What should children do in Levi? Aleksi, 10, and Laura, 9, live in Levi and share now their secrets.
THE BLUE VIEW LIFTS hum quietly as they go up and down the western slope of the Levi fell. Alpine skiing is the hobby of both Laura Juntunen, 9, and Aleksi Erkkilä, 10, meaning that the lift is so familiar to them that they don’t even pay attention to it. It has been raining and there are lots of other interesting things on the wet slope.
- Are those puffball mushrooms, Laura asks pointing at the Lycoperdon group. Aleksi tests that immediately and stomps the mushrooms with his foot. A tiny cloud of smoke billows out.
- They are!
Third-grader Laura and Aleksi, who goes to fourth grade, have promised to tell where children visiting Levi should head out to. No need to go far as we are right where the fun happens!
Gondoli area is the area around the Gondoli2000 lift and it’s where the Activity Park is situated. There is an adventure park, a traffic park and a playground for children as well as places where you can play.
- I like climbing on a climbing structure rather than a tree as you won’t get splinters in your hands, Laura says.
Yet, soon she is hanging from the trunk of a thick pine tree and then she is doing a handstand leaning against it. Both children like playing in the woods with their friends, usually it’s hide-and-seek or playing tree tag where you keep running to the next tree for safety.
The children are listing other things you can find in the gondoli area: a football pitch, a basketball court, a tennis court, a skate park, miniature golf, disc golf...
- I’ve tried them all, Aleksi says.
Both consider the skate park as their favourite with Aleksi often riding there on his mountain bike and Laura on her roller blades. During a season when there is no snow they might go biking on the slopes and often the alpine training sessions begin with a warm-up on the playground.
- Should I do a cartwheel, Laura asks.
Aleksi ponders that the sharp stones might hurt her hands.
- I did it already, says Laura after the light rotating motion.
Not even the locals get bored with the fell and the landscape, and Laura and Aleksi enjoy going on walks to the summit with their families.
- We often cook sausages on an open fire in a kota hut, Laura says.
Aleksi tells about a great restaurant called Tuikku up the fell. There are lots of delicious things, for example pepperoni pizza and doughnuts.
- You can also play while you’re walking up the fell. It’s fun to pretend you’re an animal, like a reindeer, Laura says.
- There are a lot of reindeer in this area, Aleksi says.
Even though you can often see reindeer walking around free in Lapland it’s still exciting for Laura to see them up close with their big antlers.
- Once we went golfing with grandma and grandpa, Aleksi says.
- When it was my sister's turn, a reindeer ran in front of us on its way to drink from the creek. When my sister hit the ball, the reindeer ran away.
Laura has many reindeer stories, too.
- One time my sister participated in a triathlon race and when they ran up the slopes, my brother put on music at the summit just for the fun of it. The reindeers liked the music, Laura says and starts shaking her head in a rhythm.
- It's fun to think about them bobbing their heads!
The children are running on the wooden ramp on the slope. Aleksi tells about how he jumped it on his skis.
- It’s not this steep during the winter.
Aleksi and Laura are members of the Levi Ski Club and they train alpine skiing 3–4 times a week, sometimes even more.
Aleksi also plays football and floorball, and Laura goes cross-country skiing, runs and rides a bike.
Aleksi has been downhill skiing since he was 5 years old and Laura since she was 6.
- When you begin you should just take it very slowly and do wedge turns. When you get the hang of it you can do it with slid-ing the skis slightly. When you’ve learned, you can go fast, Aleksi says.
What they both enjoy best in alpine skiing is the speed.
- I can also snowboard but sometimes I bump into the netting in the sides and get stuck, Laura says laughing.
Now they have found something different by the slope.
- Hey, lingonberries!
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