Thursday, 31 March 2016

Adventures in Lapland and Svenskfinland: part one

Earlier this month I went with my wife to visit our old friends living in Svenskfinland, that is among the minority Swedish speaking community in Finland. For some time we have been planning a trip to Lapland, a place that has always fascinated me. Land of the midnight sun, the aurora borealis or northern lights, reindeer herds, Santa Claus/Father Christmas/Julgubbe, heavy snowdrifts, frozen rivers, Sami folk, winter sports, and ice castles and ice hotels.

Liz had a particularly nasty virus infection, so our long car journey to Rovaniemi, our hotel for the first night only, was delayed by a day. Jan-Erik's car, a four wheel drive Honda with appropriate winter tyres, performed magnificently. Marianne had stocked the vehicle with plenty of snacks, soft drinks, emergency rations and some interesting items for the Lapland trip.

On the Lord's Day, when we were due to leave for Lapland, Liz was particularly poorly, too poorly to sing at the morning service as planned.  She's Welsh, with firm roots in chapel culture, so it was a great disappointment to her. I preached at Esse, on the passage for the day in the Lutheran liturgical calendar. Jan-Erik translated. My Swedish is not good enough yet, but I do speak Svengelska very well indeed! It was one week before Palm Sunday, therefore this Lord's Day we celebrated the annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  So Liz and I had travelled from Essex to Esse.

To be continued.

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