Omega Holidays
Lapland Dec 9th - 10th 2006 trip

 

         My first trip occurred over the weekend of December 9th to 10th 2006 and included noted Sky@Night Magazine/ TV Astronomer Pete Lawrence with myself as the guest Astronomers and Peter Truman the Omega organizer of the event. It should be noted that for the local events Arctic Safaris organized the main events whilst in Finland. Arriving at Kuusamo Airport Lentokentšntie we were taken to the Holiday Club Hotel at Kuusamo, Finland on the 9th where we gave a joint presentation in the Hotel's excellent auditorium. Later that evening we were whisked away to another much darker site to have a meal then hoped to see the Aurora from a frozen lake. Alas the weather had not been promising as the temperature was around +2 above freezing instead of the more normal -20! Very light drizzle and low cloud even prevented us seeing the Moon which rose later in the evening. However we enjoyed the night time stroll through the Forest track to look at the native hunters shelter (very like the Indian tepee in the US) and glimpses of the local Reindeer before spending some time on the frozen lake. We returned to the main hotel and Pete and I promised we would keep a watch on the weather until 2am local time - of course also a good excuse to keep a check on the local bar! Naturally the sky did not clear but that is the way of things.
            Next morning after breakfast we all had the choice of either taking a Husky sled ride or going on a Snow Mobile trip through the Forest and Pete, myself, Peter Truman and his better (!) half, Carole all elected to be on the Snow Mobiles. 3 hours later, including a brief rest break and then a lunch break, we arrived back at the Hotel to rejoin the Husky groups and the Lapland/Santa contingent. Sadly we had to make our way back to Kuusamo Airport for the return to the UK. However being a night flight meant we were also above the clouds and with the captains permission the cabin lights were turned off and some of us managed to see a bright display of the Northern Lights which helped to cap off a great weekend. Pete Lawrence has written a great web page about our adventure as well so do take a look at his web site : www.digitalsky.org.uk 

The following images are based on the best of those taken during the Dec 9th-10th 2006 trip

 

Stuffed ReindeerA Stuffed Reindeer at Kuusamo Airport watches over the baggage as it arrives!
   

Two of the Male ElfsTwo of several Male 'Elfs' who helped guide us during our stay. These two ended up nicknamed 'Hairy Elf' (top) and Shorty!  Note on the floor of the Holiday Club Hotel some large tiles shaped like footprints - Bigfoot sometimes pops in!

Female ElfsThe jolly Female 'Elves' who helped us at the airport.

HotelThe Holiday Club Hotel Kuusamon Tropikki where we all stayed for the night and the Northern Lights talk took place.

Pete LawrencePete Lawrence discusses the Northern Lights with one of the guests after the evening meal at the dark site we visited.

Hunters shelterA Hunters shelter - and very cosy and warm too!

ReindeerA Wild Reindeer - quite difficult to photograph in the dark but after several goes this is the best I could get.

Snow mobileThe next day and it's time to Snow Mobile! We gather round to listen to our guide.

taking a breakIt's pretty difficult to try to photgraph when on the back of a Snow Mobile so this was taken at our rest break with Pete Lawrence at centre. Pete did a great job of driving the Snow Mobile and it was great fun!

LunchTime for the Lunch Break around the roaring log fire,

Lunch fireMankind has always been fascinated with fire and I wanted to get the reflections in the water and ice.

Pete lunchPete and fellow guests enjoy their hot Fish soup

OfficeThe main building nearby but closed during winter.

Frozen LakeThe Frozen Lake behind the Pine Trees

Sissy the HuskyThe Huskey's were located nearby and most seemed a little wary of their visitors. This one was called Sissy.

On the flight back home in the dark Pete and I spotted the Auroral Arc and alerted Peter Truman. He in turn had asked the Captain if the cabin lights could be dimmed for a few minutes and he was kind enough to do so. The Cabin crew were very patient with us as we endeavoured to both show passengers the Aurora and also try to get a few pictures of it as well. I managed 2 images (shown below) then Pete (who had not had a chance to try until this flight) took quite a few images as the Aurora brightened in places. Pete's images are now on his web site www.digitalsky.org.uk

The Aurora is captured as it undergoes several brightenings with a ray developing as shown in these two images captured within 30 seconds of each other. The town lights blurred on the ground have not been identified but could be somewhere over Sweden or southern Norway - but I could be wrong!

Aurora1

Aurora2

 

For more details of Lapland/Aurora flights contact:

 

Omega Holidays, White Cross Lancaster LA1 4XQ
Telephone: 0152437500
e-mail:   info@omega-holidays.com

WWW:
   www.reader.travel





Paul L Money 2013