Here at Transun there’s one thing that we all have in common: a love for travel. We put a lot of effort into creating the best possible holidays for our customers and even get to try them out ourselves – my job has many perks! It is due to this that (after agonising over what to wear in Lapland in December - layers are key!) I found myself joining a Northern Lights departure to the lovely village of Karesuando in Lapland.
An account of everything we got up to out there would take up way too much space so instead I've decided to list my top five parts of the trip. Here goes:
1. Meeting Santa’s sleigh mates
From the sleigh I got an incredible, unobscured view of the surrounding forest, and my reindeer’s lazy pace meant that I could take it all in and appreciate the scenery. The beautiful, shining white snow blanketed everything and the slowly rising sun bathed the trees in a reddish light – this really showed me just how utterly beautiful Lapland can be!
2. My first glimpse of the Northern Lights
We later set out on the rather wonderful Northern Lights forest trek, walking up a candle-lit hill in order to get a good vantage point for the lights. Half way up we began to notice a vague light in the sky, a light which became steadily brighter and began to shift over time - we'd finally caught a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis! Others in the group were able to perfectly capture this amazing natural phenomenon with cameras that are slightly more hi-tech than mine - definitely souvenirs to treasure!
3. Mushing my very own team of huskies
Arriving to the husky farm was an experience in and of itself as the dogs immediately greeted us with excited barks and rushed over to be petted. After the dogs had been harnessed and released we found ourselves roaring around the track, nimbly slipping past snow-coated trees and even heading down onto a frozen river! The optional Northern Lights Husky Safari is a great way to spend even more time with the dogs – I’d absolutely recommend it!
4. Zipping through the trees on a snowmobile
While the Lights stubbornly remained hidden during my Northern Lights Snowmobiling trip, this was still one of the most exciting parts of the holiday. It was incredible to see the trees lit up by our headlights and feel the rush of the wind as we cut through the Finnish forest. We were soon tackling bends and slopes like we'd been snowmobiling for years and over time kicked up the speed until we were roaring along a frozen river – not something I’m likely to forget any time soon!
5. Exploring authentic Finland
Finally, one of best aspects of the trip was the chance to walk around and experience Finland and the village of Karesuando itself. I’m sure many of you are unsure about what to do in Lapland during your spare time but let me assure you that there’s a lot to discover in this small but beautifully quaint village. Highlights include straddling the Finnish-Swedish border on the bridge, visiting the local Scandinavian-style church, popping into the souvenir shop to stock up on Christmas presents and generally exploring the surrounding forests and frozen lakes. Unfortunately I ran out of time to visit the Karesuando knife factory – maybe next time!