The week before Easter, we took our winter-vacations and stayed with Annika’s mother and brother one week in the family’s cottage in Äkäslompo, in finnish Lapland. The plan was to forget about our everyday lives and spend the time with good reading, delicious food and especially a lot of winter-sports. And so we did. For me it was the first time being north of the arctic circle - exciting. When we arrived in the incredibly cosy cottage, the first thing we did was lighting the fire in the open fireplace and warmed ourselves up a bit. That way we rested after the long road trip and passed the first evening.

As we were all a bit tired from the long trip, and as the weather wasn’t soooo great - slightly under 0 and snowing - we decided to start slowly into the week, made the first shopping tour and got our cross-country skis prepared. The guy in the sports-shop was a bit annoyed about the status of the skis, which were untouched after the last waxing for a long time. After getting that done, and doing the snow-work in front of the cottage during the waiting time, nothing kept us from trying them out instantly on a first 10km round close to the village. It was the first time that I used these kinds of skis since several years. As I was the only one, who sweated like a pig, I figured that I hadn’t the most efficient style, one could have doing that sport :) But I learned more and more the technique and already the next day we were around 25 km in total on the skis. It was wonderful to be outside so much and in the nature. I really liked it.

The next three days we went downhill skiing. It was nice that Annika’s brother and mother joined us, so that we could enjoy a nice family sports-trip. The only “bad thing” was the weather. It was so foggy, that we couldn’t see on the top of the hill both sides of the slope. It was really adventureous and once we ended up for a short time being off-piste, as we took the wrong entrance into the slope. Another time the wind created huge piles of snow, which was really difficult to handle in combination with the fog. But the fog was most of the time around the top of the hill, so that it didn’t bother too much and it was always nice, when we came out of the clouds and could see the nice landscape. On Saturday we had nice skiing weather and it was so funny to see the environment, the slopes and to have the full view. It was such a difference to the foggy days. But when I got closer to the slope and could actually see how steep it is, I wished the fog back for a moment. ;) Between those downhill-days we went around the hill to Ylläs and back on a 32 km cross-country round. The forest, a bit away from streets and villages was so peaceful - amazing. My cross-country experience ended with an icy slope on Saturday morning, so that I fell some times pretty badly. But that’s life.

The week ended with a nice evening, where more relatives of Annika joined in and we spend some time drinking good champagne and french food! Sooo good! Back in Helsinki we can look back on an amazing week with good books, great food and wonderful winter-sports. Just as planned :)

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