Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland. Multi Aurora Weekend with Explore the North, Sweden. February 2014.

The only objective today was to drop off the car at Kiruna Airport at13.00. This was also the time and location that had been arranged to meet a representative from a company called Explore the North.
'Sn Ice' sculptures in Kiruna 2014
When researching this trip I had seen good reviews of a place called Pine Tree Lodge in Kangos, a small village 150Km North of the Artic Circle in Sweden. The owners of the lodge run a company Called Explore The North. They offer many packages but Dog Sledding is their major attraction.  The packages range from a half day with the Huskys to a full 7 days in Lapland, driving your team of Dogs through forests and wilderness. The accommodation on the long tours is in timber cabins and a great deal of guest participation is required. Having read all the information on the web page I opted for the 'Multi Aurora Weekend'.
We were met at Kiruna Airport, there were also pick ups at the station in Kiruna, a hotel in Kiruna and at The Ice hotel. we then drove to Kangos, it took about 1 hur 45 mins.
Explore The North Adventures in Lapland.
The arrival at Pine Tree Lodge was warm and welcoming, a large log fire dominated the lounge / bar/ dining area and warmed the whole lodge. Snacks were served and we were issued with our clothing. Artic boots, trousers, artic style parker anorak, mittens, hat and balaclava.
 Dinner was served in the dining room, it was a salad starter, a main course of lasagne and a Lingonberry dessert. Tea and coffee were freely available all day. One unusual thing is that the water in this area is Orange due to the high Iron content of the water and had an Iron taste. this means that all the sheets, cups and porcelains have an orange tinge to them.
The bed room was warm and clean with an en-suite bathroom and the beds were comfy. I would recommend a stay at this Lodge.
Pine Tree Lodge, Kangos, Sweden.
The next day, the guests at the lodge were split into two groups. Our group of 10 go to go on the Snowmobile today. At 10.00 we boarded our Snowmobiles and headed out into the woods.  
Crash helmets on for Snowmobiling
We stopped for lunch, where our guide made a fire and warmed some delicious soup up for us. We sat on frozen Reindeer skins to enjoy the break, then swapped driving position on the snowmobile and continued to enjoy the majestic Swedish countryside.
It was a full day out as we got back to the lodge at about 15.30. by that time I was starting to get cold so enjoyed the sauna in the lodge to warm up.
The next day was the Husky's, I was really looking forward to this as Explore the North was the only company I could find where you 'mushed' the Husky's yourself.
Again it was 2 adults to each Husky team. we made our way to the kennels in the grounds of the lodge to be greeted by 5 teams of Huskys. the noise was immense as the dogs were exited to get going. After a quick lesson from the guide we were off.
View of Husky Team from the passenger seat in the sleigh.

I loved mushing the dogs, they were outstanding in there performance. Again it was a full day in the wilderness, however as you had to move with the dogs and help to push the sleigh up hill, unlike the snowmobiles I was not cold. On returning to the lodge I did enjoy the sauna though!

The Sitting / Dining / Bar area at Pine Tree Lodge.
It was our last evening and we had yet another delicious meal and was enjoying a drink by the fire, when one of the girls who worked at the bar advised us to go outside as the Northern lights were out. And YES!!!! they really were. It was a fantastic display and it went on for hours
So it was the perfect end to a perfect 3 night stay with the Team at Pine Tree Lodge. Kangos. Sweden. Thank you Explore the North, it was great!