(Finland) Amazing memories in Korpikartano Hotel 2 – Husky Safari, Snow mobile, and finally saw amazing Aurora.

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[14/12/05~07 (D+1194) Korpikartano Hotel]

I arrived in Inari late afternoon by bus. I didn’t have a local number, so I was looking around. Then one girl came to me and welcomed me.
“Nice to meet you, I am Jin” I said
“I know” She said without telling me her name. What a cool.
And then she helped me to put my luggage into hotel’s car.
I had many post cards for Christmas, so I asked her we had the time to send it. Kindly she said she could help me. So, we went a grocery store which had a post office. While waiting the line, I asked her “Excuse me, what is your name?”
She answered “I know”
“Is your name I know? Can I know your name’s spelling? ”


Now I know AINO!!

It seems Aino is a typical girl’s name in Finland. Good to know.
Finally I met Anne when I got to Korpikartano Hotel. Anne, the owner of the hotel, told me I should take the rest for a few days to have the time to look around the hotel. She was kind as on email that I felt relax.

The above picture was my room for a month, which had a toilet as well. Wow. I was just a volunteer, but I got a free room which actually costs 76 Euros (100$) ($1=1.3 Euros at that time)
I felt like I was in a dream. Wow. Frankly speaking, it was my dream to have my own space during the trip like this.



Usually the staff had a meal at the kitchen which was just at the next of office. But Anne told me I should eat the dinner at the restaurant to see how the hotel treated the guest. Jia, who was working for marketing for temporary, had meal with me. It was full course meal and very luxury.

After pleasant meal, Anne gave me the time to have the experience of Snow Moville. Wow I was super excited to try it. I didn’t drive, but it was already so much fun.

Although I could not see Aurora in the night, it didn’t matter because I would stay many days here. I was sure I would see aurora another day. No rush

I fell into sleep with full of happiness.



At the next day Anne told me I should have the experience of Husky Safari at this time. (In Canada it was called dog sledding. But Finnish called it Husky Safari.) Husky farm was not far from the hotel. The hotel worked with this farm for a while. The musher, the driver of a dog sled, was quite famous in Finland. She was a model of Finnish tourist website. (She was at the back in front of a red house)

Call of the Wild – Tinja and Her Dogs




The guest could hook the dogs harness after learning from the musher here. Aino told me she used to work at Husky Safari in the other touristic place for years, but usually only the worker did it. Also when I worked a little bit at dog sledding and aurora tour company in Canada, we did by ourselves. But this farm was a bit different that the guest could have more time to be with a dog and feel friendlier to husky.



Oh.. so cute eyes



Jia joined to Husky Safari as well. We were in one team.



The picture looked very peaceful. But actually it was full of dog barking sound. There were over 40 huskies.



Usually dogs were very excited when they saw the guest coming, because they were crazy at running. They barked as telling “CHOOSE ME. I DO WANT TO RUN”



Some dogs were jumping on the same spot while being hung on harness because they wanted to run right now. Jia asked me to drive the sled first. I was a bit nervous, but I pretended cool. “Okay~ I will do it”. She sat on the sled and I was standing at the back.

The musher explained us how to drive.

At the beginning the dog could run so fast, so a driver should use the brake from the first. When the driver stepped one foot on the center, it could make sled slow down. When the driver jumped strongly on the center with two feet, the sled would stop. On the center of sled there is something like tooth of saw. Usually the driver left feet on the sides to make dogs run. So, the driver on dog sledding could control the speed like a car.
(I cannot remember explanation very well now. I think explanation was like this.)



Okay then let’s run




I was so excited ever in my life. It was so much fun than snow mobile. Dogs were crazy at running that I had to use brake quite often. After some minutes, I started sweating. What an amazing experience.



I didn’t know the dog sledding is so much fun thing when I worked in Canada. I’ve never driven the dog, but I just hooked harness and cleaned the cage at that time.



Later we changed the turn that Jia drove. To sit on a sled was another fun thing.


Video of Husky Safari



After coming back to the farm, we looked around the farm. One dog was eating something.



It seemed like the head of reindeer



odd eyed dog



There were horses at the farm as well.



The guest could feed them.



After exciting experience, we sat around the fire.




Everything became calm down.



It was so delicious soup I’ve ever had.



Husky can survive from Finnish cold weather



Many of dogs were in the cage. But some dogs which were old enough or so friendly were out.



We went back to the hotel at the sunset. Actually it was around 2 pm.



Icicle on a cottage



The light in at the outside of the hotel was very good for viewing Aurora. (If the light is too bright, it bothers to watch Aurora.)



Another entrance to the office





It was my second day in the hotel, so I walked around to get used to.



It was a cottage for a traditional sauna. It was free on Christmas Eve. At the other day, the guest has to pay to use it. But there were saunas for free in the main and the other building.




I guessed tonight maybe I could see aurora, because it was clear.



In the night, I attended to another activity, viewing aurora with snow shoeing.



The sky was very clear, but there was a bright moon. I doubted how we could see Aurora.



Suddenly we could see slight green color at the next moon.



And then aurora was getting bigger and bigger.



Even it started dancing.



It was totally the thing I wanted to see in the north during cycling in Finland.



It was hard to take picture of what I’ve seen it with my camera.





When aurora is very weak, I can take better picture than I’ve seen with my eyes. But when aurora dances crazily, I cannot take better picture than I’ve seen with my eyes. Dancing aurora is one of the best things on the earth. If I want to recommend one thing which people must see in the life, I love to say aurora’s dancing!



Aurora started covering the sky.



I made my dream at the second day in the hotel.



The guest screamed out and of course I did as well.



“I can see my grand mom.” “Grandma! I am here! I am doing well” American guest made a joke and everybody laughed.



When we were back to the hotel, there was still Aurora.




The sky was getting calm.



There was only slightly green light left.



Now I could not see any light of green. I was confused that it was the same sky as before.



I could never forget today. I had very deep sleep in the night..



At the next day, Anne told me I should visit Siida Museum in Inari. I went to the Museum with Aino and Jia. It was 10 Euros for the entrance, but when I told the reception that Anne already called the museum about our visiting, the worker said we didn’t need to pay.

We entered the photo gallery. The photos were taken by a local guy. It was very impressing.



The next room was local artist’s gallery.



There were the explanation of Finnish history and aboriginal at the other room.



I found something on the modern history.

‘Lapland forests logged intensively during the economic boom caused by the Korean War.’



At the next, the biggest room had exhibition about culture, nature and so on. Above animal is Wolverine



Packed Snow is a crust of snow formed mainly by the moisture in air condensting.
I saw it when I cycled around Saariselka. At that time I didn’t know that it was only easy to be seen on some special place.
I didn’t see this Packed Snow in other place in Finland except Saariselka.



During hibernation, a bear has low body temperature, slow breathing and heart rate, and low metabolic rate.



I wish I could see this animal with my eyes in the nature.



I’ve never seen this kind of bird during staying in Korpikartano Hotel. It was funny that everyone saw this bird except me. Every time on a car I was asked “Have you seen the bird?”. When I said “Where? Where?”, then already there was nothing left. Usually the bird stayed on the ground and I usually looking at the sky or the front. That’s why maybe I’ve never seen it.



Many of aboriginal people in Lapland had a reindeer farm. It was their property that they marked something special on reindeer’s ear. They could make thousands mark that nobody would have the same mark.


The video is from the museum.
There was explanation that I could use the video if I don’t sell it for money.

I thought they cut reindeer ear with anesthesia. But it seemed like just cutting.



Around Lapland in Finland and Sweden, an aboriginal people was called Sami. The museum had many Sami’s cultural things.



On the way back to the hotel, we had fun chat and laughed a lot. It gave me so good feeling. I was very excited to have colleagues. Finally social life!!

There was aurora when I got back to the hotel.



In the night, we planned to have bbq in the small cottage. I walked on the trail with wishing to take picture of aurora with the forest. But aurora already disappeared. To see aurora was like to love that never knows when it comes and goes away.



When I came back to the hotel, already they started bbq.



It has been really long time to have camp fire.



Ville joined later as well. The left on the picture was Ville.

Ville told us the best desert for camp fire is banana. I told him I just bought banana from the grocery. So, I run to my room and brought the banana.
He said that actually if there is the chocolate, it would be the perfect. AH!!! I bought it as well today!!
“Okay please tell in one time what you need”
So, Aino and Jia went to the office’s kitchen to bring spoon, knife, kitchen towel, and I went back to my room to bring the chocolate. Ville was watching the fire.
I put some eggs and bread for fun.

‘Okay let’s take one picture.’



‘Hey Jia, you laughed too much! Stop laughing. Let’s take another picture’



Laughing was super strong virus that we all started laughing too much.



The picture was kept shaking.



Okay last picture! pretending calm.



While having fun, the best dessert for camp fire was ready.
He told us that the last time he did it was two years ago.

Here is the tip for Banana with chocolate – Best Camp Fire Dessert

1. Put banana on the grill.
2. Never turn upside down banana
3. When the banana is black, take to the plate
4. Cut the side and peel off half
5. Cut the vertical on banana.
6. Put small chocolate.
7. Eat with tea spoon.
8. Enjoy!

If you turn upside down, you never know all is well cooked because as turning the other side comes black easily.
If you don’t turn the banana, you can see becoming black slowly to the top. When it is all black, it means it is done.
I made by myself one time and I made mistake. I turned upside down and it became black so quickly. When I cut, I found it was not well cooked. When I put chocolate on the center, it was not melted. So, it was not much tasty as Ville made.



It was really interesting days so far. I was quite impressed by Anne. I was a just volunteer that actually she didn’t need to treat me with this much good. But she wanted to show me how the hotel does and she gave me the chance to have experience of expensive husky safari, snow mobile, and museum. I thought I was so lucky to find her and Korpikartano hotel.



Bonus video


[14/12/05~07 (D+1194) to Korpikartano Hotel] Amazing memories in Korpikartano Hotel 2 – Husky Safari, Snow mobile, and finally saw amazing Aurora.

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  1. Jin,

    That cool white bird with the red eyebrows is a Willow Ptarmigan. You’re lucky to see one! You may also have seen them when you were in the Canadian tundra.


    Happy travels, and thanks for writing about your adventures. I know to avoid Russia on my future bike trips!

    – A

    • Reply
      The Woman Traveling The Universe April 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Hello Alex!!
      I had it for Christmas Eve dinner in Canada. Friend of mine hunted. And then I got feet of the bird as a gift 🙂

  2. thank you for sharing your stay in the far north. looks like you are having a wonderful time.

  3. Returning to Hotel Korpikartano, our final evening was marked with a relaxing sauna and a nice display of the Northern Lights.

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