After a night of no Auroras, I was seriously ready to get out and about. We had initially been booked to go on a dogsledding adventure and a snowmobile expedition, but it’s kinda hard to do these things when there is a marked lack of snow!
Instead, we were to go on a visit to a husky farm and on a short trip to see some reindeer. To be perfectly honest, this didn’t thrill me quite as much as dogsledding or snowmobiling would have, but when Mother Nature throws you a curveball (I mean seriously, no snow in mid November? In Lapland?!) – you gotta learn to roll with the punches and make the best of what the Weather Gods give you.
So, after another beautiful sunrise, we set off to a nearby husky farm to say hello to some beautiful Siberian sled dogs.
I was fully expecting that we would just get a tour of the farm and (hopefully) the opportunity to pat some dogs, however, we still got to go on a little ride!
Though nowhere near as exciting as actual sledding, we did get to go on a husky guided ride on a kind of sleigh with wheels! The adrenaline factor was certainly not there in the way actual sledding would be, but it was still wonderful to feel the icy wind on my face and watch the Lapland landscapes move around me.
Once back at the farm, we finally got to say hello to some beautiful doggos. If you’ve been travelling with me since the OG 2015 Greenland series, then you will likely recall that huskies (and basically all wolf dogs) make me one of the happiest humans on Earth; so this was certainly right up my alley.
Up until this point, I had been pretty forcefully encouraging Dan to be open to getting the two huskies I have dreamt about for so long once we eventually get settled into our little Melbourne life, and to begin with, he had definitely been wary of the idea.
However, after an encounter with this absolutely stunning doggo, it is pretty safe to say that he no longer requires any convincing!
Once we had (ever so slightly) defrosted inside a fire heated cabin, it was time to venture into the cold again, and this time it would be so we could meet some truly strange looking creatures – reindeer!
We were given handfuls of a type of moss that the reindeer are known to be fond of, and off we went!
I really wanted to get a picture of the reindeer eating the moss from my hand, but it was pretty impossible! Literally as soon as you enter their little home, they run to you and try to get as much of the moss as possible, and they don’t seem to have the greatest depth perception in the world, and let me tell you, those pointy antlers were everywhere.
I was so much more preoccupied with making sure I didn’t lose an eye than I could ever have anticipated!
This next shot is pretty much what I was constantly surrounded with…
Keep those weaponised antlers far away buddy!
Eventually it was time to say goodbye to the reindeer and head back to the village. That night we would once again be unlucky – it was going to be far too cloudy to spot any Auroras. Instead of aurora searching, we demolished a hearty Finnish meal and settled into bed for an early night.
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, as when we woke up in the morning we found that we had been blessed with some snow.
Everything just looks so much more magical under a blanket of snow, even if it is only a thin layer.
It may seem like a bit of a disappointment to travel all the way to Lapland and not see any Northern Lights, but honestly, I wasn’t disheartened in the slightest. I got to see reindeer for the first time, play with huskies and see some snow for the first time in almost a year.
However, when we return to try and spot those elusive lights once more, you better believe we will be visiting in the absolute dead of winter!
Getting to Ivalo: This domestic airport is well connected to Helsinki with flights operating several times daily
Getting to Northern Lights Village: From the airport, NLV offers minibus transfers but these are quite expensive. If you are travelling as a single or couple, catching a taxi may be more cost effective
Northern Lights Village: One night in a glass roofed cabin starts at €349 for two persons on a bed and breakfast basis, click here to learn more
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: Book for December or January to guarantee snowy weather! November is a bit of a wildcard month these days…