(Finland) Amazing memories in Korpikartano 3 – Unforgettable Pink Aurora in Polar night.

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[14/12/08~18 (D+1205) Korpikartano Hotel]

After taking the rest for a few days, I started volunteering job. I had usually worked for four or five days per week. My job was really easy things. I usually helped small things such as cleaning the snow, corridor, and office’s kitchen, organizing winter activities’ equipment, sometimes cleaning the room and, helping other staff.
There was a big group coming on 12th, so the hotel was quite busy.
There were two important annual meetings before starting season in the winter and summer. All of staff included me attended to the meeting which started at 10 am finished 4 pm.
On 8th, the aurora came out again. I went to run to catch it.



The way to take this kind of picture, star trails, needs remote and tripod. I connected my camera to remote, and my camera on the tripod took pictures continually without interval time. Later I used the software which made hundreds picture combines. Stars made line due to the rotation of the Earth.



Aurora behind the tree



Aurora with the cottage



I’ve never seen a snowman in Finland. So, I decided to make it by myself while waiting Aurora. But I realized why people didn’t make it. The snow didn’t get together that it was like flour. So, I went the parking place where the snow stayed for a while. I pushed snow hard from top and shaved to make the snow solid.
It was very heavy to carry to the entrance, so I used the sled and carried carefully. But the snow was so heavy to lift up.
I went to the office’s kitchen and brought two chocolate balls to give the snowman eyes.
Yeah! Here my new friend!
Well… Let me think….. I’ve never made a snowman in my life… Maybe when I was little child, I might have made, but I couldn’t remember?

The time already passed 12 am that I went to sleep after making the snowman.



At the next day aurora was shown again.



Aurora started dancing that I became busy. I started to run to the lake.



Other guests were running to the lake as well



Aurora became bigger and bigger.



When the aurora’s activity got stronger, it showed pink color. And all of us screamed out with stunning.



I got moved to see pink Aurora. I saw pink aurora only one time when I lived in Yellowknife, Canada. So, I was not sure that I would see it again during staying in Korpikartano Hotel.



Finally I was seeing pink aurora again.



I wanted to have the picture of aurora with me, but already pink aurora was gone.



When I took the picture with kick sled, pink color came again.




Aurora with frozen lake





I was really happy as the staff of the hotel that the guest could see amazing aurora. I was wondering that the guest would know how much they were lucky to see pink aurora.



I wanted to have the picture with the forest, so I run to the opposite side.



It took only 10 minutes, but aurora became weak.






It didn’t disappear, but just it was weak.



Aurora with the forest of Lapland



The tracks of fox were printed in the snow. It seemed all of them were heading to the same spot. I’ve never seen fox in Finland, but when I was in Canada I saw a few times.
Actually I was chased by fox two times in Canada. They acted like hunting me that when I stopped, they stopped. When I started moving, then they chased me. I knew fox was small, but I was afraid of be bitten.



When I came back to the hotel, it was white around my face.



It was -15c (5f). Yeah it was quite cold night.



There was hard snow on the top of log, so I made small snowman easily.



When I stayed in Oulu, I left my luggage I didn’t use at garage. Before taking a bus, I thought I took all of things I needed to the bag. When I was in the bus, suddenly I remembered one thing I forgot. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!! TRIPOD!!! I was in panic. Thanks that Anne let me use a tripod which they rent for free to the guest. But the season would start that I needed my own tripod. Kindly Rolf, my host in Oulu, sent me parcel. There was special price for Christmas that it cost only 5 Euros, and it took only two or three days.



The hotel taught how to take the picture and how to use their camera for the night sky. People must know how to take aurora picture before going out with their camera, because it was too cold to learn at outside in the winter.



There was time left after preparing for a big group. Petir and I went to another cottage which was located at the other side of lake.



We wore snowshoes.



Oh.. here was another small cottage.



I left snowshoe at the outside.



It was cozy and there was much wood.



I wanted to sleep here at the next time, but the thing was I didn’t bring my sleeping bag from Oulu.




Timo and Sebastian, our local guide, were talking on the forest.



The big group arrived and the hotel was so busy. They were heading to North cape from Netherlands (or Belgium?). They were also making money for charity. I did love to go to North Cape with my bike, but it would be too cold to go now.



Everybody looked very happy.



It was interesting to see that this kind of old car could go to the end of Norway in the winter.



There was a little bit of Aurora in the night.




We had a meal in Kota, a bigger cottage because of a big group.



At the next day, there were five games we prepared such as making holes on frozen lake, shaving wood, throwing rubber boots and so on



Aino and I prepared for rubber boots game which was traditional Finnish game that people had to throw the boot into the bucket.




After the group finished the game, Aino and I played together. Of course how come can I beat Finnish on the Finnish game. She won!




Martti was preparing Snow mobile.

The hotel was a school long time ago. Martti told me that he studied in this school. He worked to rebuild the school to the hotel. Even his house was only few hundreds meter from the hotel. Martti was real local guy.



The skin of reindeer; sometimes the guest had asked where they could buy it.




There was snowing on the day time. So, it was not surprising to see cloudy night. But still I could see a bit of aurora light.





I went to a city hall with Jia and Aino at the other day. There were many hand crafts. I told Aino it is very expensive. But Aino told me it is not expensive price, but fair price in Finland. Yeah, she was right that the price was fair because I was in Finland



It was interesting that all of guides and most of staff in the hotel had this kind of knife whatever women or men. But men’s knife is usually from the military in which they used.
I heard that the men must enter the military in Finland for a year because they were invaded many times by Russia. If they want, they can work at public service. But actually I could feel something that some Finnish men are proud of going to the military because they want to protect their country from Russia.






There were many beautiful hand crafts.



Aino and me.. taken by Jia



I wrote over 50 post cards for Christmas and spent over 200$ for it. I sent Asia, Americas, and Europe.
Actually I must send over hundreds post cards, because I got so many helps from all over the world. But it was impossible to send because I didn’t know the address and it was too much money and time. So I felt sorry for the other friend whom I could not send.
I would like to write here for those friends.

I am sorry that I could not send you a post card. But I still remember you and your kindness. Thank you so much for helping me on the road and following me. I will never forget you. I hope you had good 2014. I wish you all the best for 2015.



I could see some star in the night. What a interesting thing was…



When I turned on head lantern, then I could see it was snowing.
At the next early morning Aino, who was training from the school, and Jia, who was working temporarily for marketing, left the hotel.




It was my day off that I tried to learn Cross country ski. Linda, an office worker, taught me how to do.
There were Martti and Sebastian guiding the guest.




Sebastian always greeted at me as saying “Hei~ppa!” with a big smile. It made me always smiling and I greeted the same way as him. Later when I went to the south, some local told me heippa means bye. What?… as googling it could mean hello and bye..
Anyway Hei ppa is more friendly greeting way than hei, someone told me.



I felt like I discovered a new place while skiing.



I felt miracle to see an animal could enjoy the winter.



I felt happy to hear the beautiful singing of birds



There was some shallow spring water which was not frozen. Except it the lake was very safe.



I was trying to take the picture with WiFi function of the camera and app of iPhone.



I thought I was really good at skiing although it was my first time to do. I’ve never done any skiing and snowboarding before. I love to try some day skiing and snowboarding on the slope.





Trail on the lake



I enjoyed my day off so much
I loved all of them. But the orange one which was the third from the left on the picture made the best speed ever!!! I did love so much freezing winter.



I loved adventure that I tried to go some new place, but it was actually just behind the hotel.

With snowshoes!

I saw on the map there was swamp which had open sky. So, I asked Haruna, Japanese girl, how to get there.



Where was I? I failed to find the open sky. But I loved so much just hanging around on the forest.



It was mystery that I could see many stars….



Once I turned on the head lantern, actually I could see it was snowing!!!



As I told at the last post, Yellowknife I stayed were at 62 of latitude. Korpikartano hotel (http://www.korpikartano.fi/) was located at 68 of latitude. It was much higher. Actually Yellowknife was not on Artic Circle, but the hotel was totally on Artic Circle that the hotel had Polar Night.
Polar night means the Sun stays above the horizon for more than 24 hours. This occurs only inside the polar circles. The photo was taken brightly. Usually people have day light from 10 am to 2 pm during polar night at 68 of latitude. Polar night is around from 5th of Dec to 6th of Jan.

Yellowknife also had kind of polar night and midnight sun. But I guessed the hotel had more extreme condition for it because of latitude.
Anyway I had experienced that November and January were also quite dark that I had only five to six hours to cycle at the day time. It means here the local people have to stay more than three months in many dark days.



I left my camera at the second floor, a suit room before the season started. But I failed to take 24 hours time lapse. It was different from time lapse of midnight sun that the night was too long, which used too much battery.

Anyway not bad video…



This video was taken when I was in Yellowknife


[14/12/08~18 (D+1205) Korpikartano Hotel] Amazing memories in Korpikartano 3 – Unforgettable Pink Aurora in Polar night.

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  1. again beautiful photos especially the time lapse ones of the star trails. thank you for posting

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