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Snow way to travel...

Sometimes you just know when your normal mode of transport just won’t do. Glancing at this bike beneath the eaves outside the guesthouse, it dawned on me pretty quickly that I was going to need some other way of getting around.
After all, it was deep mid-winter and I was on a winter break in the snow of Swedish Lapland.

This most certainly would not be like last year’s gentle cycling holiday in France, on which we pedalled along quiet country lanes, stopping for picnics by the stream. No, this was so very different – and a more robust form of transport was needed.

Snowmobile, LaplandI didn’t have to wait long to find out what that mode of transport was to be. I heard the growl of the engine long before the sleek bright green snowmobile came into view, weaving its way carefully through the trees. I couldn’t wait to get going, and after a brief briefing from our expert guide Johan (I had ridden motorbikes before), we were driving through the forest on the most exhilarating ride I think I’d ever been on. It wasn't 'fast and furious', but leisurely and sedate – even the passing reindeer seemed unperturbed by our presence – but it was such great fun! And this was, after all, exactly what we’d come for – an authentic taste of Lapland, to discover new ways of experiencing this dramatic yet hospitable land; indeed, to have our own winter adventure.

ice bath, LaplandFrom the tiny and remote settlement of Kangos in northern Sweden, we eventually made our way to a cosy, wooden ‘wilderness cabin’ set beside a frozen lake where we were to spend the night. Here, we were offered the chance to have an ice bath – in a hole cut in the foot-thick ice that covered the lake. It was cold and dark, but “when in Lapland…” as they say. So I dunked myself in the icy water and leapt straight back out before heading for the warmth and comfort of the sauna. (Wow! Very invigorating!)

Afterwards, I accepted a steaming cup of hot chocolate (I’m sure they’d added a ‘glug’ of something warming!) as we sat around an open fire beneath a pitch black sky littered with millions of twinkling stars, transfixed as our own natural lightshow took centre stage in the form of the mystical Northern Lights – cue another ‘Wow! Thoughts are on tomorrow and the return journey. I couldn’t wait, as it’s moments like this that make a holiday truly special, doing something out of the ordinary that I can’t do back home – where my bike patiently waits.

Wilderness hut, Lapland

Posted: 23/12/2011 15:43:29 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: journey, Lapland, nature, snow, transport


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