We have continued along the narrow road to the deep north.  Leaving Sweden we stayed one night in Levi and have now arrived on the banks of the Juutuanjoki as it flows into Lake Inari. This is the cultural centre of the Sámi in Finland.

Inari is home to both the Sámi Parliament (Sámediggi) and the Siida, the National Museum of the Finnish Sámi.

After a morning in the Siida, heads echoing to the drone of Sámi music, we float across the lake to Ukonsaari and Hautuumaasaari, old man and graveyard islands. In winter we could make the same journey on foot. The skies threaten as we return; nevertheless it is hard to imagine this vast lake frozen for seven months of the year and harder still to imagine tribes of people surviving in such an empty harsh land for thousands of years:

The view from ... Hautuumaasaari ... The view from ... Leaving ... In the grounds ... 104-Silda-wordpress In the grounds ...

(Click on the images to enlarge – the penultimate photograph is a detail from a wall-hanging in the Siida Museum and therefore not mine – photography is allowed but not flash)


  1. socialbridge · July 19, 2015

    Wonderful photos, Robin. Humankind are certainly resilient, if that’s the word.

    • northumbrianlight · July 20, 2015

      Many thanks Jean – resilient indeed but after much research I think I have discovered the key elements to survival – reindeer skins and remarkably silly hats 😉

      • socialbridge · July 20, 2015

        I’d love to see some of the silly hats.

      • northumbrianlight · July 21, 2015

        I have resisted buying one but try googling ‘Sami hat images’ – there is a wonderful variety to choose from 🙂

      • socialbridge · July 21, 2015

        Will do! This should be interesting.

  2. Maureen · July 19, 2015

    beautiful photographs of a harsh land

    • northumbrianlight · July 20, 2015

      Many thanks Maureen – fortunately the hotels are quite plush 😉

  3. Pit · July 19, 2015

    Fantastic fotos!
    Enjoy your time up there in the North,

    • northumbrianlight · July 20, 2015

      Many thanks Pit – there are a remarkable number of people cycling north. I prefer the VW Golf 🙂

  4. glasgowmango · July 20, 2015

    Great images, sounds like an really interesting adventure.

  5. LaVagabonde · July 20, 2015

    This region and people are so fascinating to me. Such a mysterious landscape and culture. Existence in total darkness and then total light. Eerie music and long silences. Your photos capture the mystery. Looking forward to more. 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · July 20, 2015

      Many thanks Julie – we are very fortunate to have seen both extremes. Ideally I would like the snow and ice with long days 😉

  6. Photographs by Peter Knight · July 20, 2015

    Really nice photos; very interesting 🙂

  7. sustainabilitea · July 20, 2015

    I find it interesting that when I try my photos in B&W, I’m reluctant to give up the color much of the time. But I enjoy others monochrome shots immensely, even though I sometimes wish I could also see them in color. B&W works so well with what you presented here.


    • northumbrianlight · July 20, 2015

      Many thanks Janet – I tend to opt for black and white when there are interesting cloud formations – they always look more dramatic than colour particularly when you apply a virtual red filter.

  8. restlessjo · July 21, 2015

    Awe inspiring but somehow sad, Robin. Maybe the lack of colour. Love that close up of the lonesome pine 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · July 21, 2015

      Thanks Jo – aha yes, we are on the trail of the lonesome pine:
      In the pale moonshine our hearts entwine,
      Where she carved her name and I carved mine.

      • restlessjo · July 21, 2015

        I’m singing along, Robin 🙂 🙂

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