Page 3 of Trabern Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki December 17th 2013

With our Lapland adventure drawing to a close we re-packed our bags after breakfast before putting all of our gear on for one last foray out onto the lake on the cross-country skis. We headed downstairs to put on some ski boots and then off outside to collect the skis and poles. Once we had clicked our boots into the bindings we shooshed off to see how Sophia's igloo was standing up to the weather. It was still there ... I wonder how much longer it will last? There were only patches of cloud today which meant that the sunlight from below the horizon was reflecting off the patchy clouds resulting in spectacular pink cloud formations. We took heaps of photos without really knowing whether or not the compact cameras could do justice to the show ... read more
Tracey Snow Angel
Red faced selfie

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 16th 2013

Oh dear, another rather gloomy day in Menesjärvi, but at least it's not still twenty degrees below zero; it's positively mild at only minus 3°! After breakfast I wrote up some more of our Lapland adventure and Bernie taught himself how to upload our videos to YouTube and then how to add the links into our travel blog. He has added video footage of us snowmobiling on Lake Menesjärvi at the end of the entry for the 11th of December and footage of our fabulous dogsledding experience at the end of the entry for the 12th of December. About 11.00am we geared up again and went out for a snowshoe shuffle along the track through the forest. I thought that we were going to do the short hike that we did with Toni on Friday night, ... read more
Forest Walk
Tree in the forest

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 15th 2013

The weather is rather gloomy today with a grey and overcast sky so this morning we were pretty lazy. We decided that we couldn't spend the whole day indoors though so, about 11.00am, we put on our outdoor gear and went down to the ski boot room to pick up some ski boots for another go at cross-country skiing. Our lesson with Lynda yesterday afternoon cost us €30 each, but we can now make as much use of the equipment as we wish for no extra charge. Outside we collected the skis and poles and carried them down to the lake. For our own safety we are not allowed to use the skis on the road or on downhill slopes. That means walking down to the lake and putting the skis on where it is nice ... read more
Bernie (Upright this time)
House near the Hotel
Houses by the Lake

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 14th 2013

Aaahh, the first of our three extra days to do as we wish. This morning we farewelled our English companions who flew up to Ivalo with us on Tuesday. They were dressed again in their civvies - no more onesies for them! - in preparation for their flight to Helsinki and then on to London. Sophia and Matt then have to drive up to Nottingham and won't be home until about 8.00pm so they have a long day of travel ahead of them. We hadn't put all of our gear on to wave goodbye but, even so, we decided to walk quickly down to the lake for a quick look. Bernie had the Sony camera with him so tried out its panorama function again. It really does make it super easy to take awesome panoramic photographs ... read more
Bernie in sunset
Aurora and Geminid Meteor Shower

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 13th 2013

This morning I ached allover from yesterday's dogsledding!! My upper body hurt from my driving efforts and what didn't hurt from that was bruised from bouncing around in the sled as a passenger! A reindeer skin may be warm and waterproof, but it doesn't provide very much cushioning between your butt and the sled. Dogsledding is certainly not for anyone who is not prepared to come away from the experience with some aches and pains and a few bruises! Not to worry, there are no broken bones and the rest will fade in a day or two ... and I still think it was one of the most fun things I have ever tried. This morning Toni drove us to the Porotila Reindeer Farm which is only about five minutes along the road from the hotel. ... read more
The herd
Deer Herder picnic

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 12th 2013

After breakfast this morning we piled into the Ford Transit for our visit to the Siberia Husky Farm that is owned by the local dog whisperer, Tinja. We were really, really looking forward to going dog-sledding. We tried to go dog-sledding when we were in Alaska, but bad weather conditions prevented us from being helicoptered up onto the Mendenhall Glacier from Juneau to the dog sledding venue. Today the weather was quite good and the husky farm was much more accessible as it can be reached by road. When we arrived all of the dogs started going crazy with excitement, sort of like - the tourists have arrived and we are going sledding!! Tinja welcomed us to her farm and started introducing us to the dogs. We were told that all of the Siberian Huskies and ... read more
Settling the lead dogs
Hurry Up

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 11th 2013

Breakfast this morning was at a very holiday-friendly 9.00am. It was still dark outside so there's not much point to rising any earlier as it is still night-time! At breakfast I did some carb-loading to make sure that I had energy to burn for this morning's activities - muesli followed by toast and jam! After breakfast we donned all of the gear that we were allocated last night and met Toni out by the snowmobiles. After a very rudimentary lesson on how to turn it on, how to turn and brake and, most importantly, where the kill switch is and we were off onto the lake on our snowmobiles with Bernie in the driver's seat of our vehicle. At the other end of the lake Toni showed us how to drill a hole in the ice ... read more
Ice Fishing
Slight Glimpse
It's starting

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Ivalo December 10th 2013

Brrr, minus eight degrees at Helsinki Airport this morning ... and minus 16 degrees in Ivalo which is where we will be heading later today. Well, actually, Ivalo is just the airport that we fly into. Ultimately we are bound for the Hotel Korpikatano in a remote place called Menesjarvi. There we will spend the next seven nights watching for the Aurora Borealis and our days dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing and going on a reindeer sleigh-ride (when will we sleep?). I use the term 'day' very loosely here because the sun will not show itself above the horizon while we are inside the Arctic Circle!! So it will be either twilight or dark for the next week. A new experience for us; we have been in Alaska in July and seen the midnight sun - ... read more
Ivalo at last
On the runway

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki December 9th 2013

Breakfast with a view again this morning - it really is beautiful looking out through Elizabeth's Christmas angels over the snow-covered rooftops and the quaint little church on the hill nearby. It's just a shame that it has to be below zero to have snow!! At least it is not quiet as cold this morning - only minus two. We chatted with our lovely hostess Elizabeth for a while and then returned to our apartment to finish packing and head off. Yay, our last time down the four flights of stairs. The stairs haven't been a problem although a bit more challenging this morning with our bags but, easier taking them back down than hauling them up the stairs two days ago! We caught the bus to Kunsträdgården and then the train to T-Centralen thinking that ... read more
Snow fell from up here

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm December 8th 2013

This morning we had breakfast in Elizabeth and Sven's dining room overlooking rooftops lightly covered with snow. It was lovely to look out onto from the warmth of indoors! We weren't sure it would be quite so lovely when we headed off to catch the bus because the temperature outside was -9°. Fortunately we didn't have to wait too long for the No 76 bus. Bernie flashed our Stockholm Cards at the driver and he nodded us through. We disembarked at Skeppsbron believing that we could take the ferry from there to Djurgärden to visit the ABBA Museum. But no, the dude on the ticket booth said the card wasn't valid. So we went back to the bus thinking that it is a flaw in the system if you can only validate the Stockholm Card at ... read more
Nordiska Museet
Djurgarden Path

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