Korvala in summer, more and snowy pictures on their website: www.korvala.fi
Korvala is a family run location in the village of Tiainen in Finnish Lapland that has been welcoming international students for over 10 years. Your welcoming hosts, Jaana, Seppo and their family will help you to enjoy your stay in Lapland and even answer any questions you may have about the way of life in Finland's north. On site you will also find huskies including husky puppies and the reindeers will come to visit you during your stay.THE COTTAGES
In Korvala, you will sleep in small cottages (from 2 to 7 beds). At the end of your stay, you're in charge of the cleaning
of the cottage you've been using. Hopefully, you won't have made a big mess in only three days.
I would strongly suggest to take off your shoes in the entrance, but you're the one cleaning afterwards anyway...
Bring your own bed linen (you can borrow blankets) or take your sleeping bag.
In Finland, like in Sweden, you have to sort the garbages
. It's especially true when you're living in the middle of nowhere and that you get a bunch of international students coming every week. The family running Korvala pays for the pickup of the garbage, so it's very important to sort separately: paper stuff, metal stuff, colored glass, white glass and the waste.
The good news is that you only need to take the waste to the big garbage disposal on the parking. The rest, you should sort it out and leave in bags on the porch.
Tips concerning the cottages: since it's very cold up there, the doors are build in very tight so no cold air comes in. You might realize it's not easy to lock the doors, if you just turn the key it will probably not work: you have to push in (gently) the door first.
Also, when you walk on the door step, snow might drop from your shoes and be stuck there, then because the cottages are warm, it becomes water, which freeze because of the outside temperature. It really doesn't help close the doors correctly, so please, watch where you're steping!THE RESTAURANT
Is opened from 09.00 to 10.00 for breakfast and from 19.00 to 20.00 for diner. Both are buffet.
You're not allowed to bring your own alcohol in the restaurant but you can buy some there if you want to.
If you signed up as a vegetarian, Seppo (the cook) will have prepared some food for you; you just have to go and knock on the kitchen door and ask him nicely. :-)THE EQUIPMENT ROOM
In Korvala, you have free access to winter equipment including Cross Country Skis, Sledges, Snow Shoes and Kick Sledges and also fishing gear.
There is a number on every piece of equipment, and a list in the cottage where you put your name and the number of the equipment you borrow.
Please take good care of it
, don't forget that there are many students that will come to Korvala after you.THE SAUNA
Well, you probably know what to do in the sauna. Take a short shower to wet your skin, then go in and cook for a little while, then cold shower, then in again and cold shower again...
Here, you will also have the option to switch the cold shower for a dip in the frozen lake; there is a hole in the lake 10m from the sauna cottage. Just be careful when going there: no jumping in cold water or you might get a heart attack! Just take it easy and enjoy! :-)
You can also roll in the snow. (the water however is "warmer" than the snow)
The sauna cottage is separated in three: two entrances (left for girls and right for guys) with separate changing rooms, separate shower rooms and separate saunas. Both lead to the common room in the middle.
You can decide to enjoy your sauna in the Finnish way (naked), or use a towel or a swimming suit. Depending from which country you're from and what kind of person you are, nudity might be a "taboo". I personally don't like swimming suits in saunas and use a towel. :-)
Anyway, it's up to you. And whatever happens in Korvala, stays in Korvala...
The same rules applies in the sauna cottage than in your own cottages. You have to sort the garbage.No shoes allowed inside!
Bring your flip-flaps or walk barefoot, in socks, whatever suits you best, but no shoes! Also, it's up to you if you want to come half-naked in the common room and show off
, but please, don't come soaking wet, directly from the shower.
When you spring from the sauna to the ice hole, please take the time to close the front doors
, because if you don't, it's gonna get cold very quickly...
Also, it's no idea to spring on ice and snow, so don't rush.
So, I hope we agree on this one: dry and warm is cosy, wet and cold isn't...
And finally: The sauna cottage closes at midnight!
The party can continue in your cottages. (cottages number 10 and 11 are bigger)