Today I report you about the trip to Lapland. First I show you the official program of ESN (Erasmus Student Network).


4.30 Bus leaves from Hostell Tekla in Palosaari
4.45 Bus leaves from Leipis (in front of Papin Nenä)
ca 9.00 Stop at gas station for snack
ca Stop at Oulu for lunch (not incl.)
ca 18.00 At the cottage
19.30 Dinner in Kerttuli
Free evening programme (sleep...)

FRIDAY 17.10

10.00 Breakfast
13.00 Amethyst mine + dig your own amethyst!
15.00 Leave from Amethyst mine
17.00 Elli-Maaret and Joiku
19.00 Dinner in Kerttuli
20.00 Back to cottages
Opportunity to sing karaoke in Hotel Luostotunturi


9.00 Breakfast
10.30 Leave for Hiking
Hiking All Day (take your own lunch with you)
19.00 Back from hiking
20.00 Lappish Dinner at Kerttuli
Finnish band Vetonaula in Hotel Luostotunturi

SUNDAY 19.10

9.00 Breakfast
10.30 Leave for Polar Circle & Santa Claus
Monday 20.10
4.00 Back in Vaasa

We met Thursday morning (16.10.03) at 4.30 o'clock. Wednesday evening we still had been to Papin Nenä and I had gone to my bed around 2 o’clock in the night. Then I had slept 1-2 hours and woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning. I was very tired when I arrived at the bus at 4.20 o'clock, but I wasn’t the only one because some of the exchange students had even been stayed longer in Pain Nenä.
The drive began a little bit later, around 4.40 o'clock. At 8 a.m. we made a little stop at a station in Oulu – we had a short catering and continued our trip.
At 11 a.m. we arrived in Rovaniemi and went to the university to eat there. The canteen was smaller than in Vaasa, but the food was good – I ate noodles with chicken. After that I looked again in the internet and saw my missing exam result of Unternehmensführung– 2.7. And now I finally had my basic study in business management. In front of the university I made some pictures.
At 13 o_clock in the afternoon we continued, made a short stop in the centre of Rovaniemi for the people who needed money. Then we followed again the way to Lapland. During the bus trip we had to stop two times because reindeers were crossing the street or waiting on the roadside.
Finally we arrived at 3 p.m. at our cottages in Lapland. It was in contrast to the official program very early, but that was rather good. There still was no snow, but the weather forecast expected snow for saturday and so we had snow in the next days during the hiking where we also had a unique panorama.
But first I describe the cottages. I lived together with Orthe (Holland), Milosz (Poland), Dimar (Russia) and Carlos (Spain). We were the most international cottage. We were astonished at the equipment of the cottages. We had a television, CD-recorder, an own sauna, a dishwasher, an automatic dryer, a fire, an underfloor heating and so much more. I also made a little video.
First we went to the sauna. For me it was the first time, because in Vaasa I haven’t had the chance. We went inside with 5 people and some cool Lapin Kultas – the gold of Lapland. It was a super mood. Carlos had his third sauna and he forgot that Orthe took part as a woman and went naked into the sauna. But when she came inside of the anteroom he quickly took some clothes. The sauna temperature was around 90 degree and I needed to get used to it but it was good. Between the saunas we went out and took a shower. After 15 minutes sauna we were exhausted and lay down in front of the television.
Then we went to a little shop in the neighborhood. On the way we found a box with several DVDs and it belonged to nobody. We could only guess that it was a present from Santa Clause and so we took 4 of them, among them movies like Lord of the Rings 2 and Matrix Reloaded – crazy.
At 7 p.m. we met to have dinner in a restaurant. The meal was very good and balanced with salad. Then we went back to the cottages. Later we visited another cottage to drink again a beer but left already at 11 p.m. Inside of the cottage it was very warm because of the fire, the heating and the sauna. I had big problems to sleep and my discussion with Carlos led to nothing because he already knew such temperatures from Spain, also in the night.
Finally I slept and I resolved to open the windows in the next nights before sleeping.
On Friday (17.10.03) we woke up at 10 a.m. and left the cottage to have breakfast. We had breakfast until 11 a.m. and made some sandwiches for lunch, but I come back to this topic later on. At 12.30 o'clock in the afternoon was the official meeting on the bus and the departure to the Amethyst Mine. We arrived there around 1 p.m. and first had to climb up some stairs on a little mountain before we reached a little hut, where a man told us the story of the mine with a cup of tea or juice.
Afterwards we entered the mine and became the opportunity to dig up our own Amethyst. A man told us that they would help against headache if you put them under your pillow. So we decided to test it in the evening with some bottles of beer. Later we went to a kiosk, drank some coffees and signed in a guestbook. Then we drove further to a hut which was situated in a forest. We stopped at the edge of the forest and walked to the hut. There we met a woman named Elli-Maaret. She spoke the language of the Saami, a minority language. She told us very much about the culture and the religion of the Saami by a fire in the hut. She also made some “Joiku”, music combined with her own language and dance. She still gave us wisdom on the way and then we left to our cottages. We had a sauna and left the cottage to have dinner at 19 o'clock. Afterwards we went to a near hotel to a karaoke.
At the beginning we saw there only older people, but slowly the other exchange students came. It was possible to choose songs and
to sing karaoke. Naturally nobody had to sing alone but in a group. Songs like "Yellow Submarine", "Let it be", "Hey Jude". The atmosphere was fantastic and later I introduced the polonaise with Orthe – very funny. The Germans won the billiard duel against the French. It was also funny that an older man often danced with Orthe. Our organizers were also present, danced and sang.
At 0.15 o’clock in the night we received the message that it would snow outside. We went out and saw the first snow in this year – fantastic. I stayed at the party until 2 a.m. and went home tiredly. I still talked with Orthe until 3 a.m. and went then to my bed.
On Saturday (18.10.03) I left the cottage at 9.45 a.m. to have breakfast. I ate and made my sandwiches for lunch, because we should make our own lunch packets.
At 10.30 o'clock we met at the bus and we received a bad message: we had eaten too much bread and alternatively made to much lunch packets so the restaurant had to get extra bread from Rovaniemi and everyone had to pay 2-3€ extra. In the next days we only making fun about this topic. Next we drove with the bus to a big building and decided to wander 10 kilometers. There was very much snow on the ground. The landscape was completely white and it was a real winter feeling. We first made a snowball fight and the mood got better.
I wandered in a little group with Orthe and 4 other people. We walked very quickly, also because the group was not too big, made very much photos and had a lot of fun. Our group walked through a national park and the nature was magnificent. On the left side we also saw a lake where we discovered some coins inside. Between 12-13 o’clock we made a break in a hut. We also gave some bread to the birds, which were flying on our hands. In the hut we met a man who could speak a little bit German and told us a story of his daughter, who was studying German.
On the marsh back it began to snow strongly but we were the first group who arrived at the bus at 15.45 o'clock. At 4 p.m. was the departure.
In the cottages we went again to the sauna and had Lappish dinner. The meat was with fat running through and the sauce was watery. But it’s comparable with German wild.
In the evening there should normally play a band, but casually the band played in a hotel which was 40 kilometers away. Furthermore we became a reprimand because some of us had brought and left wine bottles in the karaoke bar, which was not allowed in Finland. In the middle of all cottages we made a fire in a hut and drank comfortably some beers together. We couldn’t see the polar light because it was too cloudy. I didn’t go to bed very late.
On Sunday (19.10.03) we had breakfast at 9.45 a.m. and made again some nasty remarks about the bread that had been extra delivered from Rovaniemi. At 10.30 a.m. we drove direction Polar Circle to Santa Clause Village.
Around 12 o’clock we arrived at Santa Clause Village. We only had time until 14 o’clock and it was an only hurry.
In the shop we bought some presents and some funny things (keyword: postcards). I saw many souvenir shops on the whole area and also made a photo of a world map at the entrance of one of them.
We also went to Santa Clause but the price for a photo with him was 17€ and that was in my opinion too expensive.
At 2 p.m. we left Santa Clause Village. In Oulu we made a little stop for a late lunch break and then we arrived in the snow-covered Vaasa at 22 o'clock in the evening.
Altogether we had some nice days and it was exciting to see Lapland and the snow. Perhaps I am coming back in the winter for skiing.

Report 5:  Lapland Report Lapland Report