SPECIAL PROGRAM – “ARCTIC AND MAGIC”
Special program – 2019/2020
- Genuine Wild Experience between Sweden and Norway
- Visit the World Unesco Heritage in Røros
- Accomodation : hotels/cottages
- Dog sledges tour into Femundsmarka Reserve in Norway
- Daily escursions guided with snoeshoes/cross country
- Siberian arctic jay and the musk oxen at the Rogen Nature Reserve
- Northern light “hunting”
On the 62nd parallel of the Arctic Circle holidays are intimate and stimulating. The beauty of the un-spoilt nature and wild forests which surround you, create fairy-tale landscapes where silence is the main protagonist. Small houses scattered amongst the thick forests, frozen lakes which stretch as far as the eye can see and very often crystal clear skies where you can observe the Aurora Borealis. This is a very special natural event where colourful waves of pink and green are seen dancing in the sky illuminating it at almost any timeof the day. But like all natural phenomena, the Northern Lights make their appearance when you least expect them,leaving onlookers with gaping open mouths. Their astonished gazes are because, despitethe scientific explanations for this phenomena, no one is ever fully prepared to witness the magnificent sight of the clash betweenneutrons and protons, and for a lot of people this phenomena still represents asign of a divine presence.
The holidays that we offer take place in two countries: Norway and Sweden. In Norway we visit the mining town of Røros – a beautiful place – with its wooden buildings, showing the scorched scars of days gone by (a large fire destroyed part of the area) and incredible weather. Here we are going to experience the fascinating world of dog sleds – alternatively (depending on weather conditions) we will visit a traditional Sami farm – the Sami are the indigenous people of the Far North – where Eva and her family will introduce us to the local traditions of her people. Our overnight stay will be in an elegant hotel in the city centre which has beautiful views over the village. The rest of the week is spent on the Swedish side of the border, – in a stunning hotel situated on the banks of a frozen lake which offers a lovely wooden spa and sauna, a relaxation area and some outside spas and hot tubs where – if you are brave enough – you can bathe in the waters of the Arctic (normally frequently by local seas!) which have a constant temperature of zero degrees. Time here passes very slowly, clocks have no reason to exist, we find ourselves in a time and place very far removed from our normal hectic pace of life. The breakfasts are plentiful and every day, before leaving for the excursions, we prepare our lunch to take with us in our backpacks. The tours begin in the late morning (depending on the weather and light) and continue long into the afternoon.
As you’ll discover immediately when you arrive, activities such as cross-country skiing and exploring in snowshoes are sports which allow you to visit remote areas which you could never access by any other means. Nature itself will be closer to you than ever before, from the Ptarmigan that peek through the trees to the footprints which animals have left during the night. At the end of the week we will dedicate a day to an encounter with the last living animal from the Ice Age: The musk ox. Although it did not have noble roots (it is a cross between the goat family, and the ox family) you cannot help but be charmed by its grandeur and by the fact that it has existed since the Ice Age, ie from 10,000 years ago.
During these festive weeks we also have the opportunity to enjoy our Christmas holidays in a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by sugar, cinnamon and ginger treats when the children in particular can enjoy the traditional Swedish customs including their delicious Christmas sweets.
The Swedes love their ancient traditions despite being one of the most modern nations in the world. Food occupies a prominent place in their festivities. Many countries of the world celebrate only religious holidays, but Sweden is slightly different and celebrates, for example, the day of the cinnamon swirl, the day of the waffle iron and has practically an entire season dedicated to soft buns filled with whipped cream and almond paste!! Light is one of the most important elements at all of the parties, both light from the sun and from candles. Christmas in Sweden is celebrated on 24th December. All the edible preparations for Christmas are focused on organising a famous Swedish smorgasbord buffet that, at Christmas, is called Julbord (pronounced “iulbud.)” Many different dishes have earned a place at the dinner tables of all Swedes. A traditional Swedish meal follows a strict order of courses. There must be 5-courses served, each course served on a clean plate, together with copious amounts of beer and brandy.
The meal starts with pickled herring, followed by baked ham, pâtés, salmon and reindeer sausages. Then we move on to the hot dishes including the celestial Janssons frestelse (a mixture of potatoes, onions and baked sardines), meatballs, cheese and finally desserts. The lutfisk (salt cod), is a specialty fish dish which is soaked in a homemade marinade , it has its origins in ancient times, when the fish were dried and stored and then soaked before cooking. This Christmas buffet seems to last for the whole day of December 24, and it sets the scene for the fairy tale stay that you will experience for the rest of your holiday.
New Year’s Eve is another traditional time of year. The hotel has a wonderful elegant restaurant where you can enjoy your New Year’s Eve meal. The evening is filled with music and at midnight there are incredible fireworks on the banks of the frozen lake and if you are lucky the sky will be illuminated with nature’s fireworks, the Aurora Borealis