The excursion was part of the Arctic Studies Program, the Introduction to the Arctic course. The purpose of the excursion was to share information about the culture, environment and lifestyle in Lapland.
Pyhätunturi is located around 100km north from Rovaniemi. The group consisted of 35 students from different parts of the world. The first destination of the two-day trip was Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, a department of University of Oulu, where an interesting lecture on the Northern Lights was given by Thomas Ulich. From the observatory, the group headed to Kopara Reindeer farm. The participants had a change to feed the reindeers and explore the life of a reindeer herder. The next destination was an idyllic Suvanto Village, one of the remaining villages from the 17th century which was not destroyed during the Second World War. Anja Mettiäinen, an original resident of Suvanto Village gave a short introduction about the life in the village.
For the night, the students stayed at the Holiday Resort Luppo. In the evening, after the dinner, the group had also a possibility to try traditional Finnish sauna. The second day started with a visit to Pyhä-Luosto Visitor and Culture Centre Naava, followed by a 5 km Nature Trail in beautiful Pyhä-Luosto National Park. In the middle of the trail, the group had a break by "Laavu", which offered a change to roast sausages and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
Short after the hike, the bus began its journey back to Rovaniemi.
Overall, the excursion was liked and successful among the participants; the students got many new experiences and a taste of the Lappish way of life. Thanks to its popularity, a similar kind of excursion will be held also in the following years.