Kemi Snow Castle, Finland 55We’re headed North!

Kemi Snow Castle, Finland 52After spending the night at the Kemi Snow Castle near Oulu Finland, we were heading North to Lapland, in the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights.

Our first stop on the road was for lunch. Clare can’t stay away from Trip Advisor, she’s very highly rated on there, so did some quick research to determine the best restaurant to stop in. Turns out that restaurant is located in Santa’s Village. His official workshop!

Giant Snow Man Rovaniemi FinlandSANTA’S WORKSHOP.

Santa's Village Rovaniemi Finland 6Now I know how Santa get’s to all the places in the world in one night.

Santa's Village Rovaniemi Finland 8Turns out Santa’s Village is located in the arctic circle! Which is the most Northernly of 5 major circles of latitude that make maps of the Earth. We were in it baby!

Santa's Village Rovaniemi Finland 9The 3 of us, Me, Clare, & Kyle.

Rovaniemi FinlandOver the bridge, passing the tee pee, we found a really great place for lunch!

Tee Pee Rovaniemi Finland Santa's Village Rovaniemi FinlandDun, dun, DDUNN! I actually don’t know the exact name of the place. Cross the walking bridge in the village and it’s the only place over there.


Santa's Village Rovaniemi Finland 3It goes right over the tracks for the elk sleigh rides.

Salomon in Rovaniemi FinlandThis Finnish are really good at cooking Salmon.Here was a salmon dish with home aid potato salad.

Salmon in Rovaniemi Finland 2So delicious!

4 deserts Rovaniemi FinlandAfter all that we may of gotten a couple of deserts.

SO GOOD Rovaniemi FinlandI mean there are 3 of us and we decided on Finnish cheese with berries and coffee, blueberry pie with cream, and a pear soaked in alcohol and served with ice cream and a glaze sauce.


Crepes in Rovaniemi Finland 2Okay fine, there were 4 deserts, so shoot us! Couldn’t leave without trying the crepes. Everything was phenomenal.

After lunch we were well and truly stuffed, we got back on the road.

We originally had 2 nights booked all the way up North but I booked the wrong days on airbnb. I booked Thursday¬†till Saturday instead of Friday to Sunday. Worst part is I didn’t even know until we arrived.

Long story short we did not get along with our airbnb host at all, and after one night we decided we would leave and head South again.

So we did.

Husky's in Lapland FinlandBut first we did try to go for a husky ride.

Husky's in Lapland Finland 2Except we got our car stuck in all this snow and we missed the group leaving.

Husky's in Lapland Finland 3SO MUCH SNOW!

Husky's in Lapland Finland 4Hey puppies.


Husky's in Lapland Finland 6 Husky Wind chime in Lapland FinlandHusky Wind chime.

Driving back down to Rovanemeini, Clare found us a cabin for the night with a sauna and loft and we stopped into town to sign up for snowmobiling and husky sleighing.

With a couple of hours before the snowmobiling we headed to our place and Clare and I sat in the sauna while Kyle took a nap.

SNOWMOBILING ON A FROZEN RIVER

And we were off..! Booking a 7pm-10pm slot, we had to meet in town and it was just a short walk down to the river where the snow mobile was stored. Within minutes everyone was geared up to go and we set off, I was bringing up the rear on my own and good thing because I was back there goofing off and speeding around. It was so fun!

Snowmobiling on a Lake Rovaniemi Finland Snowmobiling on a Lake Rovaniemi Finland 2I’d never imagined that I would just be snow moiling across a frozen river! It was a bit scary but when the temperature reaches -26 degrees C then I think you know you’ll be just fine.

Snowmobiling on a Lake Rovaniemi Finland 3 Snowmobiling Rovaniemi FinlandAfter a long stretch on the lake we came up onto some trails in the woods.

Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 2Even crossed a few roads. I ran into a couple in front of me at one point and almost died laughing. They were not amused but I was on the road and there was a car coming so I just tried to get off the road and the people in front of me weren’t moving fast enough. ¬†In fact all the people we were going with were complete duds. No one was looking for speed exhilaration, except the 3 of us.
Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 3One of my favorites because of the light from the road.

Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 4 Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 5 Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 6 Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 7These lights from the city, combined with the haziness of the snow storm that was passing through, was a complete tease on our quest for the Northern lights.


Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 9About halfway in, we stopped at a small hut out in the woods, and had ourselves a fire.


Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 12It was Clare’s idea that we all bring the makings for s’mores and so while our guide served piping hot berry juice from a thermos and warmed up sandwiches with smoked cheese and dried meat, we passed around mallows, grahams, and bits of chocolate and started with desert.

Snowmobiling Rovaniemi Finland 13Mallows!

After a long stop and everyone was thoroughly warmed up, we headed back into town mostly along the river.

When we got back to our place we played a game of hearts and Kyle and I wrestled because I’m a sore loser, then we headed out to drive to the top of town to see these Northern lights! There was a break in the cloud coverage and the stars were shining through.

However, when we climbed all the way to the top of this bank, it appeared that the clouds were rolling back in and that the Northern lights would not be visible. We’d missed them again.

HUSKIES

The next morning it was another early start to the day. We were bused to the husky farm where 98 dogs live and work every day.


Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 2They were ready for us, and excited to get on the road.


Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 4Hey pups!

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 6The dogs are looked after and treated very well and any one of them is approachable, even by strangers. They love a few scratches around the ear.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 7Clare and I decided to take on a sled together, I would mush first and then she would second.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 8The back left dog, Puja was very excited to run, to the point where he would fight with all of his pals when we were stopped. Jumping up and down he was so aggressive that they ended up changing partner’s with him twice during our 18km circuit.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 9
Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 11MUSH! MUSH! We are on the way.


Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 13As soon as we started everyone was going to the bathroom so they could set into the rhythm. As the dogs would pull us I would watch them run close to the embankment where they would take gulps of snow without slowing the pace.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 14For as energetic as our dogs seemed they were super slow! You can ‘t even see the guys in front of us.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 15FREEZING. There’s even snow on my eyelashes.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 16Running across another frozen lake.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 17I thought this picture was pretty cool. When you start going uphill you help the dogs by running and kicking with your feet.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 18 Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 19They were just happy to be at work and on the run. When there is no snow in the summer,they attach them to cars and drive slowly to give them a workout.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 20Love all the scenery changes.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 21 Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 22She’ll be coming around the bend when she comes.

Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 23That was our motto, Slow and steady wins the race.


Husky's in Rovaniemi Finland 27Pretty soon we were back and taking photos, although it was freezing cold and I needed to go inside to warm up for a minute.

HUSKIES IN FINLAND!We had a flight back to Helsinki late that night so after finishing with the husky’s we drove back to Oulu to drop off our car and go back to Helsinki so we could fly out to Rome early the next morning.

FullSizeRenderGuess what else guys?!?? Finland has a wonderful gin called Napue. Served with the Finnish berries and rosemary it is instantly up there on my list of must haves. Really great stuff. Cheers!

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.

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