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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Rovaniemi February 12th 2017

Finland day 4 (& the night of day 3) Snuggly in a snow hotel, pink sunrise and peeing in the corridor Okay so last night was spent in a snow hotel. This was our first, and most probably last, time of doing this. I don't think it's something you'd be in a rush to do again so it makes me wonder why some people book in there for two nights-especially with young kids. Hopefully you'll understand why this is a bad idea by the time I've finished this blog. So before 10pm last night we were sat in a cosy room with a real fire burning away. We were both tired but trying to put off going to a room that hovers around the minus 5 mark. To get there it was a short walk outside ... read more
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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Rovaniemi February 12th 2017

You know how it is when you're super tired and sleepy from a long day but you're avoiding going to bed because it's a block of ice? That's how it was last night and I'd paid a lot of money for the privilege. Sitting in the lounge area behind reception with a roaring fire, we weren't the only ones procrastinating. A German couple had downed two bottles of wine by way of getting ready, but at €35 per bottle, this was not for me. When Glyn saw that the temperature had dropped down to -14, we decided this was our cue to go and stepped out into the cold. In the locker room, we got ready for bed. Now the guide earlier in the day had recommended just one layer of clothing, but that seemed too ... read more
Getting ready for bed
Getting ready for bed
Sunrise over glass igloos

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Rovaniemi February 11th 2017

Finland day 3 Husky dog sledding, snowshoeing, jumping in snow, sauna, jacuzzi and elk After an aurora free night the alarm went off at a brisk 6am. The glass igloos that had seemed so toasty when we first went in turned out to be quite cold during the night. Nothing compared with what we'll be getting tonight in the snow hotel of course! We both woke a few times and, whilst pulling the covers tighter, glanced hopefully up at the sky. But the northern lights continue to avoid us. We left our luxury igloos-the showers were fab by the way with two different sized heads and were nice and warm-and checked out so we could check in to the snow hotel later. The inclusive breakfast was excellent and had to keep us sustained till the evening ... read more
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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Rovaniemi February 11th 2017

Flying across a frozen lake in a creaky wooden sled pulled by five energetic Arctic huskies that never want to be stopped has to be on everyone's bucket list. This is how I spent my morning in Rovaniemi and I can't recommend it highly enough. We woke at 6 after not the best nights sleep. The glass igloos seem very warm at first, but after a while tucked up in bed, Glyn asked me if I thought the heating was on.... Maybe not as I was curled up in a tight ball trying to stay warm. We were supplied with two single beds that are just a little small for sharing although sharing was needed. So I'd woken up a couple of times in the night but sadly not because the northern lights alarm had gone ... read more
Alaskan huskie
Glass igloos
Warm hut at Bearhill Huskies

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Rovaniemi February 10th 2017

Finland Day 2 Igloos, tumbling and ice glasses at the Arctic circle A lie-in!! Yes I was allowed to sleep all the way through until 7am today and even managed to wangle breakfast AND lunch! It's getting a bit like a holiday already and we're only on day 2. And what if breakfast was a hot dog on the go from a convenience store and lunch was a sandwich to take away....I've still been allowed to eat! PLUS we have snacks for later. It's like Christmas it really is. Especially as Santa has his own minimarket here.... I think he's sold out but hey he has a diffcult job. For one day a year. Anyway, we got up before the free coffee was ready at the hotel and then Claire made me walk down 6 flights ... read more
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Europe » Finland » Lapland » Rovaniemi February 10th 2017

Lying in a warm bed, staring at the winter sky through a glass ceiling is an amazing experience and was how the day ended as this is what we came for. Glyn and I got up at 7am so as to see a little more of Helsinki before its time to fly up to Rovanemi. The temperature was a dry chill of -9 as we stepped out and immediately headed off in the wrong direction as I'd gotten confused with the various numbers in my tiny map that is only readable in extremely bright light. Eventually we ended up at some bended wooden chapel thing that is unusual looking but not that exciting. Then we trudged up past Bar Bakkari to the a rock Church which unfortunately is not some form of extreme metal palace of ... read more
Chapel, Helsinki
rock church, helsinki
Santas mini market

Europe » Finland » Lapland January 28th 2017

Karesuando is in Finland and Sweden, straddling the river that is the modern border. The Russians put the border there after the last war, previously they kept losing the border in the snow. We are 160 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle in January, everything is snow covered. The trees sparkle with frozen snow; the roads are sheets of compacted snow that require studded tyres; that river is not only frozen but covered in a thick blanket of snow that squeeks with every footstep. On the day we arrive it is minus 11c. A couple of days later we are down to minus 28c and then the next day? Up to zero! Luckily, at -28c there is no wind. Low temperatures require lots of clothes. We start with a thermal base layer - long johns and ... read more
Church in Sweden
Reindeer sleigh ride
Snow mobiles at night

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Kemi July 17th 2016

Am gestrigen Tag habe ich wieder ohne Kellogg's und weichen Eiern ordentlich in Kemi gefruehstueckt und bin danach problemlos mit der finnischen Eisenbahn von Tampere ueber Oulu nach Kemi in Lappland gefahren. Das sollte dann auch mein bis dahin noerdlichstes Reiseziel sein. Wahrend der Fahrt hatte ich die Gelegenheit bei Regen die weiten finnischen Waelder zu begutachten. In Kemi habe ich problemlos mein Hotel gefunden und habe dort eingecheckt. Nach einigem Surfen im Internet bin ich in die Sauna und danach ins Restaurant. Diesmal gab es Whitefish. Nach dem Essen habe ich im Hotel die ZDF-Nachrichten gesehen und noch bei Sonnenschein einen Abendspaziergang gemacht. Bis jetzt konnte ich ja die meissten Nächte ganz gut schlafen und weiss daher gar nicht, ob es nachts permanent hell bleibt. Ich habe mich ja dem Polarkreis mittlerweile ziehmlich angenaehert.... read more
Bahnhof von Kemi.
Abendlicher Spaziergang am Ufer.
Abendlicher Spaziergang am Ufer.

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto February 25th 2016

Today was all about sledding; getting dragged around by dogs and deers. What a day! We started out at the husky kennels, where the local guide Saara gave us driving instructions for the husky sleighs before we went to meet the dogs. All the dogs were harnessed to the sleighs, excited and ready to go. With about twenty sleighs, and six dogs each, that's a lot of canines, all howling and barking and raring to go! We were assigned our sleighs, two to a sleigh, and met our dog teams. One of us was the designated driver, the other along for the ride and we switched in the middle. Pretty soon we were off! The dogs took off like rockets, racing after the guides on their snowmobiles or the sleigh ahead. We really picked up some ... read more
The Dogs
Cheese!
Reindeer

Europe » Finland » Lapland » Luosto February 24th 2016

We had quite a day today! After breakfast we got dressed in full winter gear and headed out in the falling snow to the snomobile center, just a short walk from the hotel. There, after standing in line in a small, crowded shack we got helmets and face masks. After trying them on, and a final pee break, our large group was divided into three smaller ones. Each group got a local guide and instructions on driving a snomobile from said guide (nothing too complicated), and we saddled up. Soon we were off, driving through the snow. I was very happy to learn that the snowmobiles have electrically warmed handlebars! Ethan, sitting behind me on the machine wasn't so lucky, so every time we stopped on the way I had him remove his gloves and defrost ... read more
Ice Fishing
Deer dogs
Snowflakes




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