Last weekend my host mom, Gunilla, her boyfriend Micke, Emelie, his daughter, and I stayed in Lannavaara with my “host grandparents” or in Swedish mommo och moffa. We left Friday night and arrived in Lannavaara late that evening. We were greeted with mommo’s dinner (as you may know she is the best cook ever), which was reindeer (and reindeer is my favorite!). So obviously that was a great night for me. Whenever mommo cooks for us, you are guaranteed to be full from the meal, and then eat dessert on top of it, and maybe glögg and gingerbread cookies before bed too. I went to bed stuffed that night, but I wasn’t complaining.



Super dark iPhone pictures from Friday night dinner.

Saturday, we took a trip to Finland. It was about an hour from Lannavaara to where we went in Finland, which was a town called Kaaresuvanto. Actually the town was in both Sweden and Finland which I thought was pretty cool. The boarder between goes straight through a river there. Another cool thing about it is that the town is called Kaaresuvanto on the Finnish side and Karesuando on the Swedish side.


Just a random building I took a picture of.. I have an attraction to falling apart abandoned stuff for some unknown reason.

We drove to the Finnish side and had a fika (but fika is a Swedish thing, so was it really a fika?) and did a little tourist shopping. Oh yeah and bought a ton of Finnish candy and chocolate.

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Fika! I don’t know if this is some kind of special Finnish pastry but it was good. Also had to pick up this blueberry pie chocolate made by Fazer (Finnish chocolate company). It literally tastes like pie, it is so amazingly good.


This is Emelie and I’s chocolate haul, the right side is mine. Don’t judge me and my incredible intake of sugar.

At the tourist shop, I just bought two small keychains for my Rotary blazer and a magnet made from reindeer antler.

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lannavaara 013On the way back from Finland, back on the Swedish side of the town, I was thinking “It sure would be cool to see one of those poles that says how far away all the cities are from here” and weirdly enough we passed by one. So we stopped and took a look at it. (Does anyone know what you call this? I seriously cannot think of the name! Comment if you know the name!)

lannavaara 015lannavaara 017lannavaara 018lannavaara 002lannavaara 022Approximately 7,273km (4519m) from Chicago. There wasn’t an actual Chicago sign, but I calculated from New York. Chicago needs to be recognized a little bit more, come on people!!


It was just a litttttle bit cold

 We arrived back in Lannavaara before dinner time. It looks so much later in the pictures, but it was only around 3 when I took them. When we got back to Lannavaara we just relaxed, after dinner we watched the season finale of Swedish Idol. Emma and two of her friends came around dinner time to stay Saturday night there also.

Sunday the village of Lannavaara had an Advent fika. That was sort of our reason for going to visit that weekend. Emma and her friends sang some Christmas songs during the fika.

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Lussebullar, pepperkakor, glögg.

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Issac, Emma, and Ellenor. Ni var jätteduktig!!

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We we’re sitting around having fika for almost two hours, and after about my 5th cup of glögg, I decided to take pictures instead of snacking. Bokeh is only cool if you do it on purpose, because otherwise it’s just a blurry picture..

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The place where they were having the fika was so cute and cozy!

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My host sister, Emma!

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ålskar dig min söta syster!

That is what I did last weekend! It was fun and like I said we had great food! It feels cool to cross another country off my list, although it is just the start of seeing Europe for me, my list is still long!

Now it is almost Christmas break and Christmas is in the air and all around us. I have a Christmas break bucket-list so hopefully some exciting posts will be upon your screens soon!

Hej då!


4 thoughts on “Finland

  1. All of that sounds awesome and cosy and beautiful and exiting! Can imagine you had a superb weekend 🙂 That picture of the abandoned building is breathtaking… So is the idea of it being minus 31 degrees… oO

  2. Hi Skates1418, I found your blog from the flickr group 52 weeks which I am also signed up too for 2014. I really find your adventures quite intriguing because I have been a host parent to three exchange students – one from Italy, one from Norway, and one from Denmark. My family would probably still be hosting had not the government changed the rules on eligibility for English students. I am not certain yet what these changes by our government will mean for my sons when it comes time for them to go and study as exchange students. It used to be that hosting helped to reduce the cost of one’s child studying overseas. Anyway, it is really cool to read about your adventures in Sweden.

    Martin, aka SwedishGoose, is also doing the 52 weeks in 2014 with us. He and I have been contacts through Flickr for a few years now and have participated in a few different challenges together. I saw your shots of the metro in Stockholm and I have seen similar photos on Martin’s stream. You should look him up on the introduction page of the 52 weeks group.

    Anyway, I stopped lurking to tell you your sign post is simply called a sign post or a directional sign post. It is not anything more complex than that.

    Finally, I think that dirty metros is an American phenomenon. My wife chaperoned a trip to NYC with our second borrowed daughter (the one from Norway) and was alarmed at the size of the rats and the smell down there. It doesn’t compare to Montreal or Toronto at all.

    1. Oh wow how cool! Which organization have you hosted students from? I am on exchange with Rotary, and it seems that they have the cheapest prices when you consider everything. I have heard something about hosting lowering your expenses but I am not exactly sure. However, even with the expense in mind, it is a great experience and is completely worth it. Hopefully will be able to get through this 52 week challenge, it sounds really fun to be a part of!

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