Happy New Year!

What a difference a year makes.  Last year I was jet lagged after arriving home (NZ) to say goodbye to dad.  This year I was with family again, but sat on a snow bank next to a frozen river watching fireworks in Finnish Lapland.

Travel, exploring the world is so important to me.  A couple years ago I made a New Years resolution to go to at least three new countries each year however this year I've only been to two - Malta, just before my treatment started and Estonia, just before my radiotherapy started.  Anyway, having people come and visit and having things to look forward to post treatment is a big part of what got me through 2018.  While having my brother visit me in June I managed to convince him he needed to see the Northern Lights so we booked a New Years Eve break to Harriniva in Finnish Lapland, right on the border with Sweden.
Sweden to the left, Finland to the right
I was a bit worried whether or not I'd make it as I spent most of the Christmas period in my pj's trying to shake a cold.  Sleep is a wonderful healer and by 30 December I was well enough to don my long johns, base layers and snow boots and head to the magical winter wonderland in Lapland.

Apparently this year there wasn't much snow however there was powder soft snow everywhere, the rivers were mostly frozen over and it was dark until 10 am and from 1530 pm with the daylight hours being a hazy blue.  We also timed it badly as we were between two particle showers so chances of seeing the Northern Lights were minimal.  The gods were smiling on us as we saw the Northern Lights two nights.  Not brilliant displays that lit up the sky, but a glow on the horizon that danced for us for a good 40 mins.  And the powder soft snow, although useless to build a snowman, was perfect for landing in when the skidoo tipped over.

Rather than booking everything separately, we booked a tour with the Aurora Zone and had our flights/transfers, full board accommodation and activities included.  The first day was everybody's favourite, husky dog sledding through a magical Narnia like forest. We also went snow shoeing, skidooing or snow mobiling though the forest and over frozen lakes, had lunch in an ice cave and sat in a sleigh while reindeer pulled us through yet another magical Narnia forest.  I was able to take part in everything apart from one of the skidoo safaris.  It really was the perfect way to welcome in 2019 and the adventures that await this year.

Husky safari

Ice cave
Reindeer sleigh ride


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