Christmas in Lapland – part I

Christmas in Lapland – part I

This blog has been dead for months as I’ve been in a COVID funk and not felt like writing on anything travel related. Somehow not having any hope or indication of when I might be able to travel again has put me in a rut. Well at least we decided to do some local travel at Christmas time and headed to Lapland.

Overnight train

We took the overnight car-carrier train to Kolari on Tuesday evening before Christmas. We arrived in Kolari on Wednesday morning and after unloading our car drove to Ylläs. The overnight train was a new experience for both of us and was kind of fun. The only negative was that for our outward trip we were unable to get a cabin with a bathroom so had to use the corridor bathroom. On the trip back home we had our own bathroom which was so much more convenient. The trip itself was around 14 hours. We bought some snacks for the evening and ordered breakfast delivered to our cabin for Wednesday morning. On the way to Ylläs we stopped at Äkäslompolo for some provisions and a spot of lunch. Once we arrived in Ylläs we picked up our keys and got settled in our rented apartment.

Our train cabin
Driving to Ylläs

One-bedroom with sauna

The apartment I had rented was a one-bedroom apartment with a sauna. It turned out to be very functional for two people and came with a separate ski storage for each apartment, which was super handy. It was also conveniently located at walking distance from the nearest slopes. This was something I was looking for when booking the apartment so we wouldn’t have to drive around too much. We also went to buy our lift tickets on the day we arrived, so we’d be ready for the slopes the next morning.

Our apartment

Takeaway dinner from the grocery store

Since we had eaten a substantial lunch, we decided to only buy some takeaway food from the grocery store for dinner. We purchased reindeer meatballs in mushroom sauce and garlic potatoes. The food was tasty and worked well as dinner. We spent the first evening reading, relaxing, watching some Netflix, and planning the coming days. The next morning we decided to drive back to the grocery store after breakfast to buy food for Christmas eve and day and try to avoid the biggest rush. Turned out this was probably the wisest decision as there was already quite a lot of people at the store in the morning.

First day of skiing

After we got back from the store, we got ready to hit the slopes. We hadn’t been skiing for a couple of years, so we were both a bit nervous. However, skiing is a bit like bike riding so as soon as we hit the slopes everything was good. I love skiing (have been doing it since I was 4) and we had so much fun being back on the slopes. For lunch we skied down to the village and had salmon soup at a small restaurant called Ylläs Kota. After a tasty lunch we hit the slopes again for a few more runs and once we started to get cold, we returned to our apartment and put the sauna on. For dinner we went to the nearby Lapland Hotel Saaga bistro. I opted for the chicken baskets, which was basically chicken fillets with fries and hubby had the sautéed reindeer, which is a traditional Lappish dish. Dinner was delicious.

Ready to hit the slopes
Views from the slope
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