Our annual fall DXpedition
turned out to be rewarding in many respects. We
had built one more monster antenna, opening up new
countries such as Nigeria, Algeria and the Netherlands
for serious AM DXing. Using the other 13 antennas,
we had short but very productive openings to Australia,
Thailand, Brazil, and the Midwest in the United
States. Also, the Aihkiniemi base in Lapland now
has a second building, so staying there was more
comfortable than before.
is the perfect pandemic pastime you can stay
at home and still hear the world spinning. And a
DXpedition is the ideal form of travel during a
pandemic. Once we exited the last outposts of civilization
in Lapland, it was just us and the Arctic wilderness.
The nearest neighbors were kilometers away, so social
distancing was more than adequate.
My first pandemic flight is over and
soon there were two more. You can CLICK on the
photos in this report to see larger images.
Logistics for our traditional
fall DXpedition with Jim
Solatie were a bit unusual. Jim and his wife
Pia traveled up north already a week earlier to
DX and hike in Lemmenjoki.
It didn't make much sense for me to take a second
car north a week later, so I opted to fly to Ivalo.
It was actually a very convenient arrangement, as
Pia returned south on the same plane on its return
The timing of DXpedition AIH124
was almost the same as last year on AIH106,
but the world was very different. This was my first
flight during the pandemic, and on Saturday morning
the Helsinki Airport seemed eerily quiet. A list
of departures showed only 31 flights for the entire
day. Passenger numbers were down 90 % compared to
the same time last year. Finnair's flight to Ivalo
was half full, and everyone wore masks. After arriving
in Ivalo, I briefly saw Pia as she was going through
the security, and Jim was waiting in the terminal
with their dog Mocca.
Normally there would
be loads of tourists from China, Japan and Korea
in Ivalo, but not this winter.
The change of scenery was quite
dramatic, as Lapland was already covered in snow,
and more was falling by the hour. First we headed
to Inari for a steak lunch at the town's only gas
station, and then shopped for groceries at a recently
upgraded supermarket where Coke Zero costs
2.5 times as much as in the capital region. Well,
the times are tough, so I guess we need to contribute
to the ailing tourism industry up in Lapland.
The previous Aihkiniemi
crew, Lauri Niemi and Jyrki Hytönen, had departed
already in the morning, so we didn't get to meet
them in person. We arrived in Aihkiniemi to kick
off DXpedition AIH124 at 15:00 local time, as snowfall
was turning into drizzle. We were in no hurry to
set up our gear as propagation conditions were pretty
dismal. Asian stations peaked before sunset, but
I had multiple technical issues, so I don't have
much of an idea what exactly was available. Apparently,
there were no clearly focused openings which would
have allowed us to catch anything new.
At the same time, fellow DXers
Hannu Tikkanen and Håkan Sundman arrived for
a week of DXing in Lemmenjoki, about 100 kilometers
away. It turned out that we noticed roughly the
same openings, and probably got many of the same
stations as well.
The king of
the road in Lapland is reindeer.
During the week before, Jim had
heard for instance a Travelers Information Station
(TIS) from New Jersey on 1710 AM. The station, WQFG689
Hudson County TIS from Secaucus, was my number one
target, but at least after a perfunctory review
of most of my recordings, it was nowhere to be found.
The geomagnetic field was unsettled
during the first week of AIH124, but we had ample
time to recover from it. Our DXpedition lasted a
total of three weeks, so in the beginning I wasn't
too worried about the impact of the unstable geomagnetic
first week in Aihkiniemi resulted in three short
but gainful openings:
- On Wednesday, October 28,
in the afternoon for about 45 minutes stations
from Australia, mostly Queensland, were
heard on many frequencies, which is rare. The
biggest surprise was 4BU Bundaberg booming strong
and stable on 1332 AM, but Jim's fabulous catch
of 8JB ABC Jabiru from Northern Territories on
747 AM was an even more impressive catch, as it
operates with only 0.2 kW of power!
- On Thursday, October 29,
at sunrise there was a very short, roughly 15-minute
opening to southern Brazil. Stations were
heard exclusively in the very top end of the dial,
on about 14001600 kHz, and mostly just from
São Paulo state. As daylight had already
diluted European interference, it was magical
to log several 250-watt stations. Curiously, the
reception of these stations was best using antennas
pointing to East Coast North America (291 and
304 degrees), although there was nothing wrong
with our antennas pointing to Brazil, so something
very weird happened with the propagation paths
this morning. We identified for example ZYK733
Rádio Nova, São Manuel SP on 1410
AM, ZYK657 Rádio São Carlos, São
Carlos do Pinhal SP on 1450 AM, ZYK764 Rádio
Imaculada Conceição, Mauá
SP on 1490 AM, ZYL280 Rádio Clube, Pouso
Alegre MG on 1530 AM and ZYK667 Rádio Socorro,
Socorro SP on 1570 AM, all of which were new catches
to both of us.
- From late Saturday evening,
October 31, North American signals arrived early,
and many Midwest stations were heard on
daytime power. The timing was fortunate, as this
was the last night when stations were still operating
under the October timelines, allowing for relatively
late sign-off times. The most productive period
was from 2300 to midnight UTC, when KTIC 840 AM,
WLBL 930 AM, KSOO 1000 AM and KFIL 1060 AM were
identified, all personally new catches.
On the left is the original Aihkiniemi cabin,
and on the right is our new addition.
entire three-week period was not fulltime DXing.
After the first week I needed to return south for
work to cover the U.S. elections. I flew to Helsinki
on November 1, and back up north again on November
7, by which time the result was pretty clear to
just about everyone else but President Donald Trump
During my time away many of the
recordings were pre-programmed, as Jim spent time
traveling in Norway. I still have a very vague idea
of propagation conditions at the time, as I haven't
listened to a single recording from the election
week. In any case, at least there was a very good
opening to Thailand on November 1, just as Jim was
driving me to the Ivalo Airport.
For the third week I was again
present, at least physically, but maybe less so
mentally. I was working remotely while trying not
to miss any fabulous DX, so I have even more unchecked
SDR recordings than normally to be reviewed later.
The top of Ailigas
offers great views across the border to Norway.
in 2022: The full AIH124 DXpedition log can now
be found here
in frequency order and here
in chronological order (PDF). It eventually
took two years to review all the recordings and
publish the log. I have only logged rarities of
personal interest, and not the couple of thousand
most common AM catches.
Our equipment has remained the
same for a decade. We both used only Perseus receivers,
Jim with Perseus software and I with Jaguar software.
We shared an array of 14 Beverage-type antennas,
each about one kilometer (3,000 feet) in length.
In June I made a trip to Aihkiniemi with Jim to
build two new antennas pointing at 214 degrees and
94 degrees (which replaced an earlier 100-degree
antenna). These are the
current antenna directions in Aihkiniemi (click
For the first time, our antenna
pointing at 214 degrees was made permanent, although
a similar antenna was tested temporarily years ago.
This antenna was very productive for catching stations
in Nigeria, Algeria, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands,
which has become an interesting DX target with an
increasing number of low-power legal hobby stations
on the AM band. Aihkiniemi is located over 2,000
kilometers away from these stations, so for many
of them, reaching a listener in Aihkiniemi has marked
a record distance.
An unfortunate setback was losing
four 4TB external hard drives, which I had just
obtained second-hand, and which I haven't been able
to revive. The underlying reason for the drives
dying isn't clear, as exotic error messages by Windows
were their last signs of life. Maybe my ancient
laptop was no longer able to execute saving all
the information that Jaguar software wanted to save
on a hard drive, as Jaguar has added more features.
Or, maybe the hard drives had some pre-existing
issues. I ended up ditching the laptop and getting
a new one delivered up to Aihkiniemi by the end
of the first week. The lost recordings hardly contained
any irreplaceable rarities, but losing the pricey
hard drives was a bit annoying.
A new fridge, a sauna,
and to the right would be the kitchenette and
the dining area.
On a positive note, the Aihkiniemi
premises had received a major upgrade after our
previous DXpedition AIH106.
In September we added a second building, which houses
a sauna, a kitchenette, and room for a dining table,
as well as one more bed.
This major improvement has taken
place thanks to project manager Martti
Karimies, who is a construction professional.
Martti found a suitable mobile shack used earlier
as an office at construction sites. He designed
the needed modifications, and did most of the work
himself, with help from the rest of the 7-member
Aihkiniemi crew. The stove of the sauna was unfortunately
broken and wasn't fixed until late November.
Jim and his dog slept in the
new building, and I occupied the old bedroom. There's
still no running water, but now we have a new well
equipped with a pump, so we have an endless supply
of crystal clear water for drinking and washing
up. A warm shower was a fabulous improvement from
our earlier DXpeditions, and now we are no longer
dependent on any outside services.
Small lakes had a
thin ice cover, but even small streams were
Would you like to see our new
premises for yourself? Check out this
video on YouTube, where I'll give you a guided
tour of the Aihkiniemi DXing base.
Our nearby lake was frozen, but
the ice wasn't sturdy enough to cross over to the
other side, so checking the antennas required a
bit longer walk. A couple of nights of clear skies
allowed us to admire modest aurora. Most of the
time the temperatures hovered around freezing point,
reaching -15 C (5 F) at the lowest. During the first
few days we got a lot of snow, and shoveled the
driveway a couple of times, but by our departure
time most of the snow had melted.
a daily summary of propagation conditions during
October 25, 2020
On this night Finland moved back
from daylight to standard time. Propagation was
rather poor overnight, but stations from Brazil
to the Caribbean were heard before sunrise. Practically
all signals vanished soon after 0600 UTC. Jim identified
at least one new Peruvian station for himself.
Northern lights would
probably have been visible on most nights, but
most of the time we had overcast skies.
During the day we checked the
first antennas in a very wet forest, with temperatures
slightly above freezing point. I was taken aback
when I heard a rifle shot really near while in the
forest. Apparently it was a local hunter, although
I didn't see anybody.
Jim was in another direction
a couple of kilometers away, and there was shooting
by local hunters also close to him. This fall there
had already been two deadly hunting accidents in
Finland, and we didn't particularly want to contribute
to these statistics. In one case in Lapland, a hunter
apparently shot a mountain biker thinking he was
a bird... geez!
The first of my second-hand hard
drives broke down, and I lost most of my recordings
from the first 24 hours. By the time things were
back in control, there was a nice but short peak
toward the Pacific Northwest (including stations
such as KRTA 610, KVLV 980, KAGO 1150, KSUE 1240,
KAJO & KBZZ 1270, and KCMY 1300 AM).
Typically when the aurora
borealis is weak it forms an arch over the northern
At the same time, signals from
Southeast Asia were quite forceful for a while.
We logged two personally new Chinese stations from
Shanxi Province, and a bit later propagation seemed
pretty good to Vietnam and Thailand, but at least
initially no new discoveries were made. The evening
was quite boring with just a few common stations
Late Sunday evening Ethiopian
stations were very strong, and Jim got a new one
on 1485 kHz. I stayed put on 945 kHz, and finally
nailed São Tome at 2300 UTC, even though
there was something wrong with our 214-degree antenna.
The directionality worked, but signal levels were
October 26, 2020
Overnight offered a couple of
scattered openings to both North and South America,
perhaps Argentina being most stable around 01000200
UTC. Some neat stations were heard from the U.S.
Midwest (such as KDUZ Hutchinson MN on 1260 AM),
but trans-Atlantic propagation died well before
The listening room in Aihkiniemi.
During daylight hours the AM
band was quiet, so we had ample time to check antennas
and shovel snow from the driveway. After physical
labor, it was a real treat to be able to take a
warm shower in our own cabin.
Stations from Asia began to emerge
around 1300 UTC, but without any particular directional
focus. Later in the evening there were hardly any
stations from the east anymore, but we got the 214-degree
wire fixed, so at least we logged a new Italian
station on 1584 kHz.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Overnight there were some North
American and South American stations, strongest
around 0300 UTC, but so far nothing of interest.
In the morning the signals just fizzled out around
sunrise. Jim caught Radiofonikos Stathmos Amaliadas
from Greece on 1584 AM not a new catch, but
still nice to hear it.
Mika's listening post
A bunch of the most common stations
from the Pacific Northwest were noted weak after
1230 UTC, and stations from Southeast Asia began
to occupy frequencies around the same time. Strangely
stations were present almost exclusively on the
lower half of the AM band, while higher frequencies
remained void of any stations for a much longer
time. Tonga made a brief appearance on 1017 AM at
1205 UTC, the first station logged from the Pacific.
There was a also a bit of Hawaii and Alaska heard
around 13001400 UTC.
No gunshots in the forest on
this day, although I noticed fresh footprints in
the wilderness while checking antennas. Human footprints,
I should add, because reindeer hoofprints are ubiquitous.
On Tuesday evening a couple of
stations from Maine appeared around 2130 UTC, which
was the earliest East Coast opening on this DXpedition,
but soon they faded back into the noise. Automated
recordings took care of the rest of the night.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
During the night some North American
stations were heard, but nothing personally new,
at least not so far. Signals seemed to peak around
0500 UTC, with stations like KWNW 1100, KPUG 1170,
KPOW 1260, and KCYK 1400 AM identified.
Jim is hunting for new Australian stations.
Daybreak broke reception as well.
In daylight we drove down to Inari for lunch at
the Neste service station, and shopped for more
groceries. It had been raining overnight, so the
snow was vanishing fast and the roads were a bit
The afternoon turned out to be
a pleasant surprise to the extent that I had to
cut short a work-related Google Meet session. Yes,
I was on vacation this week, but occasionally duty
called as the U.S. elections were fast approaching.
What happened is that stations
from Queensland, Australia, were among the first
stations heard from the Eastern Hemisphere at around
1330 UTC. A couple of the most common Kiwis were
heard just before them, a first opening to that
direction this week.
Later in the evening Jim logged
Radio Studio X from Italy on 1485 kHz, a previously
unknown (to us, anyway) frequency. There was a peak
even to Nigeria, and Jim heard Radio Benue on 918
kHz with the closing ID at the surprisingly early
time of 1959 UTC, followed by the national anthem.
Something for me to hunt during the upcoming days.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Nighttime was once again miserable
with hardly anything from anywhere. Daybreak saw
a rise in North American signals from Minnesota
to Texas, but they peaked at 0530 UTC, and were
practically gone by 0600 UTC. Officially the sunrise
was now at 08:18 local time (0618 UTC). Identified
graveyard stations included WTAX 1240 and KATE 1450
The midday sun can still
be seen above the horizon. A month later the
sun would remain below the horizon 24/7 on this
Weirdly enough though, there
was a rise of Brazilian stations from around São
Paulo before 0600 UTC on the upper end of the AM
dial, as detailed before. There were very few signals
under 1400 kHz, but the top end had some really
nice surprises, so we both got several stations
we had never heard before.
On Thursday we had an electrician
come by to try to fix the stove in the sauna. For
lack of spare parts he however needed to return
In the afternoon, stations in
the Pacific Northwest didn't show up as expected,
but the regular flow of stations from Asia began
around 1300 UTC, and became quite strong by 1400
UTC. I haven't done any checking yet in terms of
what was available, but even a brief look at the
scan of the X-band shows that Australia was much
weaker than on the day before.
Friday, October 30, 2020
Propagation conditions continued
to be poor. A bunch of common North American stations
were heard overnight (such as KTRF 1230 and KROX
1260 AM from Minnesota), and a few Latin American
stations as well, but nothing to get excited about.
Yle's transmitter on top
of Ailigas can be seen from far away.
Since the weather was forecast
to be quite nice for a change, we did some sightseeing
during the daytime. Fell Ailigas (a Sámi
name, while the same mountain is officially spelled
as Ailikas in Finnish) in Karigasniemi near the
Norwegian border rises to 620 meters above sea level,
and is a fabulous hiking destination this time of
the year. There was about 1030 cm of snow
on the ground, so walking off the trail was not
overly difficult. A six-kilometer hike from the
trailhead, accessible by Jim's 4WD Honda, was just
the perfect outdoor activity for this beautiful
day. The ascent from the parking place was about
When at the top, the weather
however turned overcast and very windy, and it started
snowing. In any case, we got to enjoy the sunny
landscape on our way up, and I got to fly a drone
despite the strong winds. Almost exactly eight years
earlier we hiked on the same fell, and in the AIH18
DXpedition Report you can find photos from back
then. The Mountains haven't changed, and hopefully
we haven't aged too much either.
A closeup of frozen
plants on Ailigas.
We grabbed salmon pizzas to go
in Karigasniemi and headed back to Aihkiniemi, a
1.5-hour drive each way. We had left recordings
running throughout the day, but the fleeting openings
from North America didn't bring anything new. As
is typical, in the afternoon the focus was on the
Pacific Northwest, with stations like KWIZ 1230,
KEDO 1400, KYKN 1430, and KDBM 1490 AM identified.
From the east we spotted a bunch
of stations from New Zealand around 12001300
UTC on 657, 918, 1026, 1035, and 1080 kHz. This
was more than on any previous day on AIH124, but
not enough to warrant a closer inspection of the
recordings. Later in the afternoon Chinese stations
dominated the dial. And finally in the evening,
I identified Radio Benue on 918 kHz. Not a rarity,
but our new 214-degree wire gives quite a boost
to signals from this direction.
The Finnish postal service exceeded
my expectations, and I got my new laptop delivered
to our remote location on Friday afternoon just
as we were returning to Aihkiniemi.
Saturday, October 31, 2020
AIH124 continued along the same
lines as before. Overnight was generally poor to
all directions, except that the first opening to
Brazil around 2130 UTC turned out to be surprisingly
productive in terms of new stations.
An aerial from the top
of Ailigas, shot with a drone, with frost-bitten
In the morning stations from
all around the Americas were stronger than yesterday,
Signals peaked at 0600 UTC with stations from the
Midwest (KGFX 1060, KWSN 1230, KICD 1240, KYCR 1440
AM, just to mention some common ones), and the Andes
& Colombia. Signal levels crashed rapidly, and
by 0630 UTC the AM band was virtually empty. My
best catch of the morning was OCU1Z Radio Visión
from Tumbes on 1090 AM, which hasn't been heard
in Finland before.
During the day stations from
northwestern USA made a few attempts to break through,
but generally signals were very weak, and there
was nothing to listen to.
To get some useful chores done,
we checked the last remaining antennas and emptied
the dry toilet. Temperatures dipped down to around
From the east, Newstalk ZB was
heard on 1035 kHz at 1300 UTC, followed soon by
loads of strong signals from China. Already by 1430
UTC propagation was focused on Iran, so the Asia
opening turned out to be very short-lived. Identified
stations included DYOW 900, DYRL 1035 and Gansu
Sunday, November 1, 2020
The turn of the month marked
the best DXing of the AIH124 DXpedition so far.
North American signals began entering our cabin
around 2100 UTC, and continued non-stop until around
0730 UTC. KXEL from Iowa on 1540 AM was audible
already at 2118 UTC, an hour and 45 minutes before
sunset in Waterloo.
This screenshot from
Jaguar software shows what 840 AM looked like
around midnight UTC. KTIC's signal is clearly
visible until it closed down at 2345 UTC. Knowing
the exact offsets (in this case 839.996 kHz)
helps in tracking stations down. WHAS is on
the right at 830.003 kHz, and CFCW in the middle
at 829.999 kHz. The sensitivity is adjustable,
and in this case the signals were audible only
when they turned orange.
We heard a few daytime-only stations
and several others with daytime power, especially
from the Midwest: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and
Nebraska. Latin American signals were simply swamped
by the more northern stations. The timing could
not have been better, and without this opening the
entire end of October would have been wasted as
far as daytimer-hunting goes. Here are a few examples
from this morning. I picked four semi-rare U.S.
stations on 1410 AM as an example of what we heard.
Click to open an MP3 file of the station ID:
All these goodies were heard
within 1.5 hours. Pretty cool, isn't it? And on
the next frequency down the dial, on 1400 AM, I
identified the following stations over a 9-hour
period on this one night: WWWS, WMAN, WGIL, KMHL,
WGIL, KEYL, KCOW, and KBRB. None were new to me,
but it was still nice to get many W-calls.
But here's the important part:
Aihkiniemi is not some privileged hideaway for the
chosen few. You could be listening to the
same stations. Just book
your next DXpedition in Aihkiniemi. Once coronavirus
vaccinations get well underway, travel restrictions
for non-EU nationals will likely be lifted.
During the day there was a lull
in reception, indicating that the magnetic field
was still not entirely settled. The Pacific Northwest
made a comeback starting around 1130 UTC, and continued
past 1300 UTC, when I had to quit live DXing and
start heading to the Ivalo Airport for a return
trip to Helsinki. At that point there were just
faint signals from the east. Jim kindly drove me
all the way to the airport, and returned to Aihkiniemi
after some grocery shopping. While we both were
away, there was apparently a very good opening to
Spreading the gospel on
top of Ailigas.
While I was reporting on the
U.S. elections, Jim handled the recordings and visited
Norway as well, as the border was finally opened.
Based on Jim's observations, Monday and Tuesday
offered some Pacific Northwest stations in the afternoon.
Wednesday was more interesting,
because the familiar daybreak opening to the west
included U.S. East Coast stations. A similar good
opening further west occurred on Thursday morning.
Reception of North American signals was decent overnight
Hopefully a closer inspection of the recordings
will reveal some new stations to send reception
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Having returned to Aihkiniemi for more live DXing,
on Saturday evening I focused on Dutch stations,
which seemed to be stronger than normally. Stations
like Album AM 846, Citrus AM 918, Radio T-Pot 918
AM and Radio 0511 on 1287 AM were already very familiar
to Jim who had pioneered catching these low-power
stations at his summer cottage on the south coast
of Finland, but for me this was an entirely virgin
Aurora borealis at the frozen lake next to our
Sunday, November 8, 2020
A mixed bag of stations from
all around, but KIFG Iowa Falls IA on 1510 AM was
a pleasant surprise for both of us. In the afternoon,
some Thai stations were audible remarkably early,
already around 1200 UTC, and even ABC from Western
Australia on 1152 AM was logged as early as 1300
Monday, November 9, 2020
My observations from this third week are succinct,
because I was trying to focus on work. In the morning
the 0700 UTC top-of-the-hour was rewarding with
many stations from the southern part of the U.S.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
When hunting for Nigerian stations
in the morning, I was happy to score a couple of
new ones from Algeria instead. During the day my
only new catch was KDIZ Golden Valley MN on 1570
AM. In the evening I spent a couple of hours listening
to Amica Radio Veneta on 1017 AM, without hearing
a single ID, but that was fixed a couple of days
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
In the morning, HCBD1 Radio Monumental
from Quito on 1510.2716 kHz was my only personally
new catch on the fly. The strong deviation from
its nominal frequency makes it tough to miss if
there's any chance of getting it. Otherwise lots
of U.S. and East Asia, but at least so far no new
ones. In the evening U.S. stations were up early,
and I finally managed to identify WHIT Madison WI
on 1549.9965 kHz, which is definitely not a rarity,
but its ID had eluded me until now.
Our new 214-degree
wire is the only antenna which begins from very
close to the cabin.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Again some Algeria in the morning,
and even some Andes (such as Radio Huancavilca on
830 AM) for a change. Asian stations were up early,
including an ID for Heilongjiang Xinwen Guangbo
on 1287 AM at 1000 UTC. This was presumably a retransmission
over Daxing'anling Xinwen Zonghe Pinlu, a previously
unheard station from the very northern tip of China.
In the evening 6IX from Perth WA was a neat surprise
on 1080 AM. Recordings from this day have potential
to yield many more new stations.
Friday, November 13, 2020
Finally North American stations
were beginning to be heard around the clock as they
should, us being still so close to solar minimum.
There were nice signals from California until the
afternoon, with KPWK San Bernardino CA on 1350 AM
being my only new station so far. Also a couple
of Kiwi stations were heard, and Fijian Gold FM
was loud on 990 AM at 1300 UTC. I expect to find
some goodies also on Friday's recordings.
Saturday, November 14, 2020
As all too often seems to be
the case, propagation feels best when you have to
leave. So it was on this Saturday morning. North
American signals were strong through the night,
and East Coast stations were noted booming as we
had to disconnect our last receivers after 0700
UTC. In any case, I'm already very pleased with
having finally identified Radio Curom (which identifies
as "Z-86 Emisora") on 860 AM from Curaçao
earlier in the morning. This station had stayed
on my most-wanted list for a couple of decades before
I finally caught an ID in hi-fi quality. I left
one Perseus to record until the next pair of DXers,
Ismo Kauppi and Timo Metso, arrived in the afternoon.
Timo kindly brought my hard drive south, and I'm
looking forward to checking what it contains.
Remember, on a clear night
you can hear forever.
We couldn't get tickets to the
overnight train leaving from Rovaniemi on the Arctic
Circle later in the evening, so we needed to catch
an earlier overnight train departing from Kolari
close to the Swedish border. Therefore we also had
to leave Aihkiniemi a bit after 10 a.m., more than
three hours earlier than normally. There were lots
of reindeer on the road, and the roads were slippery,
but we made it safely to Kolari.
We grabbed a burger along the
way in Levi, where snow remained only on the slopes
of the Levi Mountain. I was wondering if the local
Burger King down at the ski resort would be the
northernmost such restaurant, but it turned out
there's one franchise even further up, in Tromsø,
In Kolari, it became evident
that we're back in the real world where we again
need to take the coronavirus into account and start
using masks when around crowds of people. The restaurant
at the Kolari railway station was closed because
of the pandemic, and we didn't feel like hanging
around in the restaurant car of the train. Not a
problem though, as we had our own snacks and drinks,
and a cabin to ourselves, including DX-dog Mocca.
All good things come to an end,
even DXpedition AIH124, but we'll be back, next
fall at the latest!
December 1, 2020