Our Beautiful World

Day 20  

Just North of Skibotn, we found this nice place for the night.

In the background is part of the Lyngen Alps.

One of the most beautiful valleys we passed, was no doubt the Skibotn-valley
which brough us from the bottom of Lyngenfjorden up to the border to Finland.

Skibotn is one of the places in Norway where it rains less.
A dry fine climate, with vigorous vegetation.
This includes several orchids, flowering in June and July.
This is one of the first places visited by botanists in the spring,
because of little snow and early bare spots.

Further up the valley narrowed, and the river was way down in the bottom of a canyon.
It was impossible to get a good picture from the car,
so we will have to look out for that somewhere else.

About an hour or so later, depending on what you want to see on the way,
we passed the border to Finland.

So we were in 'The Land of Thousand Lakes':

and no doubt - they had Lakes there!

Beautiful lakes. Many lakes. Clear lakes.

The Kilpisjärvi region is the only part of Finland extending into the Scandinavian mountain ridge.
A special feature of the area is that it constitutes a continental maritime divide.
Rocks containing limestone are abundant in the area.
Marked relative and absolute altitudinal differences as well as the quality of soil,
make the vegetation of the area particularly distinctive.

Snow melts from the mountain birch forest zone in early June.
The lake usually throws off its coat of ice on about 20th of June.
The growing season is one of the shortest in Europe (only c. 100 days)
and the mean temperature of the year is -2.3ºC, one of the lowest in continental Europe.

There are many areas containing calcareous dolomite in the Scandinavian mountain ridge
which makes the vegetation of the nortwesternmost Finland exceptionally luxuriant.
Mountain birch forests reach up to 600 metres.

The fauna of the northwesternmost Finland is poor but there are many low-numbered
bird species here. The small-mammal population densities fluctuate in 4 or 5-year intervals,
which has an impact on the nesting of birds of prey.

to the birds of Kilpisjärvi: Click here.

to the flora of Kilpisjärvi: Click here.

Kilpisjärvi Biological Station

Kilpisjärvi is in Enontekiö rural district. The district covers 8,464 km² and there are more or less about
2,350 people living there. In the village of Kilpisjärvi there are only about 100 inabitants, and the place
is an important junction for tourists on their way in between Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Even many norwegians uses the road through Kilpisjärvi on their way to and from Troms and Finmark.

In Kilpisjärvi you can also visit the highest mountain in Finland, called Halti, which is about 1,328 m. asl.

Then about a 100 kilometers and a few lakes more to Karesuvanto/Karesuando

Karesuvanto is a large village in Lapland's north western arm, situated on the banks of the Muoniojoki River, one half in Finland, the other in Sweden (Karesuando). From Karesuvanto it is a 110 km journey to Kilpisjärvi and 88 km to Muonio along Highway 21. In Karesuvanto, on the Finnish side, there are about 450 inhabitants. In Swedish Karesuando, on the opposite side of the river, there are about 600 inhabitants. The villages, located on either side of the border river, have been connected by a year round bridge since 1980. In addition to Finnish, the villagers speak Swedish, Sami and Norwegian, creating an international atmosphere. There are also an 'international' broadcasting service from this place.

© Foto: Tapio Huttunen

A large picture gallery with photos fra Enontekiö here:
http://www.enontekio.fi/english/gallery/gallery.html (Not valid as per Sept .2010)

Find much more info about Enontekiö here:
http://www.enontekio.fi/english/index.html (Not valid as per Sept .2010)

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At 10.00 PM it is finally bedtime again, somewhere in the wood.

See more of the reindeer on our next trip to Lapland: click here!

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