The holiday of a lifetime, a year later than originally planned, no big deal.
Somehow in the run up to departure we were not counting down the days like we all normally would. With all the restrictions changing weekly it was hard to believe we would get to go, so much so that 3 days before we flew it was decided that we would have to test to fly.
We overcame the first hurdle and arrived at EMA for 0300 and in all honesty the airport was pretty straight forward just a little slower with the endless QR codes being scanned.
As we landed in Kittala we were greeted by elves, they lead us to the pickup point for our snow gear which was all nice and swift. A short coach ride on tree lined roads and we arrived in Yllas and wow, first impressions were incredible with just Hotel Saaga set at the bottom of the ski run. We arrived around 2pm local time and the sun was all but gone for the day, we took a quick look at our rooms and then headed out to play in the snow and find the sledge run.
We had a couple of things on our tick list and the next day we got to go do one. We'd spent the previous evening looking for trip options but we didn't want the big commercial trip or the price tag that came with it. We lucked out and found Villa Vaamila which was a much better priced Reindeer ride and was full of the Finnish culture we were looking for. The moment we got out of the taxi and we were greeted by Kirans dogs we had a feeling we had chose well, we got a ride through the woods, around a frozen lake before getting to feed her reindeers. Even under the reindeer blankets we were very cold but luckily the fire in the Kota was lit with the berry juice warming and a plate of blueberry pie waiting for us.
Later that day we took the gondola to the top of the fell and took in the sunset which was out of this world with the view in every direction totally breath taking. One thing i'll say is its a tiring holiday but just because there's so much to do and maybe the lack of daylight takes its toll too.
Another early start sees us on the coach for 0800 and on our way to the SnowVillage. In the dark nights sky, the path from the coach is lit with oil lamps in the snow with fires dotted at standing points to warm up. It was then all aboard a sleigh towed by snowmobile to Santa's house, now I have to admit that this was bloody freezing at minus 26. As we waited for Santa around the open fire with more berry juice my girls went very quiet, I don't think they ever believed it would happen.
This was followed by a walk around the Ice Hotel to admire the amazing ice sculptures, it's mind blowing what they achieve from ice and snow.
The huskie ride came next before we went back to the hotel for a warm in the pool and sauna. These animals are beautiful and much stronger than I expected, they pulled our family of 4 through the snow at speed with ease.
All the covid restrictions do add an extra dimension and cost to a holiday but it wouldn't put me off doing it all over again.
"cold and great and very fun because we got to see huskies" Indie age 5
"Snowy, fun and awesome" Bobbi age 8