A unique experience – an unforgettable 5 days / 4 nights. Groups from 4 – 20 people.
We are not on the Siberian steppes, but in Norway, in the Arctic tundra. We retrace the history of this area whilst riding in horse-drawn sleighs, and learn about the culture of the first inhabitants of thisincredible and fascinating land.
We wanted to dedicate this trip and experience to the famous book by Boris Pasternak “Dr. Zivago.” We needed to find an evocative title for our trip that immediately brought to mind the correct visual images for our clients, something familiar that we remembered from books that we read when we were young, and stored in our memories, a title that was able to immediatelytransport us mentally into this unchanged world from times gone by .
As we do not originate from the northern cultures of the world, with its rich traditions and history, we felt that this excursion’s title would immediately give our clients a visual idea of how they could experience personally a wonderful lifestyle from our
past. It is a unique experience. It is an intense weekend, when we rediscover ancient paths, and travel through forests of Birch trees and past frozen lakes. We will travel by sleigh, cook outdoors, just as the Nordic people once did. We will stop to sleep in an old original farmhouse, unchanged over the years, steeped in history. We’ll eat local food and we will wear the types of clothes that generations of Norwegians have worn for centuries to protect themselves from the cold. The furs used are not those
that have been produced in our modern times. These skins have been handed down from generation to generation and when the summer comes they are returned to local museums where they illustrate to the current generation how their predecessors
AMIDST THE IMPRESSIVE SILENCE OF THE ARCTIC … The staccato rhythm of the hooves of animals soothes us like babies in a cradle and transports us back in time … We are at the beginning of the 1900’s, we are moving slowly, there are no roads, the snow is deep, our tired horses are trudging through the snow. Someone has to get off the sleigh and take hold of the horses to lead them to get them tomove forward. On each sleigh there is a leather bundle of essential items that would have been accumulated during the long winter: bread, butter, birch containers, manufactured goods, furs and leather which the travelers would have been able to sell at the annual market show and then hopefully go home with a little money and supplies for the family. Women produced magnificent boxes made of birch wood which they hand painted. Particularly noteworthy are the roses, with green foliage which gave some colour to the bleak winter days … Days anddays of travelling, always moving forward, but always cheerful even in this difficult climate. The journey was long but it was looked upon as a happy time, a beginning of an exciting period, after a winter spent in solitude. The destination
was the exhibition market show at Røros, a beautiful market town, steeped in tradition and built by strong people, hardened by a life working in the local mines.which guarded the precious copper in their depths.
Check in at the hotel at Røros, a mining town which is a Unesco ~World Heritage
site. Overnight stay
A meeting with the guide, who gives us a brief introductory tour of the mining city ‘Røros, a Unesco Heritage site. This little gem is located near the Femundmarka Nature Reserve – 500 kms of un-spoilt wilderness situated at the 62nd parallel below the Arctic Circle.
This small town is built entirely of wood – the central part – the oldest – has well preserved original buildings that were built by the first inhabitants who settled in these lands many years ago, when the copper mines were first discovered. The museum, the church, and the small houses nearby testify to the life of the past – we can see stables for horses which were built next to the houses, along with stores for firewood and animal fodder. In the past, the town itself was almost like one big farm where everybody worked and lived together in a single
group. Over the years, the town has become a popular destination for many travelers passing through this region and amongst enthusiasts who are fascinated by authentic and rare items. Walking through its streets you will
find small craft shops – predominately pottery – and shops selling beautiful blankets made of wool which often have scenes showing the local wildlife such as reindeer and musk ox or geometric patterns of soft colours.We will stop in a small restaurant to sample traditional Norwegian cuisine with dishes such as elk soup and other local sweet and savoury delicacies.
The hotel where we stay is on the border of Norway – it precisely marks the point where the lands of Norway end and the expanses of Sweden begin. The hotel we have chosen is family-run. The family has managed the hotel for generations. The rooms are crammed full of reminders of the history of the family and the people of this land. The pictures hanging on the walls, the wooden carvings around the
fireplace, everything reminds us of a time from our past, when men and horses lived in harmony. Each needed the other to survive the long Arctic winters. The staff of the hotel dress in traditional costumes and the rooms where we stayare scattered around the main central part of the hotel where there are two large halls and where we find the bar and the restaurant.
DINNER – will be something magical and very special
We travel on a sleigh pulled by horses, and under the light of the torches we enter a stretch of forest that will lead us to a log cabin built in the traditional style of the indigenous people of this area. Around an open fire we enjoy a meal of traditional local dishes accompanied by Norwegian folk music played by local musicians. An idyllic atmosphere is created that will take us back in time to simple days gone by.
After we have had breakfast and prepared our backpacks, we start our beautiful Arctic adventure, which should definitely be experienced at least once in a lifetime by those people who love the Great North. We enjoy a long day amongst un-spoilt scenery spotting wild animal footprints in the snow. We glimpse Ptarmigan amongst the Birch trees, camouflaged by their winter plumage. Then from time to time we pause to let the horses rest and give them something to eat. We stop for lunch and make a fire and enjoy a lovely hot cup of coffee. We visit a farm where we can observe craftsmen at work. There is also a small museum to visit, created by the locals to pay homage to their past.
We finally arrive at our farmhouse, where after dinner we enjoy a lovely evening relaxing around the fire and listening to local traditional music.
In the morning, after breakfast, once the sleighs are ready and the horses harnessed, we resume our journey through the forests towards the mining town of Roros. We cross frozen lakes amongst the absolute silence of the Arctic. We’ll arrive at Roros in the early afternoon where a nice lunch awaits us. We return to our hotel, located on the border between these two wonderful countries. There we enjoy a farewell dinner and an overnight stay.
After breakfast, our guests are transferred to Roros station / airport.