I know, I know! It’s been days since we posted an update.
The last 8 days in our Finnish cabin in the snow seem to have gone past in a white blur of doing nothing much at all, and having a lovely time doing it. It’s the longest we have ever spent in one place, in the 16 years we’ve been travelling together. We weren’t lucky enough to see any more Lights, but we’re now staying just across the border in Sweden for a few more days, so we might get to see them again. The place we’re staying in now doesn’t have quite the same rustic charm of the previous place, but it is very comfortable and has a great view over the frozen Muonio River, which marks the Swedish/Finnish border. We can see across to Finland from the dining room windows.
While we were at Yllasjarvi, we did a bit of snowshoeing in the partly cleared area behind the cabin. It’s easier than just walking in snow boots, but I still kept managing to get stuck in thigh-deep snow occasionally. Greg gave up on his igloo-building and devoted some of his energy to making time-lapse videos of sunrises, sunsets and other goings-on around the cabin. They are beautiful to watch.
We called in to a Swedish supermarket on our way here to stock up on essentials that we couldn’t find in Finland – creamed rice and little hot dog buns – and learnt that older Swedish banknotes and coins are no longer legal tender. Some were phased out in the middle of last year, and others will be phased out in the middle of this year. I’d brought about 170 SEK (AUD $25 ) that I’d had left over from when we were here 3 years ago, and 2 x 20 kroner notes are now obsolete. The young woman at the checkout offered to exchange the rest of the notes and coins for me but I’ll just make sure we spend it all before we leave. I guess we’ll add the 20 kroner notes to Greg’s Zimbabwean 1 trillion dollar note, which is also no longer accepted as legal tender. There seems to be a move towards a cashless economy in Sweden – when we had brunch at Ikea last weekend, it was not possible to pay with cash, only with a plastic card as the checkout operator didn’t have a cash drawer.