Today the weather is miserable – never thought I would be one to wish for colder temperatures! But here I am wishing for sub-zero and if the clouds must persist they could at least dump us with the white fluffy stuff instead of rain!
However, as encouraged by the Finn Brothers to ‘take the weather with you’, we set forth on a treacherous wander around the Kakslauttenan Resort. I’m not exaggerating when I say treacherous. There have been a number of people fall and the demand on the transfer bus to get people back and forth from their cabin is high. Others are just hanging out at the main hall because it is too difficult to go anywhere and they are not as adventurous (insert fool-hardy if you wish) as us to get out amongst it.
Our walk/skate/slip took us firstly past the reindeer area. In typical weather the reindeer are put to work pulling sleighs of visitors around the idyllic village. We managed to take some lovely photos that illustrate how well these passive creatures camouflage themselves in the forest.
Near this spot we noticed they are constructing a large cabin. Much to the boredom of our children, Andy and I quite like to watch ‘Barnwood Builders’ back home. So to see them building this massive log cabin was actually interesting to us…*yawn* haha. The diameter of these logs are easily 60-75cm. Most of the buildings are made from logs including our cabin. The main hall and eating area is a huge log cabin with the uprights carved into interesting designs and also with gorgeous antler and ceramic chandeliers. Very rustic, and although obviously themed, really well done. Dotted around hiding in the rafters, you may even spot the odd little elf.
From the reindeer fences we walked further around to the planetarium, only to discover that it is not yet open and still under construction. The outside is complete, they are finalising the fit out. What a shame! For future visitors this looks to be a really great addition to the Resort – opening fully by 2020.
The Art Gallery and viewing tower were open, so we penguin walked across the road to pop in there. The Gallery included some really interesting works both modern, craft and also Finnish Design shop. We did buy a couple of souvenirs/Christmas presents before popping up to the observation tower to see pretty much nothing new! Rain!
Back out on the icy highway we made our way through Santa’s area. This is not the real Santa’s village – that is in Rovaniemi – our next stop where we hope to meet the real man himself.
We made it back to the main reception area in time for a beer and some chips for lunch before our horse ride adventure! We had expected to do the Snow Mobile safari, but on account of there being no recent snowfall, we changed to a trail ride through the forest.
Our guide met us and walked us to the stables where we suited up and had a quick chat about the horses, the condition of the tracks and what to expect.
Out in the icy covered horse yard we slipped around while the horses with spikes on their hooves were quietly waiting. The trail ride was really special. It was 3 in the afternoon, and the sun had already set. It was the arctic blue light that precedes the complete darkness, so the forest was both eerie and tranquil. There was still some snow in patches with the mossy undergrowth also showing through. The sky being totally cloudy was reflecting the blue grey light and the trees were silhouetted against it. A light mist developed further into the ride. The only noise was the horses hooves hitting the snowy sodden ground.
As it got darker the horses did trip on the rocks and roots a bit. They have not long had their winter shoes on and still adjusting. The recent thaw and rain also confuses their vision as the puddles and ice are reflecting and they are looking around more than usual. Add to that a rider that also is not used to the conditions and it’s a bit hairy. We followed these forest trails for about 40 minutes, it was so beautiful.
Our guide brought us back to the road briefly so that the laggers could catch up. When we got onto the smooth icy road, a couple of the horses, including mine, started slipping…yes, imagine walking on the ice was dangerous enough, on horseback – what the heck?!
We all made it safely back to the stables where we dismounted (onto the ice…glad the video was not running for that!), and into the tack room for hot drink, cake, biscuits and a nice social chat with the guide and our group. There were six of us. Another couple on their honeymoon from Mexico and an American mother and daughter. Oh, and the stable cat also joined us…I think Andy was quite miffed that that the cat chose another guest to snuggle up to.
The sauna beckoned so we went back to our cabin to ease the aches before dinner.
I can definitely recommend the included meal package at this resort. The dinners are amazing. Tonight’s starter was a beautiful Salmon Mousse that I could have eaten over and over. I am writing this as we are having dinner and the next course is still to come. It is good quality food and we don’t mind not having a choice. It’s all new and varied.
We have enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail and feeling very relaxed.
Tomorrow will be an early start as we will have our husky experience. There is not enough snow for sledding, however we will go for a 2hr hike with a husky…looking forward to that as an alternative.
Here’s a final photo to leave you with…