So the tail-end of 2016 I somehow managed to end up in Lapland, 250km into the arctic circle. A little bit different to mild England. To further make it a bit more odd – I was also working for Santa Claus (See below).
I landed on the 19th November and left on the 28th December. So a little over a month I was there. But what an incredible time it was. The amount I got to experience and see was just beyond anything else.
I’ll never forget when we landed. Stepping off the plane into the middle of nowhere, a tiny airport (which consisted of pretty much just baggage collection) just covered in snow. It felt cold. Not cold in comparison to what it would become. But it still felt rather nippy. I believe it was sitting around 0c when we landed.
The journey to the resort was one to remember. Snow covered roads, nothing either side for miles and miles as you looked at the window at the stars in the sky. Occasionally seeing a reindeer hiding in the trees. It was just beautiful.
Stepping outside while it was snowing was a dream come true. It felt like it had been so many years since I had last seen proper snow fall. Which prompted many snowball fights and snowman making in clothes not entirely appropriate. Our snowman, lasting all season – The real Jack frost of Lapland. However, there is something I must tell you about this visit to Lapland. The whole time I was there I never saw the sun. I felt like I had turned into a vampire. Or maybe vampires migrate there for the winter?
Now, I’m not sure about you. But the first port of call for me when I get to a new place is to go shopping. Mainly for food to calm down my the temper tantrum my stomach has worked up. And Lapland was no different. After our impromptu snowball fights and snowman making it was down to the shops we went. My gosh was stuff expensive out here, bacon was going to cost an arm and a leg! Looks like it was fresh snow for breakfast then. Despite being in the middle of nowhere this shop was rather large. With a few too many expensive treats to tempt me. And tempt me they did.
I’m not sure if this is just me. But whenever I go somewhere new, I always have to have an ice cream no matter the weather. Rain or sunshine. Or in this case, snow or… snow? Now I couldn’t go breaking traditions. So it was done. A strawberry Cornetto. Perfect choice in my opinion. And ice cream in Lapland came with a few positives: walking home out of the shop there was no risk of it dripping! Hooorah! In fact, I think it froze even more and stayed extra chilly. Although, that also meant my poor hand almost got frostbite holding the ice cream. But my gosh was it certainly worth it.
However, eating ice cream was not the only thing I got up to! While out there I managed to experience a husky sleigh ride. Which is one of the most fun things I have ever done. The huskies were some of the most enthusiastic dogs I have ever met! And there was nothing more magical than being whisked through the snow topped forest by a team of excited husky dogs. The sound of sliding over the crisp snow and the dogs being the only noise you could hear. It was absolutely blissful.
But that was not the only thing I experienced. Also got to ride snowmobiles through the forest at night, go ice-skating on a lake, cross-country skiing through the wilderness. So many incredible experiences that I will never forget. One thing did come with all of these activities. And that was a blistering cold temperature. I remember cross-country skiing one evening. I believe it was about -28c. My gloves had actually started to freeze. Eye lashes were freezing. The inside of my nose was freezing. That alone was weird. Snot freezing in your nose is such an odd sensation – I can’t say it’s anything I’d want to experience again anytime soon. But despite this absolute freezing cold it was so serene and tranquil. The only sounds to grace my ears was the distant trickle of a stream. However, this lasted for about 5 seconds before my partner in crime for night made a very sensible statement. “It’s too bloody cold. Shall we head back?” I wholeheartedly agreed due to the loss of feeling in my hands. I thought I was cutting it a bit too fine before becoming the new captain hook after an amputation due to frostbite.
The way home was something very magical. You’re all probably thinking I am a little crazy saying going home was magical. But during my power nap on the coach I felt a very strange sensation. There was an odd warm feeling on my face. I open my eyes and surprise surprise, it was the sun. Everyone on the coach was staring in awe. This strange mysterious thing floating in the sky had been missing from all our lives for just over a month. And how dearly it was missed.
The travel home was fairly uneventful as flying goes. But landing in England I never thought I would be glad for a bit of rain and mild temperature (at least it felt so much warmer to my still frozen skin).
The next morning I was awoken once again by the sun on my face. This time much brighter and warmer. I couldn’t help but leave my bed without a smile.
I’m sure there is a few bits I have forgotten but Lapland, or even Finland for that matter, is a truly magical place. I really do recommend everyone to visit one day.
Just don’t make the mistake I did and break your phone cross-country skiing so you have no photos of the majority of your adventure. Ooops.
Check out where else I’ve been: The Eggsploring Map
– Eggs out.