We woke up bright and early for our winter adventures! Since daylight was short (about five hours) and we had plenty of activities (snowmobile, husky sledge ride, reindeer farm and ice fishing) planned for the day, we were raring to go after a quick breakfast.
We headed to Safartica, an agent specialising in safari packages. It was just down the block from our hotel. What I liked about Safartica was that the guides were friendly and professional. They made sure all safety measures were adhered to and also provided us with interesting facts about Rovaniemi and Lapland throughout the day, like the fact that Rovaniemi has EIGHT seasons!
Before moving off from their main office, we had to suit up! We exchanged our down jackets and boots for this waterproof thermal suit and hardy waterproof boots, which kept us warm and dry the whole day.
Our first activity of the day was snowmobiling! There were a few laws to follow:
- Above 16 years old and possess a driving license
- Should not be intoxicated, heavily medicated or under the influence of any drugs
- Must drive carefully and on designated tracks
It was two to a snowmobile. We spent the morning learning how to ride a snowmobile and the most of it to rev our engines on the tracks!
Next, we headed to a husky farm. The dogs there are obviously well-cared for as the compound was spacious and they had their individual cages. We had a husky sledge ride and lunch there.
The huskies were eager to run. As soon as they were hooked onto the harness, they kept barking (their barks were kind of scary) and straining against the lead.
We got to meet the puppies too. They lived in a separate enclosure together.
We had lohikeitto, a creamy salmon soup, for lunch. It is a common Finnish cuisine and Finland is a great location for salmon fishing. River Teno produces more Atlantic salmon catches than any other river in the world!
After lunch, we went to the reindeer farm where I got to meet my first reindeer!
Upon arriving at the farm, we were ushered into a giant tepee and were told a mystical reindeer tale around an open fire. Then, we each got “antler marks” on our foreheads! You will get to see that later.
The reindeers were so beautiful and gentle! The sledge ride was way slower than the husky ride (which was like a roller coaster). The reindeers trudged a round slowly through the snow.
Our “antler marks”! And we had crossed into the Arctic Circle!
We had tea in a room full of fur and taxidermy animals.
Later, we walked from the reindeer farm to a frozen lake to try ice fishing! I was quite wary about stepping onto the lake after having vivid imaginations of ice breaking apart, but the guides assured us that it was very safe. The thickness of the ice was about half a metre!
By the way, it looks really dark in the picture, but it was only about 4pm!
A hand ice auger was used to drill a hole through the ice. Since it was very cold, we were told to remove new ice as it formed and to clear slush left from making the hole. The guide made it look so easy. He had it done in a matter of seconds.
Look at the expanse of the frozen river!
After making a hole, we dipped in a small fishing rod and lifted it every few seconds to lure a fish to our bait.
It took three of us and minutes to make our hole!
Unfortunately,we did not manage to catch anything. It was so dark already and we were not very patient people. Not long after, we plodded back to the reindeer farm to catch a ride back to our hotel.