Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Altar of Pielpajarvi
Austere altar of the Lutheran Church of Pielpajarvi, one of the temples of the new faith of the Sami people.
Sami woman
Armi Palonoja next to his restaurant-house, located north of Saariselka, where he welcomes visitors for reindeer rides guided by his son-in-law Maksim.
Inari frozen lake
View of Lake Inari from the top of the island of Ukonsaari.
Mrs Sami
Armi Palonoja leans on the porch railing of his restaurant-house, dressed in traditional Sami clothing and jewelry.
Virsi Kirja
Bible placed next to the altar of the Lutheran church of Pielpajarvi.
Red Squirrel, Pielpajarvi
A furry squirrel surveys the surrounding landscape in a forest around the Lutheran church of Pielpajarvi.
Lutheran Church of Pielpajarvi
The Lutheran Church of Pielpajarvi, behind its pink fence.
Church of Pielpajarvi
Detached pulpit in the Painted Wooden Interior of the Lutheran Church of Pielpajarvi.
Ukonsaari Island
The island of Ukonsaari, located in the middle of Lake Inari and sacred to the Sami of Finnish Lapland.
Ukonkivi island staircase
Completely frozen lake Inari scenery, as seen from the top of Ukonkivi Island.
Note to the faithful
A note welcomes and explains part of the history of the Lutheran church of Pielpajarvi, built in 1760.
Sami and reindeer
Russian-born Sami Maksim leads a reindeer ride north of Inari.
Sami Maksim
Portrait of the Russian Maksim, protected by the traditional Sami costumes he wears in his professional daily life.
Church of Pielpajarvi
The Lutheran Church of Pielpajarvi on the shore of Lake Inari.
Slate of the church of Pielpajarvi
Slate painting in the old Lutheran church of Pielpajarvi, which many visitors come by snowmobile but faith continues to be renewed in the old-fashioned way.
Footprints towards Ukonsaari.
A trail leads to the sacred island of Ukonsaari, in the heart of Lake Inari and surrounded by ice for most of the long northern winter of Lapland.
Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.

Ten in the morning arrives.

It is another inspiring arctic day of clear skies and radiant sun which, with its reflection in the prevailing snow, generates a pleasant winter light. The first contact with Maksim doesn't seem to match.

The folk costumes he wears are typical of the natives of the Sapmi land, with the pattern of the bright colors of the national flag, placed on the deep blue that serves as its base. Their expressions, on the contrary, are rigid and serious.

We got into the van. The host organizes himself. Prepare your mind for another one of your missions.

As soon as you activate the conformative mode, you ask question after question about these guests and their origins. Gradually, our answers amused him and provoked humorous comments.

Maksim, the Heat-averse Sami Guide

The almost turquoise eyes soften like the character itself that immediately begins to enchant us. "They're almost 20th in Portugal? What a horror, I couldn't bear it! I just like it cold.

I'm Sami but from the coldest part of the Russia. I remember our childhood back in the village. They closed the school from negative 30th down. When it was about to happen, we would gather around the inlet thermometer, praying that the temperature would drop a little more. At -31st, the party began.

We grabbed sledges and played like crazy. They thought it was too cold for us to stand at school, but out there, none of us complained!”

Maksim takes us to the family's operational base, a huge wooden house darkened by smoke, lost in the middle of the tundra and endowed with fences that keep reindeer.

The sami equips some of the animals and invites us and other visitors to climb into the sliding carts.

Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2

Russian-born Sami Maksim leads a reindeer ride north of Inari.

The Finnish Miss Universe, the Salmon Soup and the Praise of Finland

There begins a panoramic route along already marked trails that, without realizing how, return to the starting point. On the way back, a lunch of succulent salmon soup and a dessert of crepe with jam and wild berries made by mother-in-law Armi Palonoja await us.

Maksim seems relieved that the punishment is over. Outside, the sun hurts the irises of husky.

As soon as the discomfort is over, he informs us that Armi was a name popularized by the famous Finnish Miss Universe of 1952 (Armi Kuusela, the first Miss Universe ever), who had traveled the country and abroad in a kind of railway tour, in the company of her husband and before settling in the Philippines with her husband, the businessman Virgílio Hilário.

We did not detect in the wife's mother, who was also dressed in traditional Sami clothes, any wonder of beauty. To compensate, the food he offered customers at his Joiku-Kotsamu restaurant deserved all the acclaim.

Armi Palonoja, Sami people, Inari, Finland

Armi Palonoja next to his restaurant-house, located north of Saariselka, where he welcomes visitors for reindeer rides guided by his son-in-law Maksim.

The host resumes the conversation and takes the opportunity to unburden himself: “the truth is that I'm tired of having to walk around with these clothes for tourists to see. In Russia, I don't wear a costume. Sami but this job makes good money. We are not exactly in Helsinki but of course they have much better conditions here in Finland than on the other side of the border.

At first, I was scared by what went from pay to taxes, but here the state participates and takes care of everything. In fact, in suomi there aren't even future tense verbs. Everything is resolved immediately. When you want to leave something for later, you say, in the worst case, I'll do it tomorrow!”

The People of Boreal Europe, in Times without Borders, Sami

Maksim has a child from another marriage in Russia that you only see from time to time. A month and a half ago, the bosses' daughter had gifted him with the second. But the birth was shaky: “we had to travel 250 km from here to Rovaniemi and it was -40º. Fortunately it went well.

Maksim, man Sami, Inari, Finland

Portrait of the Russian Maksim, protected by the traditional Sami costumes he wears in his professional daily life.

In Russia it would have been much worse. I think I'll stick around. I want my children to live an easier life.”

not always the people Sami he was able to count on the additional security granted by governments, mainly the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish.

In ancient times, the Sami they roamed freely across the icy steppes at the top of Europe for the best pastures for reindeer herds or for fishing, in the case of tribes living in coastal areas.

Their adaptation to the demanding arctic climate ensured them a enviable prosperity in the south and frequent trade meetings with their neighbours.

red squirrel-inari-Finland, Inari, Finland

A furry squirrel surveys the surrounding landscape in a forest around the Lutheran church of Pielpajarvi.

The Inevitable Imposition of the Dominant Nations to the South

In the XNUMXth century, these most powerful nations began to impose their cultures on them and, through the action of the missionaries, the acceptance of the Lutheran religion at the expense of the millenary shamanist. The use of dialects of sapmi was discouraged and banned.

The acquisition and exploration of attached lands was only allowed to Sami that mastered the languages ​​of the colonists. These, in turn, received incentives to move to lands of sapmi.

Bible, church of Pielpajarvi, Inari, Finland

Bible placed next to the altar of the Lutheran church of Pielpajarvi.

In the far north of Finland, and around, many Sami were at one point ashamed of themselves.

Centuries passed and the occupying powers evolved in civilizational terms like few others in Europe. This fact, together with an emerging awareness of indigenous identity, reversed the different destructive processes of their various sub-ethnic groups.

As in so many other communities in the pan-nation, there are many setbacks to overcome. But now the indigenous people are taking on the challenge with strong political mobilization and a combination of determination and dignity never before dreamed of.

Motorized Excursion to the Holy Island of Ukonsaari, Lake Inari

The next morning, Jarmo Sirvio, another resident, is waiting to guide us on a snowmobile ride across Lake Inari – then under a three-foot-thick icy layer – and to Ukonsaari, an island in the shape of a Tyrannosaurus which is sacred to the sami.

Ukonkivi, Lake Inari, Finland

A trail leads to the sacred island of Ukonsaari, in the heart of Lake Inari and surrounded by ice for most of the long northern winter of Lapland.

We stopped first at the Lutheran church of Pielpajarvi, made of old wood (built in 1760) and lost among the trees on the banks in a surprisingly picturesque way.

Jarmo has a special affection for that place: “My mother was born in 1954 or 1955, I'm not sure anymore.

Church of Pielpajarvi, Lake Inari, Finance

The Lutheran Church of Pielpajarvi on the shore of Lake Inari.

I know she walked for hours here to come to Mass and sell Sami products. Amazing isn't it? We are now going to do much more than the 8 km she did in a few minutes.”

Altar of the church of Pielpajarvi, Inari, Finland

Austere altar of the Lutheran Church of Pielpajarvi, one of the temples of the new faith of the Sami people.

We return to the bikes and take off to cross the lake. At 80 or 90 km/h, extreme cold quickly neutralizes the camcorder, penetrates our gloves and hurts our hands.

In good time, we remember the instructor's tip and save ourselves from suffering when we turn on the powerful wrist warmers.

Ukonkivi Island, Lake Inari, Finland

Completely frozen lake Inari scenery, as seen from the top of the island of Ukonsaari.

Earlier than we expected, we arrived at the base of the island that the Samis ancestors used it to perform sacrificial and burial rituals in honor of their heavenly gods.

We went up the long wooden staircase. Still panting, we sucked in the thick, frigid air greedily through our masks.

We catch our breath and are delighted to contemplate the vast territory Sami white all around.

View from Ukonkivi, Lake Inari, Finland

View of Lake Inari from the top of the island of Ukonsaari.

Inari, Finland

The Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation

The Sami Nation comprises four countries, which ingest into the lives of their peoples. In the parliament of Inari, in various dialects, the Sami govern themselves as they can.
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Kemi, Finland

It is No "Love Boat". Icebreaker since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Hailuoto Island, Finland

Fishing for Truly Fresh Fish

Sheltered from unwanted social pressures, the islanders of Hailuoto they know how to sustain themselves. Under the icy sea of ​​Bothnia they capture precious ingredients for the restaurants of Oulu, in mainland Finland.
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Saariselka, Finland

The Delightful Arctic Heat

It is said that the Finns created SMS so they don't have to talk. The imagination of cold Nordics is lost in the mist of their beloved saunas, real physical and social therapy sessions.
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Helsinki, Finland

Finland's once Swedish Fortress

Detached in a small archipelago at the entrance to Helsinki, Suomenlinna was built by the Swedish kingdom's political-military designs. For more than a century, the Russia stopped her. Since 1917, the Suomi people have venerated it as the historic bastion of their thorny independence.
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Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Architecture & Design

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Sydney, Australia's exemplary criminal city, Harbor Bridge
Sydney, Australia

From the Exile of Criminals to an Exemplary City

The first of the Australian colonies was built by exiled inmates. Today, Sydney's Aussies boast former convicts of their family tree and pride themselves on the cosmopolitan prosperity of the megalopolis they inhabit.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Indigenous Crowned
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.

In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Eternal Spring Shrine

Taroko George

Deep in Taiwan

In 1956, skeptical Taiwanese doubted that the initial 20km of Central Cross-Island Hwy was possible. The marble canyon that challenged it is today the most remarkable natural setting in Formosa.

Vegetables, Little India, Sari Singapore, Singapore
Little India, Singapore

The Sari Singapore of Little India

There are thousands of inhabitants instead of the 1.3 billion of the mother country, but Little India, a neighborhood in tiny Singapore, does not lack soul. No soul, no smell of Bollywood curry and music.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

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Figure at Praia do Curral, Ilhabela, Brazil
Ilhabela, Brazil

Ilhabela: After Horror, the Atlantic Beauty

Ninety percent of the preserved Atlantic Forest, idyllic waterfalls and gentle, wild beaches live up to the name. But, if we go back in time, we also reveal the horrific historical facet of Ilhabela.
Bolshoi Zayatski Orthodox Church, Solovetsky Islands, Russia.
Bolshoi Zayatsky, Russia

Mysterious Russian Babylons

A set of prehistoric spiral labyrinths made of stones decorate Bolshoi Zayatsky Island, part of the Solovetsky archipelago. Devoid of explanations as to when they were erected or what it meant, the inhabitants of these northern reaches of Europe call them vavilons.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
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Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Cumbre Vieja, La Palma, Eruption, Tsunami, A Televisioned Apocalypse
Natural Parks
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Bridgetown, City of Bridge and capital of Barbados, beach
UNESCO World Heritage
Bridgetown, Barbados

Barbados' "The City" of the Bridge

Originally founded and named "Indian Bridge" beside a foul-smelling swamp, the capital of Barbados has evolved into the capital of the British Windward Isles. Barbadians call it “The City”. It is the hometown of the far more famous Rihanna.
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Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Moorea aerial view
Moorea, French Polynesia

The Polynesian Sister Any Island Would Like to Have

A mere 17km from Tahiti, Moorea does not have a single city and is home to a tenth of its inhabitants. Tahitians have long watched the sun go down and transform the island next door into a misty silhouette, only to return to its exuberant colors and shapes hours later. For those who visit these remote parts of the Pacific, getting to know Moorea is a double privilege.
Bathers in the middle of the End of the World-Cenote de Cuzamá, Mérida, Mexico
Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World

The announced day passed but the End of the World insisted on not arriving. In Central America, today's Mayans watched and put up with incredulity all the hysteria surrounding their calendar.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.