I really had no ideas for this year concerning the annual Lapland ski trip on the last days of the year. It has become almost a no-brainer to put one together – finding like-minded people was more difficult. I wasn`t keen on joining any strangers, but when I was informed that another member from last year was putting together an event then I immediately joined the list and after some thinking joined in the group also.
It is not very complicated to understand why one would choose Aland as a destination when the time is scarce but you need to get away from Estonia. Aland provides plenty of tiny to bigger islands to take shelter in bad weather but also enough free water to enjoy some beginner-intermediate sea-kayaking. Multitude of islands and possibilities to plan a course will definitely provide reasons to come back over and over and if you`d add the Turu archipelago to the equation possibilities will triple.
My plan began with a short overnight ferryride to Mariehamn and the on my own power to paddle around the main island and the cycling to Helsinki. Ferry schedule in the Baltic sea is pretty good and therefore it doesn`t require much long-term planning and left me plenty of freedom to manage my time. (more…)
It`s a new thing. Skate touring.
The conditions have been great this year with long periods of cold temperatures and very little snow-fall. And I have been hearing the cheering for a few week now, so I gave it a try. I have been skating on the natural ice once, but that was on a bog pool and a totally different experience. (more…)
As mentioned before my walk ended in Monaco. And there is this big Oceanographic Museum near the prince`s palace. It`s a very cool place. Lots on information about ocean studies, loads of artifacts, fish and animal skeletons, turtles humping on the roof and aquarium. (more…)
About five days into the hike I passed another ski center – La Norma – but found it almost empty and totally closed down for summer. Near a swimming pool I found a somewhat level ground and set up my, `cause it wasn`t looking very good weather wise. I was almost ready to hit the sack, maybe writing about the day, when I heard some rustling nearby. As the campsite was not very far from a steep cliff and therefore a bit exposed I had pulled the sides to the ground and therefore my vision was a bit impaired. But I lifted the tarp to see what was up and the were… (more…)
Start of December means I begin planning for spending the last days of 2013 in Lapland where there should be plenty of snow and quiet and no Christmas songs.
I had the core of it in place pretty quickly. Urho Kaleva Kekkonen National park would be a new place for me , but all the rest was fairly simple. Although it took some work to get the gang together we were ready to go a day after Christmas. As the heat wave hit Finland as well as Estonia I was checking the snow-chart and weather forecast at least once a day. It didn`t look that good.
I’ve managed to catch some breath from work and actually sort, edit and so on all the pictures from the Via Alpina trip this year. More emotions from the trip are also on the way.
Se these are some of the best memories from hiking the Via Alpina this summer
On the morning of the second day I had just started a climb up to col Citrin. The trail was steepish, but fun. A big rock appeared and then a small fox cub playing near it.
And as it noticed me, it didn’t take off like any other wild animal would. At first I just stood there watching, but then slowly reached for my camera and managed to take some shots. After a while the cub disappeared from the track and I slowly continues. I made maybe a few steps before the cub appeared again, but this time there were two of them. This time they seemed a bit startled and went hiding a first, but then sneaked out again. I slowly moved around to get a better view and watched the play for a while. I saw a plenty of wild animals, but this was definitely the coolest. I also spooked a wild boar off it’s sleeping place and spotted a deer through the bush. (more…)
I think I’m extremely pleased to inform all the non-Estonians that just a week days ago a brand new long distance hiking trail was opened. It’s a massive (for Estonia) 627km long and takes you from Aegviidu in Northern Estonia to the southernmost point of the country and then some more to end at Ähijärve in the Karula National Park. Unfortunately there is no internet information about it in English so I have taken the liberty to translate the Estonian text. I hope that some official prints will be available soon.
I’m kinda sorry that this took so long, but I managed to delete part of the post at some point and got a bit demotivated after that.
The last part of Via Alpina Red Trail began from Champex-Lac in Switzerland and ended in Monaco 22 days later. According to my calculations it was almost 700km, but the ascent/descent sums are too messed up on the guidebook so by my best estimation it’s around 40k up and about the same down. Average distance for a day was 31,5km and speed 3,5 km/h. It took 207 hours of walking. Several passes over 2000m highest of those over 2700m and many still covered in snow.