[14/12/24~31 (D+1218) Korpikartano Hotel]
Today was Christmas Eve. The sauna in the main building and the other building was for free, but the cottage sauna needed extra money. Christmas Eve was more important than Christmas, so the hotel would let the guest use it for free today.
Today my job was to maintain the sauna hot. When I arrived in a cottage, a dressing room was around -10c (14f). I had to put the wood regularly so that the room was enough hot before the guest coming. Usually all of the wood burned on the stove in one hour. Later I made the room around 15 c (59 f)
By the way yesterday it was -28c (-18f). Today was -25 (-13f)
Last week, it was around -5~-10 (23f~14f). The temperature was changed too quickly.
It was a shower room. It was said that a typical Finnish sauna didn’t have running water, but they used the water in the bucket. It was freezing cold winter that I had to boil water for the guest. But I didn’t need to keep putting the wood here. Usually once it was hot, then it stayed hot for a long time.
The most important place was a sauna room. I had to make the room over 80 c (176f). Some of guest rolled on the snow (-25c [-13f]) after hot sauna (80c [176f]). woW
I loved the winter, because it showed so much beautiful art of the nature.
The local guide, Sebastian, made me Finnish name.
He said that I had high level today in the hotel. Hahaha
Suddenly I was promoted!
The dinner was ready in Kota, a big cottage.
While very busy for dinner, suddenly aurora started dancing.
Wow!!!! Again!!!!! Pink aurora came!!!
It was my second time to see pink color of aurora in Korpikartano Hotel.
What a big gift for Christmas Eve
After the guest had dinner, we also had Christmas dinner together.
The end at the right side was kind Anne, the owner of the hotel. The right of her was funny her husband. The first at the left side was me. The second was talkative friendly Susana, the next was our beautiful office worker Rinda, and the last was energetic Iitu.
I got a big gift from Anne for Christmas Eve. Also the Maarit who worked in the kitchen and Susana gave me some gift as well.
I was really happy to spend the time with them on Christmas Eve. Thanks…
When I went out after the dinner with colleagues, I could see another amazing aurora.
Oh my goodness… again? Another amazing aurora!!!!!!!!!!!
It was my first time to see the strong aurora over two times in one night.
The aurora covered the above the sky.
I already had many pictures of hotel with the aurora, so I wanted to run to the forest for the picture. But I couldn’t do, because I was afraid of disappearing aurora.
I just watched the aurora around the hotel.
Actually I thought I saw Aurora in Korpikartano hotel more often than when I was in Yellowknife comparing to days I stayed. I really worked hard when I was in Canada and the weather was too cold there. The most of hard thing was I lived in the city and it was too difficult to see Aurora from my flat. I must have walked over 30 minutes to the lake to check Aurora. Round trip was over one hour. But here I needed only 1 minute to check the sky.
When the aurora was really strong, I felt like the aurora would attack the earth.
When I run to the forest, the aurora became weak.
Nah, I just left my camera with the remote on the forest. My camera would keep taking the picture until the batteries gone. I did not think that anybody would steal it. Only problem could be the animal touching my camera. Then star trails could be stopped. Later I checked that nothing happened.
Photos on 24th of Dec 11:15pm~ 25th of Dec 2:35am
Total 3 hours and 20 minutes
Two batteries on the vertical battery grip
Temperature -25 c (-13f)
Total 712 pictures compositing
During midnight, I had to wake up to take my camera from the forest to prevent frosting on the camera. It was the hardest part because I was too tired and it was too cold.
Christmas was so normal day like other day. We didn’t have dinner in Kota and none of us wore the hat of Santa.
There aurora came out on 26 th.
26th of Dec was seriously cold that it went under -32c (-25.6f). I was quite excited to see a coldest temperature in Finland. (By the way the coldest temperature I saw was -40 c (-40f) in Canada)
It was really cold that the nose was frozen as I went soon. When I tried to take a deep breath, I caught.
Northern Lights in Lapland.
My favorite color in the winter, Green
This aurora was quite strong as well. So, I run to my favorite place, the forest.
There was little of pink aurora, I thought.
Aurora kept dancing the above my head.
Same place, but different shape of aurora; it meant aurora kept moving.
Aurora with the forest
Actually there was the moon, but I could see the strong aurora still. It was the strong as much as Christmas’ one.
I thought I saw enough aurora during staying in the hotel.
Again I got my day off.
Today I would try some adventure. I borrowed the small bag from the hotel. I put some wood on the bag. I went to the frozen lake with cross country ski.
I liked this kind of snow land (such as marshmallow? Or bubble ).
The hidden cottage of the hotel in the forest; the cottage was locked, so I had to get the key to use it.
I left my ski at the outside.
I made a small fire to warm up my body and had ham.
After that, I went to another lake.
I went into a small forest and took off my ski. I saw some local magazine on the table while I had dinner. On the picture of magazine, one local guy dug the snow, made fire, and sat at the next to the fire.
That’s how I was inspired today. The wood was burn very easily on the snow. I didn’t have enough wood.
So, I used the dead wood which was at the next at me. Unlikely hotel’s wood, it was too wet, so it made too much smoke.
After I came back to the hotel, I had super hot sauna.
Actually I was not much fan of sauna. But I did for challenging. (I like challenging.)
Anyway many of nights I was too tired to use Sauna because I stayed until the late night for hunting Aurora.
The time went quickly as I read the book on my iPhone. It was the most relax time in the sauna. Then suddenly something pop up. No way… don’t die….. I put away my iPhone at the outside.
At the next day I decided to do cross country ski again to the forest. But this time I wanted to use other trail. I asked our local guide. He said I should not go to the center of lake, because there was water. It didn’t mean the lake melted. There were many layers of snow on the lake. When the weather was warm, the snow on the lake melted. When it snowed again there, the water was covered by snow. Then it was hard to figure out.
I chose the snowmobile track at the other side of the lake, which the guest never used. At the end of my trip to the forest, I had to ski on the ice water.
There was lots of snow at the beginning of the forest ever. When I entered to the center, it was less.
Again I made fire like yesterday. Although it snowed, the wood burned so well. After 2 pm, the darkness came to the forest, so I had to leave.
When I tried to go back to the lake, oh…….no…..way… my shoes were totally wet as stepping on melt ice water on the lake. The scariest thing was the track of snowmobile disappeared by heavy snow storm. And it was too dark already. When I tried to put ski boots on sky, it didn’t work out. I guessed because there was ice stuck. I really went far away from the hotel that I could not see any light.
Today was -7 c (19.4f), but my ski boots were totally wet. What should I do now?
I was too afraid of frostbite with my feet. It was hard to see the front because of snow storm hitting my face. If the head lantern would be turned off, it would be the worst.
There was nothing to do except keeping going. At some point, I found a little bit of snowmobile track. It was really interesting that I didn’t feel cold with my feet although my shoes and socks were wet. Maybe because I kept moving and the snow was quite warmer than air.
When I could see light of the hotel and Martti house, I felt so happy.
Because of snow storm suddenly, it was really hard to find track of snow mobile in the night. Especially I went the place where the guest never tried. I just wanted to find a new place. Anyway this was the reason I must be smart in the extremely cold place. Everything could be wrong suddenly.
I knew already one scary story. When I was in Yellowknife, Canada, my German coworker was sunk on the frozen river in freezing cold winter. He was alone at that time, but he had a car that he could survive. (Unluckily, his camera was dead) He didn’t know that there was very thin ice.
When I saw the shoes after back to the hotel, it was covered by the ice.
I guessed why I didn’t feel cold with the feet…
I made heat as keeping moving -1
The temperature on the snow was quite warmer than on the air-2
Ice was another layer to prevent the cold -3???
After a cold adventure, a sauna made me relax.
(The weather was really weird that it was -32 (-25.6 f) a few days ago, but now it was -7c (19.4f))
Today was the last day of 2014. The hotel was full of the guest, who wanted to spend the time with their family and loved one.
My favorite job was to put the candle on the snow. Usually it stayed over four to six hours. When the time went, the candle went down to the snow.
Today was another special day that we had the dinner at Kota. Actually it needed lots of work, because we had to carry all of things for dinner from the restaurant to the cottage on the snow by hand.
After dinner, we had Finnish fortune. Everyone got a small piece of tin, cast in the shape of a miniature horseshoe, a traditional symbol of good luck. The horseshoe was melted and the liquid metal poured quickly in a bucket of cold water, making it harden into a more or less irregular-shaped, solid clump.
The shape and shadow of the resulting cast were examined and interpreted to predict the various future events of the coming year.
Susana was telling the guest about predicting of their new year. She was very activity girl, so I thought she was good at making the story. Later I realized that people were waiting the line to hear from her. It looked she was so serious and the story she talked about was also serious. Later she told me that she learned how to read it from her grandmother.
She predicted mine as well, but I cannot remember it. I think it was good one.
After Finnish Fortune, Marti was ready to show beautiful thing. So we handed the guest sparkler. When everybody had it, Marti started fire work.
It was really special to me that I could spend Christmas and New Year with the same people on the trip.
If someone asked me how my 2014 was, I didn’t know what to say. I felt like 2014 was not finished yet, because I was still in Europe. When I finished Europe trip with my bike, then maybe I would have the time to say how my 2014 was.
Today was the last day of 2014. So, I felt like maybe I should say something about my 2014. There were many happiest moment. Sometimes it was too sad that I cried too much. Sometimes it was too difficult that I felt too hard. There were so many stories of my trip on 2014. Anyway I cannot say 2014 was failed or succeeded. It was just not bad year.
For 2015, I wish I become more positive and diligent. Also I hope I can grow on the road. I really didn’t read the book on 2014. I didn’t know why. Anyway I hope I read the book again on 2015.
My last wish for 2015 was I could be alive with being safe on the road
Cheers for 2015!!!
[14/12/24~31 (D+1218) Korpikartano Hotel] Amazing memories in Korpikartano 5 – Happy New Year and Merry Christmas at the same place