The road from Jokkmokk, Sweden to Inari, Finland was long, beautiful, and partly gravel. We started off driving over the Lule river and past a dam, heading up to Gallïvare and then East to the Muonio river. The vast part of the border between Sweden and Finland is the river Tornio, but we were north of that, I guess. On the way to the border we encountered our first construction which slowed us down quite a bit. When we got through it, we made a wrong turn which detoured us for about 2 hours/200km. Well, we got to see more of Sweden!
We also got to see more reindeer up close and personal. Aunt Cari (and everyone else) had warned of reindeer -- LOTS of reindeer on the road. They weren't joking.
I learned a lot about reindeer, too, from my three weeks, besides they are delicious. All reindeer get fuzz on their horns, but the female keeps it on far longer, while the male rubs his off. In the summer reindeer herders take the reindeer to summer grazing pastures, usually by the coast, and in the winter they come back inland. Reindeer eat lichen in the winter and paw through the snow to get to it. Having seen this land, it is such a marvelous providential match, as the land is very sandy or rocky, there is lichen everywhere, and the land is not well suited to cultivation, especially with the short growing season.
These reindeer are in their summer grazing area. I did not see many reindeer in Norway, as their summer grazing area was not near where I was.
When we approached the border, Eeva took my picture and drove across the bridge. I chose to walk. All the way. To Finland.
We had coffee in Kolari and filled up with diesel in cheaper Finnish fuel, and headed out toward Inari again. Before long, the road, the only road, became dirt. Reindeers abounded.
It turns out, Finland is named for its fens. Fens are marshes or bogs. Northern Finland is full of lakes, bogs, marshes, fir trees, and birches. It's beautiful. Not the high mountains or fjords of Norway, but beautiful nonetheless.
Once we got to Inari, we headed north to the hostel and settled in for the night. Another full day was ahead of us.