Posted by: Debra Kolkka | December 27, 2013

Cross country skiing is not for me

We are staying in Saariselka in Finnish Lapland. It is absolutely beautiful here. Everything is covered in snow…just barely. It is unusually warm. It could have been minus 30 degrees, but the temperature has not been below minus 4 since we arrived.

Here is the cabin where we are staying.


We have a snowman.


…and our own ski chair device.



There are other ways to get around.




The village is delightful.









There is daylight for a few hours a day.




There was an amazing moon one day. I saw it for a few minutes before a cloud moved up to cover it.


I can downhill ski, but since the area is largely flat, I thought I would try cross country skiing. Unfortunately the day we had chosen for our lesson proved to be less than perfect. It was quite warm, around zero, windy, and snowing. The snow was sloppy because it wasn’t cold enough, but we set off anyway.

I could do little more than stand still, fall over and then struggle to get back up. Nothing would make my skis glide gracefully over the snow. Jim fared a bit better than I did and managed a couple of slides along the track.

This is our little group trying a small downhill slide.



You can just see Jim in the maroon coat in the distance. Here he is on his triumphant return.


I’ll give cross country skiing a miss and wait for the husky safari.


  1. Reminds me of the time we were in Tromso in Norway – Nick used to cross country ski to University in Oslo – very difficult –

    • I may try it again one day, but then again, I may not.

  2. These are beautiful photos anyway – don’t you worry about the fact you are unable to do the ‘cross country ski ing thing’ and yes we will wait with much interest for the sleigh ride post. What a Christmas you are having. hugs Di

    • I would like to have been better, but it doesn’t really matter. It is enough to be in this gorgeous place.

  3. What a beautiful winter place… Wonderful photographs dear Debra, like a fairy tales… Thank you, love, nia

    • It is magical here…everything I expected and more.

  4. It’s white everywhere, something I have never experienced 🙂

    Wish you a very happy new year.

    • It is completely different from where you live. Both places are wonderful.

      • Yea, absolutely right 🙂

  5. It looks like an idyllic place to spend the Christmas holiday, a veritable winter wonderland.

    • Perfect for a white Christmas.

  6. What a beautiful winter wonderland! Would love to experience a snowy Xmas.

    • You couldn’t find a better place to do it.

  7. Indeed, it is a wonderland. The only time I tried skiing I spent the whole time stomping up the nursery slope before sliding, inexorably backwards and leaving desperate, clawing trails in the snow! Such beautiful photos – how wonderful to have such memories in your head and possibly the ‘warmer’ temperatures have allowed you more freedom to get around than would otherwise be the case.

    • I am quite pleased it has nit been really cold. It makes it much easier to do things.

  8. It’s a beautiful place.

    • It is very beautiful here. The photos don’t do it justice.

  9. Awesome blog Debra — warm sunny and 27 here in Dunsborough WA!

    • That sounds good too, but it has been wonderful to have a white Christmas…so different from the hot beaches of my childhood.

  10. I hope that You enjoyed visiting Saariselkä. The temperature seemed to be ideal!

    • Our visit to Saariselka has been wonderful. I would come back any time.

  11. I love the winter pictures – the picturesque homes, the bare branches covered in snow and the moon in the midnight blue sky. Jim looks his element with the skiing lesson. Great memories for you of Lapland!

    • It is a winter wonderland. Jim did much better than I did with the skiing.

  12. Can you please take pictures of inside your cabin, Debra – is it decorated with Lapp traditions?

    • The interior is quite plain, there is nothing traditional here to photograph.

  13. Wonderful, but I agree with you, Debra. we can share the sleigh…

    • I had to try the skiing, but I am not all that surprised that I wasn’t any good at it.

  14. Oh my God, what a magical place! So so so beautiful. But, I have to say, visuals aside, you had me at the title! LOL. I love that.

    • I wanted to be able to ski, but it wasn’t to be.

  15. Happy holidays Deb!

    • I hope you have a wonderful new year Mirella.

  16. My Finnish mother in law loves cross country skiing but she grew up doing it. The rest of us totally struggled with it – it is very challenging indeed! Happy Holidays!

    • I may try it again in better conditions, maybe.

  17. Cross-country is really strenuous but great exercise. I’ve never tried it but a few years back I switched from downhill (I was never an expert) to telemark skiing which is tricky at the beginning but very satisfying. I had my first day back on skis yesterday here in the Dolomites!

    • I wish I had been able to do it. I may try again one day.

  18. Such a beautiful place, even if your skiing didn’t quite work out. I’m sure mine wouldn’t either, even if the conditions were perfect. 🙂

    • Perhaps I am not made for skiing at all.

  19. I’ve always imagine cross country skiing is far more difficult than the experts make it look!

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