Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rotary Tour of Lapland Part One

Rotary offers three tours for all of the inbound exchange students a year. They are really great because we get to see people from the other districts in Finland. On is the Lapland tour that is in the beginning of December. This one is the only one that all of the students go, because it is free, and the other trips cost a lot of money. But this one is paid for by Rotary. 
The trip starts out with a 15 hour bus ride. Fun! I got on the bus in Turku at 7 pm on Saturday and we arrived at around 10 am the next day. Though the bus ride was pretty fun. There were lots of people that got on the bus as we went north. And I don’t see them as often so it was nice to see them. Plus we all tried to get some sleep on the bus ride. I didn’t really get that much, maybe a max of 4 hours sleep. And we had stops. One was great because another Rotary bus was stopped at the same spot and my good friend from Colorado, Monica (whose blog you can see the link to on the side of the page) and it was really great to see her because I hadn’t seen her in four months. And a bunch of my other exchange friends that I haven’t seen in several months that I met at language camp. And it was really great to see them again. 

Eventually we all got there. We stayed at a hotel. There were four buses that came from all over Finland with 145 exchange students. Most of them were at language camp with us and then there were about 20 who were mostly Australian and have been in Finland since January and will be leaving Finland in about a month. It was nice to see all of the same people that were at language camp in August. 

The Ski Hill 

This was taken on the lift 

The first and second days we went skiing. Which was really nice. Of course, everyone was telling me that I shouldn't expect anything big, because the “mountains” in Lapland are really nothing compared to the skiing in Colorado. But it was better than I thought it would be. The hills were bigger than I thought they would be, though my expectations were very low, which is why I was impressed. 

Skiing in Lapland is much different than in Colorado. So it is harder to compare the two places. The snow is much better in Colorado, I have to say. At the ski hill we went to, it took maybe 25 seconds to go down, in Colorado, it takes....much longer, depending on the hill, conditions and skill. 


Danielle (from California) 

Vinny (from Brazil) 

Good to be back on skis...

Monica and I stuck together a bit when we were skiing. It was nice to be with her because she was also another experienced skier, while others who went with us had never even seen snow before. Though I did spend a lot of time with others. Most of the time that I was skiing I just stuck to the main slope. But a couple times I ventured out of bounds with some of the others and it was more advanced skiing. And the ski area really only took care of it’s one run, so there was a lot of powder and deep snow out of bounds, which made it more fun. 

The lifts were so different from the ones that I am used to though. I am used to huge ski resorts, so they only really have chairlifts, but these were lifts where you held onto this T-bar and then it pulls you up the hill. Many people (especially those snowboarding) fell off the lift several times because it was difficult to hold onto. I fell once or twice because I was trying to get onto it with someone else. Though once I fell down halfway up and then I was dragged up the rest of the way on my butt because I didn’t want to let go. 

My bus 

And another thing that happened to me was that once I was standing in line for the lift and then out of nowhere this completely out of control Brazilian comes and totally plows right into me. And totally knocks me on my butt. I haven’t been knocked over like that on a ski hill since I was four....and I got a big bruise on my butt that I discovered later that week.
Anyways, to avoid making really long posts I will post about this tour in two parts, and I will post the next one in a few days, so stay tuned.....

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