The album SCAPES is all about relaxing and letting Finnish Lapland work its magic on your soul. Our bucket list includes all eight ways you can experience those sounds yourself.
You’ve heard the rushing waters, the calm winds, the curious honks and grunts of reindeer, and you’ve decided that Air Pods, car stereos and bluetooth speakers just aren’t enough. You need to hear this things in person, to see the natural beauty that creates such soothing soundscapes. Lucky for you, we put together a bucket list for just that. Here you’ll find experiences that put you on the ground (or in the water) in northern Finland, and let you hear the Sounds of Lapland with your own ears.
Roam the Winter Wonderland
The snow giants of Syöte rise up beside the path, wearing lumpy crowns of white snow. You glance around and see no one ahead or behind you on the path. You edge nearer the giant and reach out a trembling hand. Your boyfriend shouts your name. You shriek a little, tap the snow-covered branch and run ahead to catch up. Behind you, the giants laugh and sway in the wind, glad to make your acquaintance.
Watch the Ice Break Up
Standing on the shore of the Tornio River, you can’t help but gawk. Chunks of ice the size of the moon slowly churn and groan as they move south. The ice is white on top, yellow underneath, and the waters underneath black. This marks the true end of winter–soon the salmon will return, with fishing boats in tow. Summer, in all her glory, will have returned to Lapland. For now, though, there’s still a chill in the air. You shove your hands in your jacket pockets and enjoy the grand destruction of the frozen river.
Feed the Royal Family
Antlers. Huge antlers. How do they even move around with small furry trees growing out of their heads? You offer a small one a handful of lichen, but she’s pushed aside, and the king of the pen takes the treat from you. As he thoughtfully chews your tribute, the small ones chase their mothers around, quacking like ducks. You notice suddenly that the King of the Fells is staring at you. No, he’s not judging you, he just wants another handful of lichen. You’re happy to oblige His Majesty.
Roll Around the Horizon
There is an energy that comes from the sun, hanging low in the sky though promising to go no lower. You push your mountain bike up and down the trails, and while the rest of the world sleeps, you explore. These trails you ride are not sidewalks–there is no press of people, no buildings. Sometimes you stop to take a breath, take a look, and burn the vista of golden fells under a blue sky into your memory. And then you press on, because you’re not even halfway there.
Chill on a lake
Sometimes you just want to let the world rock the stress out of you, like a baby in a cradle. Nothing wrong with that. You paddle down the Lemmenjoki River, in the heart of Finland’s largest national park, letting your muscles and the waves find a common rhythm. When you can no longer hear the shore—or anything but the lapping of water against the side of the canoe—you can close your eyes and vibe for a while with the world. There’s no rush here, nothing to do or say or think. There’s just you and the water and the blue sky overhead.
Hear the song of nature
The bilberry comes free from the low bush with an audible pop. You put it in your mouth and suck just a little, savoring the tartness, the sweetness, the overcharged flavor. You’ve tasted crowberries today, not to mention lingonberries, and you even found a handful of wild raspberries. You have no particular favorite, though you really want to try cloudberries. There’s just something about the name. You continue your slow wander through these trees, adding the crunch of leaves underfoot to the cacophony of birdsong, windwhistles and buzzing companions.
A Different Kind of Livestream
The water rushes south, always south. You can see the line where the floods came earlier this year. It’s a strangely intimate sound, the water beside you, because the walls of the valley rise on both sides. The walls aren’t particularly high, and you know if you climbed any of the small trails leading up, you’d see the hills of the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park rolling away in every direction, an epic vista for hundreds of kilometers. Here, though, it’s just you and the water, making little noises to keep each other company.
Enjoy the Log Cabin Life
Frost crawls across the little window, but you pay it no heed. You’ve got a crackling fire in the oven, a fresh bundle of ready logs, and enough woolen socks to feet an army. Today is about staying warm, staying inside, and not doing anything in particular. You drink warm juice, spiced and exotic, as you jot down a haiku.
beyond icy glass
dark trees pierce a glowing sky
this might be heaven