Flight delayed? Let’s take beautiful Lapland photos

On 12 January I was scheduled to take the 10:45 am Norwegian Airlines flight DY5633 from Ivalo (Lapland) back to Helsinki after spending two weeks up there in the north. The flight was delayed for a very long time, allowing me to take beautiful Lapland photos!

More than 2 hours of delay!

I arrived at the airport around 10 am for my check in. You may think that this is very late for a flight only 45 minutes later, but things are different up there. It’s not only that I did not want to leave, but there in the north, waiting lines are non-existing and you do not have to arrive at the airport two hours in advance! I checked in my bag, and while handing me my boarding pass, the desk guy apologised for the large delay of the flight. By then I had not even looked at the departure screen at the airport. My first reaction was to become angry. After all in 2014 I took nearly 100 flights for my work (yes you read correctly, one hundred flights!), and I knew that I have better things to do than spending time waiting for delayed flights at airports.

Let’s make the best out of the situation

But then I realised that I miraculously still had the key of my rental car! Usually I give it back to Hertz before checking in, but for some reason this time I kept it. I still had my camera bag with me (this one will never, ever be checked in!). The weather was extremely cold and clear. So far north, for several weeks the sun never rises above the horizon. This is called the polar night. This was one of the last days of polar night around Ivalo and Inari, before the sun would rise again. There was an intense blue, purple, orange and pink light glowing all over the sky and the snowy landscapes.

delayed flight beautiful lapland photos
Blue, purple, orange and pink all in the same photo
beautiful Lapland photos
More pine trees

I jumped in the car and drove around to take photos. With more than 2 hours of delay, there was plenty of time to scout several different locations. After finding the small pine trees of the photo above, I really need to take more beautiful Lapland photos so I went further on the road. This is when I drove on a small bridge that passed over this almost frozen river. The light there was superb, but still quite dark and I really regretted not having my tripod! Moreover, it was nearly -25°C (-13°F) so quite hard to stand very still. I cranked up the ISO setting of my camera to take the shots, after all, it’s better than not having any photo at all!

Frozen river in smooth pink light
Frozen river in smooth pink light

Then I turned around to the other side of the bridge.

beautiful Lapland photos
Frozen river near Ivalo

What to do next?

After I took all these pictures, I saw on the Flightradar24 app on my phone that the plane that was coming from Helsinki to pick us up was delayed even further. I still had plenty of time but did not want to venture too far from the airport. So I called my friend Reijo who owns the cabin where I was staying (you can rent it on Airbnb!). He lives 5 minutes away from the airport, and just got a new husky puppy at home. So I went there for my 6th coffee of the morning, and of course to take photos of the ultimate cuteness that a husky puppy can be!

Beautiful Lapland photos
Rölli the malamute puppy

Time to go…

I looked at the time again, and it was really time to go. But of course I had no regrets, this long delay of my flight allowed me to take all these beautiful Lapland photos! What do you do when your flight is delayed? Let us know below in the comments section!

You can buy prints of all these photos on my webshop.

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