Lapland Adventures – Snow & Huskies

Have you ever arrived at an airport at 7:30 am on a pitch black rainy December morning and all you see are smiles? Particularly odd when you consider the prospect of a sun holiday does not await. No, in this queue there was an abundance of garish Christmas sweaters and Santa hats, because we were off to the North Pole in Lapland to see the big man himself!

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Pure excitement does not describe and the adults were maybe more excited than the kids. There were babes in arms, under-ten’s galore and a few multi-generational families for lucky grandparents in the know.

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Upon entering the aircraft, you were greeted by a crew of gorgeous Finnish women each sporting the requisite Santa hat.

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Even the plane itself had been decorated with large holiday themed decals.

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I felt inclined by instinct to roll my eyes but I couldn’t, instead I fought back a few renegade tears that snuck out. It was all just too fabulous.

 

Even the most jaded Scrooge could not be moved to delight as the plane took off in a gusty rain storm to the ecstatic squeals of the nervous but excited passengers, 75% of which are between three and nine years old.  No doubt for many it is their first ever plane journey. There was even  Christmas music once we are at cruising altitude. After a few hours we began our decent through the clouds.  Another round of happy shouting ignited with my favourite declaration of, “Just look at all those Christmas Trees” when greeted with the Finnish landscape.

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When we arrived in Finland it was only 12.30 our time but 3.30 Finnish time which meant it was completely dark.  You only get about three hours of ‘daylight’ at this time of year but that only adds to the sense you are somewhere very remote, very cold and very snowy.

 

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A cosy coach ride takes you to your destination in just under 45 minutes.

 

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For me it was hard to tell if it was just super 70s-tastic or just very Finnish but it was clean and warm and fabulous.

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In the main lodge there are two huge common rooms, one being the dining room with a bar and lounge, and the other being the group events/ kids room with lots of couches and movies on hand all day.

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Once you are settled into your rooms and have gone through your welcome speech, you are sent through a lovely lit walk through the woods.

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To where you get suited and booted – quite literally.  The temperature was between -12 C and -30 C and most Brits just don’t have that kind of gear laying about.

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The meals were simple but hearty and the kids enjoyed their first visit from Santa’s elves after dinner for some songs and to distribute some reindeer dust.

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When morning light finally arrives about 10.30 am you are treated to a breathtaking landscape.

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It was much flatter than I expected but a beautiful winter wonderland nonetheless.  Ok, it kind felt like you had stepped into an Ikea catalogue.

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And speaking of which, have you ever wondered why Ikea lights were so flipping dim? Well, when seen in the context of proper Nordic blackness they actually shine like solar flares!

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Anyway, we were here to enjoy the outside and the first day was all about the huskies and sledding. Now this was one of my bucket list items so I was beside myself with excitement.

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Aside from the cold, your senses are then challenged by sound as the noise from the dog teams is just unbelievable!  Three sleds each with ten dogs all barking  insanely into what is otherwise a pristinely quiet landscape can knock your sock off!

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The dogs strained anxiously in anticipation of us slow moving humans to get our act in gear and hop aboard the sleds.

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Each family is taken in turn, but there is a traditional Sami tent with fire inside for a warm up while you wait.  They even serve you hot Glogge, the local spiced black current drink.

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These were cruising sleds versus racing ones, and could have easily fit about eight people on each.

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Someone in particular was in her element, a future Iditarod contender for sure!

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Amazingly, the second the dogs begin to run they go silent. In an instant you are racing away with only the rush of the runners in the snow beneath you.  I could easily see how this could become addictive.

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So, our Arctic adventure was properly under way and we were having a great time.  Little did we realise how much more spectacular the next day would be as we went in search for Santa himself!

Comments (2)

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  1. Margy says:

    Fabulous! Looks so beautiful!

  2. Reg says:

    What an incredible adventure! I absolutely love that you did this. Tears in my eyes. Merry Christmas, Muirs!

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