Snowshoeing in Saariselkä, Finland

I woke up today with a feeling of barely contained excitement. Knowing what was awaiting for me in the early afternoon, I spent the morning running around the small cottage I'm sharing with other 6 Erasmus students from France and Germany, lighting up the fireplace, jumping in and out the sauna (yes! We have our own personal Finnish sauna!) and cooking enormous amounts of pasta. What for? Snowshoeing, of course!
Most beautiful landscape
If you are not familiar with this amazing winter activity, I'll briefly explain it: snowshoeing consists in hiking through snowy paths, often in woods and lots of fresh snow; it is done with tools called "snowshoes", which distribute the weight of the person over a larger area so the foot doesn't sink.
Modern snowshoes
Say hello to snowshoes
I personally love this sport. I don't have the opportunity to practise it that often, especially because in these last years in Italy it hasn't been snowing a lot (20 cm of snow are the ideal amount for snowshoeing) and it is definitely less popular than skiing and snowboarding. So I take the chance everytime I can! 
This time I was so lucky to get to roll around and sink in 30 cm of snow in Urho Kekkonen National Park, the second largest National Park in Finland. A place of stunning beauty, filled with breathtaking landscapes!
Urho Kekkonen National Park
Urho Kekkonen National Park
Urho Kekkonen National Park
Urho Kekkonen National Park
We all enjoyed ouselves far too much, following the crazy guy that was supposed to be our guide - otherwise we'd have ended up being lost in the forest, for sure - up and down hills, falling ruinosly and grasping tree branches and shaking pines in order to cover our companions with snow and pine needles. No beaten track, of course!
And for a perfect finish, we roasted sausages the old way.
Sausages on fire
We headed back to our cottages completely destroyed physically... but happy as never before!

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