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Lofoten in January: The Land of Two-Hour Sunrises

When I visited Reine and Svolvær in Norway’s Lofoten Islands back in 2013, I knew that the three days I had allotted weren’t anywhere near enough to do the place justice. I wasn’t sure when I’d ever get back — given the remoteness of Norway in relation to my home base of Australia — but…

Enjoying the Moment at the Arctic Snow Hotel

After having spent four of the previous five nights standing outside in seriously cold temperatures until well past midnight, it wouldn’t have been surprising if I couldn’t muster up much excitement about yet another cold night. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Yes, I was tired, but the adrenalin had kept me going…

Cross-Country Skiing…Without Falling Over!

I’m just a little bit clumsy. I’ve fallen into a parked car, giving myself a concussion in the process. I’ve dislocated my toe on the Tongariro Crossing, having to hobble the final 2km so I could catch my bus. Last year, I planned to try cross-country skiing, only to break my leg before I got…

Being a Big Kid at Santa Claus Village

Sometimes I feel like my entire trip to Lapland was simply an excuse to indulge my inner child for a month. After all, I spent the entire time playing in heaping piles of snow, trying to make up for the fact that the first time I saw any snow stick to the ground was just…

What in the World is Fatbiking?

When I was told that I had been booked onto a fatbiking tour around Rovaniemi, my first reaction was, “What in the world is fatbiking?” It turns out that it’s a whole new sport that I’ve never heard of. My ignorance is not all that surprising, since fatbiking is based around the idea of riding…

Officially Licensed to Drive a Reindeer Sled

In the 1960s, a massive change swept across Finland. The Americans had finally perfected their design of a vehicle for recreational use on the snow — the snowmobile. While it has always been seen as a fun toy — sort of like a jet ski — in North America, the Ski-Doo imported by a schoolteacher…

Braving the Arctic Wilds in Porjus

I am not a cold weather person. If the temperature gets down to 15C in Brisbane, I wear at least jeans and a jumper. In the dead of winter (as if that ever happens in Queensland), I can be found sitting on the couch wrapped in a very thick blanket. I shiver when I have…

The Northern Lights Apartments: A Home Away From Home

I don’t think I would have enjoyed my trip north of the Arctic Circle nearly as much if I hadn’t picked such a great place to stay. The Northern Lights Apartments, located about 500m down the road from the main town of Porjus, were a little oasis in an otherwise rather inhospitable environment. Their owner,…

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