My ex partner was responsible for maintaining the UK aurorawatch imaging riometer in Kilpisjarvi, Finland. We took advantage of its maintenance visit in 2000 for me to do some walking up hills on the Finland-Sweden-Norway border, then went on a driving trip round Norway and part of Finland. One night our accommodation was right on the shore of a lake and had its own sauna. Of course we crossed the Arctic circle on land – the farthest north I’d been at this point. I distinctly remember driving the hire car north from the airport around midnight and having to wear sunglasses.

I fancied a snowy adventure and Finland was an accessible destination so in 2004 I went out for a 2 day skidoo expedition which included getting pulled over by the police on the river and being breathalysed (it wasn’t just me, but it is the only time I’ve been pulled over in any vehicle). I also did 1 day dogsledding and 1 day downhill skiing – my first time on snow.

In 2016 I felt the need for more snowy adventures so signed myself up for a 3 day Finnish dogsledding trip and tagged on a skidoo day as well. The skidoo was not so good 2nd time round – perhaps I am going off things with motorbike engines? but the dogs were a great way to travel and we had a fairly good showing of northern lights one night. I had a good deep snow fix before the journey home.