repellent. Otherwise you will be eaten alive by mosquito clouds. I'm not kidding! There are a lot of different mosquito repellents you can buy in the local stores. We won't list all of them here but give some tips how to protect yourself against the persistent mosquitoes.

Before we moved to Lapland we had mosquito repellents from Germany that did not seem to be as effective against lappish mosquitoes. ;-) Anyway, how do you know which repellent works for you? You will have to find out but we found OFF! to be very effective. The smell is pretty strong -almost like a parfume- but it lasts for many hours and they really leave you alone. Another is US622. It doesn't smell as strong but doesn't last as long either in our experience. Then there is Djungelolja and MYGGA in Sweden. We haven't tried those as we found them to be pretty expensive.

You can choose between many types of repellents. Spray, oil, roll-on. Which one works best? We do different types for different purposes. Spray for larger parts of the body like legs or even on clothes (yes, they bite through t-shirts!). Oil and roll-on for smaller and more difficult places like the face.

There are also other ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes. Wear long clothes (if it's not too warm), eat loads of garlic (:although you probably would have to eat more than you can handle... it hasn't worked for us and we do eat lots at times:), wear a hat (they find their way through hair, believe me). There are lots of other natural mosquito repellents for people who do not want to use toxic chemical repellents. Peppermint oil for instance.

Another thing that should be mentioned is that mosquitoes are most active during the evenings. A good way to keep them away from you is by making a campfire. The more smoke, the better.
Taking a Break

So this is the way we survive the mosquito plague here in Lapland. Following the aforesaid does really help and makes the outdoors endurable or even enjoyable!

So tell us, which mosquito repellent works for you?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Originally uploaded by LapplandTimes
After hiking on a small forest trail, which goes along the Hornavan (the deepest lake in the north of Sweden) near Arjeplog and loosing track of the poorly marked trail at some point we ended up here. Not too bad, huh?

So we decided this is a good place to enjoy the views, eat some snacks, send our doggie for a short swim and then return along the lakefront.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tracking The Bear

Been on a 15km hike through old forest today following the tracks of a bear...or maybe he was following us? We've seen many tracks of bears here in the north of Sweden but never actually faced one. Shy animals as they are.

The bear tracks on the photo are not fresh but probably from spring when the dirt road was softened due to the snow melt.

After having left the dirt road I couldn't find any good foot prints on the forest soil. But other things like claw marks or bear poop.

I'm not sure how I'd react if I saw a heart would probably beat twice as fast of excitement and I'd feel the urge to run away but couldn't because first I'd be paralysed by fear and second I'd know it's the wrong thing to do.

That doesn't stop me though from going into the wilderness, leaving the marked trails, equipped with a map (I know, we're old fashioned without GPS but we still manage...;-) exhausting myself physically and enjoy the rewarding views of nature. The urge of freedom and thirst for adventure is stronger than the fear.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hiking and Moose Poop

Another day out in the bush. It just feels so nice to pass anywhere again in the vast forests of Lapland after seven months of only snow and cold weather. So we try to be outside as much as possible and hike away our last winter fat reserves. ;-)

Our hiking day trips vary between 10-20km mostly. The terrain is partly hilly with a lot of trees, some svampland, sandy ground and small rocks.

Occasionally the rocks can be quite big though... like this one...

If we are lucky we see wildlife like a moose the other day but mostly it's just animal tracks and moose poop of which you find loads everywhere. Now this might sound a little disturbing but it actually looks a bit like Easter eggs, don't you think? ;-)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blue Lake Harmony

Blue Lake Harmony
Originally uploaded by LapplandTimes
Anne took this photo last evening on our cottage lake while enjoying the view from our boat. Mosquitoes are back in Lapland so it's wise to be on the water during the evenings.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Dog Smiling

Happy dog smiling
Originally uploaded by LapplandTimes
This sweet guy was very happy yesterday on our 20km hiking day trip through the wilderness of Lapland.

Lucky Fishing

Today was a good day. Went fishing with rods this evening and used jiggs as bait. After two hours we had to stop because we had enough to eat for supper. ;-)

Now this is the result...

...caught these 10 lovely perches.

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Fish of The Season

After having eaten inlayed fish from last season for the past 7 months it's nice to have our first fresh fish again. Jan layed out the net this morning and when checking this evening we had four big perches in the net. Our dinner was almost ready!

Filleted, a twist of lemon, some salt & pepper and then just fry in a pan...delicious!

Moose Hiding

Moose Hiding
Originally uploaded by LapplandTimes
While we went for a walk at the Akkelis Fjällurskog, a nature reserve near Arjeplog at the Hornavan lake this guy suddently appeared and ran along the road for a bit until he disappeared in the woods again. Unfortunately he was too fast for me to get a good picture of him. But this is a story to tell anyway! Better luck next time! ;-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two men and a canoe

Summer is over in Lapland before it has really begun. At least that was the feeling we got the last days.
After having been spoiled with warm weather up to 26 degrees C in mid May and my first lawn mowing this year a week ago - 6°C is a tough setback! Last night temperature was just above freezing. After all, we still live at the arctic circle, I guess...

... one is in need of a cap and a warm jacket, the other is doing just fine the way he is ;-)...

Anne's still waiting for better warmer weather to come...hopefully soon!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Two Spring Videos

It's been a lot of new material lately and took a while to sort, cut, edit, etc. but now there are two May videos ready for you to watch! Enjoy...

Snow & Ice Melting in May

A walk in the forest from our earlier post Into the wild.

Between forest & water from Janne on Vimeo.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bright Nights

Midsummer is close...a couple of weeks from now and we'll have the longest day of the year.

Back in Germany we did not celebrate this day but here in Sweden people celebrate it big time! In the north of Sweden, here in Lapland, one can experience midsummer in a special way. 24 hours of daylight with the sun at the horizon during nights.

This is how it looked tonight at our cottage ... around 11pm...

Midnight delight
You can download a wallpaper of this photo here.


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.