I have only been back from Finland for about a week and I am still basking in the memories (and editing a few thousand photos). The entire country was an unexpected revelation.

My major goal in this trip was to see and photograph the Northern Lights.

I failed. Well, the weather failed me. As it turned out, pretty much every day I was there was overcast and cloudy, so there wasn’t a single opportunity to get those photographs.

And I couldn’t have cared less.

I will be doing a series of posts — and finally some videos — from the week I spent in Finland. Not only did I love it, I am already planning a return trip for later this year. Sometimes the unexpected joys are the best ones and Finland in the winter… I never would have expected to be oohing and ahhhingΒ as much as I was.

Loved, loved, loved it. Here are a few of the Instagram shots I took while there. I hope you like them — you can follow me along on Instragram by clicking on this link, if you wish. Thanks.

Not_going_anywhere_fast..._at_least_without_an_ice_breaker. visitfinland

this boat isn’t going anywhere fast…

The_road_through_the_peaceful_forest.__visitfinland

the road through the winter forest

The_silent_path_off_in_the_distance.__visitfinland__gsw

another iconic scene from Lapland

Good_morning__Anyone_up_for_a_bike_ride_today__visitfinland

anyone up for a bike ride?

Elvis_has_NOT_left_the_building...._yet.__visitfinland

Elvis has not left the building!

Some_folks_headed_out_for_an_afternoon_reindeer_sled_ride.__visitfinland

taking a reindeer sleigh ride in Lapland

It_s_a_brisk__but_beautiful_wake_up.__visitfinland

this is Finland — love scenes like these

My_cabin_in_my_the_woods.__visitfinland

my log cabin hotel room for most of my stay

Beautiful_Finnish_architecture.__visitfinland

from one of the museums I went to

So_who_else_got_to_chill_with_Santa_call_me_Chris_Claus_today___visitfinland

me chilling out with Santa

Early_morning_sunshine_from_the_train_window_in_Lapland.__gsw__OurFinland

sun rising over horizon in Finland on the train

Thinking_about_my_overnight_train_ride_north_tonight.__visitfinland__gsw

mid-day tram rides in Helsinki

A_view_you_don_t_see_everyday._That_is_a_roller_coaster__from_almost_directly_above.__visitfinland

roller coaster from above in Tampere, Finland

Β ___________________________________________

I was a guest of both the Finland Tourism Board, the Pyha-Luosto Tourism Board, and the City of TampereΒ for various aspects of this trip. Although I was on their dime, the profuse praise you are going to read in the coming weeks was not remotely influenced by their sponsorship.

33 Responses

  1. Hey Michael, nice shots! I was completely surprised by Finland this summer so if you’re going back when the snow is gone you won’t be disappointed. That Arctic museum in Rovaniemi was really impressive too, I nearly spent all day there πŸ™‚

    • Peter, I am already planning a trip (or two) back to there in different times of the year πŸ˜‰

      And I loved the Arctic museum also, but we had so little time there, I just rushed through. Great building though.

  2. I visited Finland last winter and definitely was not disappointed either. I can’t wait to return and hopefully Tim will be able to go in our next visit.

  3. Aww, sorry to hear that you also didn’t get to see the aurora! πŸ™ But I agree, Finland is absolutely amazing! We didn’t get to visit Helsinki, so I am really looking forward to seeing it through your eyes. And I love your 3rd picture – that is my ultimate memory of Finland too πŸ™‚

    • No aurora this time just means… I need to plan a trip back there!

      Tons more photos and videos coming in the next few weeks. Hope you like them.

  4. Oh, how beautiful. I would so love to be cold right now. And snow… SNOW!!! I need SNOW after six years of living in steamy Southeast Asia.
    So.. what did you ask Santa for? You look far too serious to be chatting to Santa. Don’t you know you’re supposed to be sitting on his knee whispering your secret desires into his ear?

    • You would have gotten your fill of snow… for sure! As to my chat with Santa, he told me that I needed to be a much better boy this year. And I told him there were no certainties on that front πŸ˜‰

  5. Love the one of the road going through the forrest.
    And that roller coaster just looks crazy:D

    Won’t be going there anytime soon though. I’ve had it with winter and being cold.
    @Barbara: I’ll sign up for six years of steaminess!

    • Sofie, the odd thing about the weather was that I was warmer in Finland at -5 to -10 then back in London, where I am now at +5. Not to say I am a winter fan, but it was far, far less cold than I would have ever thought (though it obviously does get bitter cold there at certain times).

  6. Lovely… Can’t wait to go, it’s high time… I went to Estonia last summer and thought about hopping on a ferry over to Helsinki, but then figured I’d want more time in Finland. Your pictures are proving that feeling right!

  7. Wow! These are gorgeous pictures. Snow is really beautiful to look at, but to be honest, I’m really glad I’m in the southern hemisphere right now!

  8. I have already seen most of these on instagram but I still adore the collection. I love that aerial shot of the roller coaster!

  9. Stunning photos, Michael. I hope you have better luck with the Northern Lights next time. Did you find Finland expensive?

  10. What type of activities did you do while visiting? I’ve always imagined Lapland as an ideal place to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing for miles and miles.

    • I didn’t do either of those, but I did do a dog sled ride and some snowmobiling. Tons of fun stuff to do.

  11. My best friend is Finnish and currently living there. She has tried talking me into visiting for years, but their winters just scare me off! I do love the look of the snow covered trees in Lapland, but I’ll likely be saving my visit for the summer months. πŸ˜‰

    • It surprisingly wasn’t that cold. I expected far, far worse, but was more than fine with it. Likely will be going back next year.

  12. Great photos mate! I loved the one of the Elvis.

    No worries. I’m sure you’ll get to photograph the Northern Lights soon. It is also a dream of mine.

    • Ayngelina and I were eating in a restaurant above it, actually. Glad to have gotten shots from up there.

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