The Other Nature of Deserted Finland

“I want this to be my last sight before I die.”

That has been said about the scenery from the top of the fjeld Pyhä-Nattanen in Sodankylä, Lapland. And when somebody speaks that highly of a place, it has to be seen.

The only problem with the place was, that there are two sides to deserted Finland. The first one featured in this blog are the hundreds, if not thousands of abandoned buildings all around the country which are left without use, when people move to bigger cities and fertility rates drop. The second side is the Finland, where there never were any human dwellings.

I hired a trade union cottage, which was about as close to Pyhä-Nattanen, as you could get, and I still was 250 kilometers away. Early in the morning I started driving towards the national park, where the fjeld was located. My map app warned me about dirt roads ahead, but I didn’t believe there would be any.

…the first 100 kilometers or so were dirt road.

I finally got to the highway and after another exhausting 100 kilometers I found another dirt road, which looked like someone had bombed it. It was extremely difficult to drive without damaging the car.

It took me around three hours of driving, but finally I was on the trail. Let the pictures speak for themselves.

At first it was just beauty and nature.

But soon it became evident I had a rocky road in front of me.

I spent the trek listening to a playlist called Epic Movie Soundtracks and thinking about my life.

And I had quite a lot to think about. I had graduated in the spring and needed to think what I wanted to do as an adult. I had basically fulfilled most of my big dreams and I wasn’t even 30 yet.

I had always enjoyed photography, but the two collections, The Working Class Girl and The Worker Gal I had photographed the previous month were still sitting on my desk waiting to be edited. I was extremely disappointed with them and my skills with Photoshop were so limited, that I couldn’t make them work. I started to lose interest towards the whole hobby.

My way forward in photography looked exactly as steep and unstable as this hillside, which was on en route to the top.

A look down made me feel like it was all worth the climb.

This was my first view of the top. Those rock formations are natural. This was originally a much higher mountain, and that is what is left after erosion has swept the rock away. The place was a holy site for the indigenous Sámi people.

And this is the famous view from the top. It really was worth all the effort.

More views of the rock formations.

But guess what, this place actually has something to do with urban exploration. There are remnants of a WWII German surveillance station somewhere here. I didn’t find them, I didn’t even look for them.

I don’t think the topmost pile is a natural formation. You shouldn’t actually be building those on your own here.

One final look at the scenery from the top.

Lapland is a wonderful place during all four seasons. During winter the sun never rises, during the summer it never sets. During spring the nature slowly wakes up from under a thick layer of snow and the autumn is just beautiful in all its colours. The autumn colours last for a very short time only, so your timing needs to be spot on.

Now I will reveal two facts about myself.

  1. I really don’t like war history. I usually don’t explore bunkers, trenches or stuff like that even though this country is full of them. I just couldn’t care less.
  2. I love hiking in the nature and national parks. But I’m not here to write a blog about them. So I’ll let this post be the one exception to my blog with abandoned buildings.

It was time to head down, drive another three hours to my cottage, warm up the sauna and drink bad Finnish beer. The next adventures will be all about abandoned buildings again.

Published by desertedfinland

A Finnish Urban explorer & Photographer

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