“Welcome to the Arctic circle, your really lucky today is our warmest day in ages” they said, a balmy -8 degrees! So we are at a remote resort in the arctic circle called Kakslauttanen. We flew into an airport called Ivalo and then travelled approx 30 minutes by resort bus to the resort. Our first night we were booked into a glass igloo, if we were lucky and the sky was clear we could lay in bed staring up at the sky at the northern lights. We weren’t lucky, it was cloudy so no northern lights but it was a unique experience.
The next morning we went on a reindeer sleigh ride. The sun here doesn’t rise until 10am so it was as we were silently gliding through the snow covered forest on a sled that the sun came up, fresh white snow sparkling. Our guide stopped us in the middle of no where and we sat around the fire, drinking tea as he told us about how each reindeer owner has its own special ear tag pattern and how a few of the owners all share the same land, watching over each other’s flock and rounding them up at certain times of the year. Now I knew that reindeers lose their horns but what I didn’t realize was that the velvet the horns are covered in, start to fall off just about this time of the year, hanging off their horns in big ugly strips as they rub them up against trees. Their horns at this time of the year are not so pretty.
We finished up with the reindeers at about 2pm so took a walk around the resort, each house, cabin or admin building looking like it should be on top of a cake. We sled down a big bridge and fed the pet reindeers.
Now we had only booked the glass igloos for one night so we then moved all our stuff by toboggan into our very own log cabin. They are basic and traditional with a big wood fire and lots of wood decoration. They are warm and cozy and ours looks out over a beautiful valley and a frozen lake.
After dinner we actually had another tour planned, hunting for the aurora borealis by snow mobile. I don’t know what we expected but the tour was packed with lots and lots of people. Our guide said that Chinese tourists were the scariest because they always run their snow mobiles into trees. Because of this, track we took was slow and corrugated making for an uncomfortable ride. It was fun for me who is a bit of a nana but the boys were itching to get into something a bit faster. Also sadly the lights were absent yet again.
We got back at midnight and crashed into our beds, exhausted from our days activities. Tomorrow is supposed to be colder in the minus 20’s. Everyone is apprehensive about just how cold -20 is but we stupid Australians are not going to let a bit of cold dictate to us what we plan to do for the day.