January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

The "in between" days (between Christmas and NYE) were a busy time for us. It was too cold to go skiing, but we visited my relatives and did some shopping at the post-Christmas sales. It also happened to be our 5 year anniversary at the end of December, and I had booked us a night at the Snow Village (an ice hotel) in Ylläs, a couple of hours drive north from my hometown.

I have no idea where I got this crazy idea to spend a night at an ice hotel when it's -30C outside! Inside the ice room the temperature doesn't drop below -10C, but trust me it's cold enough when you're trying to get some sleep. I had booked a reindeer sleigh ride for the evening of our anniversary, and it so happened that during the ride we got to see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis)! They were as beautiful as ever, and it really was the highlight of our trip making it all worth it.

The Snow Village is beautiful and definitely a unique experience even for someone like me who has lived in Lapland most of her life. Was it cold? Hell yes! But it was worth it ;-)

We spent New Year's Eve at home and had a selection of cold and warm nibbles for a light dinner: gravlax, herring, muikku, smoked elk, cheeses and salads. It was another ingenious idea of mine (I blame the cold, my brain must have frozen) to buy a can of Surströmming (Swedish rotten herring).

My parents were not all too happy about having the smell of this fish lingering in the house (even though we opened the can outside!), but it's another experience my partner can tick off his list now :-) I can report that the herring did not taste any better than I remembered, but many Swedes might disagree on this.

An important New Year's Eve tradition in Finland is to melt a horse shoe made of tin in a ladle, spill it into cold water and then try telling your fortune for the upcoming year from the resulting shape. Mine was shaped like a ship which means travel, but my partner's was a clear mermaid and I am not at all sure what it might mean. Maybe we are travelling to Copenhagen to see the Little Mermaid? Mum thinks her tin had taken the shape of a stork, but I am not too sure about that...

Happy New Year!

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17 comments:

  1. wow those ice caves look amazing! Happy New Year :-)

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  2. A perfect Xmas! My dream. Your country is so beautiful.

    Happy New year!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. An ice hotel. I've always been fascinated by those. Did you take a photo of the bed? lol. And I'd love to see the Northern Lights one day - sounds like you organised a pretty spectacular anniversary. Happy anniversary and Happy New Year Maria!

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  4. Maria, Happy New Year to you! I am really intrigued by the ice hotel...but I doubt that in will be able to tolerate the cold...

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  5. wow that ice hotel looks amazing! surely it was warm in bed?? maybe?????? and rotten herring lol. you scandinavians come up with the weirdest stuff!

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  6. What a cool hotel! Loooks like you've had a wonderful time... Here's wishing you a wonderful year ahead in 2011... whatever it holds ;)

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  7. Amazing photo's, especially the snow hotel. Happy New Year!

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  8. Hey Maria! That ice village is so cool. I've heard of stuff like that, but have never been-must have been fun:)
    I hope your melted horse shoe brings you lots of luck and happiness in the new year.
    p.s. I stunk up my house too with some canned fish recently. It does linger...

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  9. Happy New Year! That ice hotel looks amazing! I would try that, just to experience it at least once!

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  10. Happy New Year! The ice hotel looks awesome!

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  11. the snow village looks stunning!
    happy new year maria!

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  12. Happy New Year! I loved seeing how the other half of the hemisphere celebrates and yours has been most enlightening, thank you for sharing with us readers! I can't believe there's ever a time when it's too COLD to snow!

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  13. Ooops, meant too cold to ski, hehe!

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  14. Happy new year, Maria. Loving your Finnish photos (and am very jealous!)

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  15. Happy New Year Maria!

    I am impressed that you stayed in the ice hotel. I don't think I could have taken the cold!

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  16. Absolutely gorgeous pictures! Wishing you a very happy New Year, Maria!

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  17. Happy New Year Maria!

    I'm jealous that you got to see the Northern Lights. An experience I'd love to have one day.

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