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Finland

Ylläs, Finland, well what can I say. If it is good skiing you want, it is not the best location to consider. I skied one day in two weeks if you can call it skiing. I eagerly made my way to the first slope in a thirty mile an hour wind and a blistering -42° (without the wind-chill) that froze my eyelids, I got off the lift and…waited, waited, and waited. At least a forty-degree incline and I was still stuck to the snow like glue to wood and ended up poling myself down the slope and worked up a greater sweat than running a marathon.

 

Needed a drink after that run, not tea or coffee either. Meanwhile, my two mates were skiing one of the other three slopes. There are more than four runs, but most were closed because of the high winds.

However, I can recommend the scenery, hospitality, husky safaris, and ski bike tours. Make sure you shop around as prices vary considerably. I managed to get a husky ski bike tour to a husky site and then a husky safari for the afternoon. We left at 1030 hours and arrived back about 1900 hours, so a full day for less than other companies was charging for a four-hour husky ride.

 

The food was fantastic, if expensive, but once your there they have you, so you must cough up or stay in your accommodation all evening. Pete and I eat out every evening, but Chris tended to eat in. There is a nice supermarket, and the prices are good so if you’re on a budget eat in.

 

The three of us found a fantastic chapel where Chris recited one of his compositions on the piano much to the pleasure of the locals. Pete and I talked to the woman who looked after the chapel. She was rightly proud of Saint Laurent chapel. It is a modern wooden design that hosts Christmas concerts with its innovative architecture and acoustic resonance. The chapel bell has its own structure outside of the chapel, an innovative design.

 

We went in March and the temperature varied from -32 to -46. Our log-cabin had under-floor heating and a great log burner, so we were more than comfortable. It even had a clothing and ski boot warmer.