The story of the dog that lost its sock

It was January, 2019. About minus 25 degrees and the sun hadn’t completely risen yet. We were in the most northern part of Sweden: Lapland. A land of snow and ice, when the sun doesn’t rise in winter and doesn’t set in summer. My parents, friends and family had declared me crazy when I told them we were going there. Always complaining about the cold, staying inside and drinking hot cocoa while my sister was outside building snowmen, they couldn’t believe I wanted to go where it would be minus 25 degrees. I am not sure I believed it either.

That cold snowy morning, I sat down in a dogsled, not yet sure of what I was in for. Bundled in 5 layers of clothing, heat patches in my shoes and mittens, blankets on top of me, I sat in a sled that would be pulled by five amazing dogs: Bagheera, Tweety, Light, Ivy and Viper. Three dogsleds were in front of us, only one behind us. While I sat down, Boyfriend stood behind me, steering. Though there wasn’t much of that, because the dogs would run at their own speed, following the ones that ran before them. His main job was to stand on the brakes whenever the dogs would go too fast and to signal to the other sleds. My only job was to enjoy the ride and not freeze to death.

For unknown reason, Tweety was wearing little red socks. Maybe his feet would get to cold, maybe he was injured, I don’t know. But as he ran past the snowy trees, over valleys, over hills, he suddenly lost one of them. We were not sure why he was wearing them, but figured it must have been important. So we signaled to the people behind us that we would stop. Boyfriend jumped on the breaks while I tried to scramble out of the sled (which is harder than it sounds, as everything, including the sled and my shoes, were frozen) to get the sock. Just as I got out, though, boyfriend saw that it was just behind him, if only he reached for it. So he did, but then, accidentaly, stepped off the brakes. Immediately the dogs felt that whatever was holding them back was lifted, so they made a run for it. He mumbled Oh shit, before running after it. I stood frozen for a few seconds, not sure what to do. The people in the sled behind us weren’t sure what was happening, but they saw the dogs taking off without us, and then us running after it. It must have been a hilarious sight!

Anyhoo, by this time, the sleds that were in front of us had noticed that they missed a few sleds, so they had stopped as well. Our dogs literally ran into the people in front of us, knocking them over in a tangled mess of dogs, sled equipment and one unfortunate tourist. Luckily, nobody was harmed, though we felt really silly running after the dogs, especially since they were about 61028134 times faster than we were. When we finally caught up with our dogs again, our guide looked at us, shook his head and asked where we had left the sock. Only then we realized, in all the confusion, we had still left it behind in the snow…

Lapland Guide for the ordinary traveler

Wanderlust Wonderland brings you: a travel guide for ordinary travelers, with must-sees, tips and tricks and the most delicious food, for ordinary travelers, like you and me.

Winter does not want to appear in my little country, and I’m longing back to this time last year, when I was getting ready for our trip to Lapland. It was such an adventure! It really was the most amazing trip I ever took. Make sure to add it to your bucketlist, it’s the trip of a lifetime!

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A dream come true

I saved the best for last. Of course, one of the main reasons we went to Lapland, was to see the Northern Lights. The predictions weren’t that good, so the week before we went, I was kinda scared that we wouldn’t be able to see them. But we were so incredibly lucky, because we saw them. Three nights in a row ♥

When we arrived at the pinetree lodge on sunday, we were already kinda tired from getting up early to catch the plane, and from the journey. The lodge had these door hangers which said ‘wake me up when there’s northern lights!’ Of course we put it on our door when we went to bed, but I actually wanted to sleep really bad. They didn’t wake us that night.

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feeding REINDEER in Lapland

I must have taken about 500 pictures of reindeer on our trip. On our second day in Lapland, we went to a Reindeer Corral and there were a lot of reindeer we could pet and feed. I don’t think I have ever seen these animals before and it was so cool to see them up close. There were some cute little babies, some ‘holy’ white ones and one that was a tad aggressive and tried to steal my scarf…

The people that live in Lapland are called the Sami and they are the official owners of the reindeer. They are wild animals, but they do have trackers so the Sami can always know where they are. The reindeer corral we went to, is a place the reindeer can go if they want a bit more food in the winter. They can come and go as they please. And I figured they must want some extra food, because there were a lot of them.

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Dogsledding through the snow

In total, we spent 4 days in Lapland. We arrived on Sunday, which is when we went to the Snow Village. On monday we explored the Swedish North by snow scooter, which was super scary but also super fun. On tuesday, we went for a ride with a dog sled and it was absolutely amazing.

This was one of the activities I was most excited about. It’s an adventure I have seen in movies and read about in books and I couldn’t wait to experience it myself!

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Hotels made of snow and sleeping under the stars

Lapland is such a wonderful place to be and there are some unforgettable locations where you can spend the night. Of the four nights we stayed in Lapland, three of them were spend in this lovely wooden lodge. As I said before, we booked out trip through an organization that took care of everything and they were also in charge of our lodging. We stayed at the Pinetree Lodge in Kangos, Sweden. We also visited a snow hotel which would be such an amazing place to stay and we slept in the most incredible Aurora Hideaway, which is by far, the most wonderful place I have ever spent the night.

Pine tree lodge in the snow at evening

The pinetree lodge is a cosy cabin in the middle of the woods. Everything was made out of wood, it had a sauna and a restaurant, and upstairs there were some couches you could lounge on, read a book, or play some chess. You could also hire a private cabin, instead of room in the lodge, where you could relax in front the fire.

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Exploring Lapland on a snowscooter

I’m a scaredy cat. I’m afraid of heights, I can’t watch horror movies because I will never sleep again and I probably have pissed off my roommates numerous times by turning on the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the night (but seriously, how else am I  gonna get rid of that spider that’s right above my bunk bed?)

Anyway, we booked our trip to Lapland via an organization (XPlore the North) that arranged everything for us. The flight, the lodge we stayed in, the meals, and the activities. They had arranged two ways for us to explore the snowy landscape. One was awesome. One was terrifying…

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I don’t like cold weather. When I was younger, I remember my sister and my dad going outside to make a snowman and having fun, and afterwards they came inside and had some hot cocoa (with whipped cream, ofcourse) to warm up again. I just skipped the whole snowy experience and enjoyed my hot chocolate whilst reading a nice book, and being warm inside. If you told me then that I would voluntarily go to a place where it is -25°C (= -13°F), that I would actually be super excited to go there, I would have laughed in your face.

But I did. Our last summer was incredibly hot. It had been 40 °C (=104 °F) for weeks and I work in a place with no air conditioning. Everyone was fed up with it and was looking for ways to get cold. As always, I was thinking about going on a trip and I wanted to plan our next vacation. I started looking for places where it would be cold, even though we weren’t planning on going away again that summer. Just thinking about cold places made me feel better, somehow. And that’s when I found Lapland.

The pictures I saw of Lapland were absolutely gorgeous. Talk about a winter wonderland! Snow and trees as far as you could look. Peace and quiet. The activities you could do there also sounded absolutely amazing. Staying in a wooden cabin in the middle of nowhere. Go on a tour on a husky sled. See the northern lights. Sauna, Jacuzzi. I was sold. Lapland it was!

It took me some time to convince Boyfriend that we had to go there as soon as possible, and it took some saving, but we went there and it was so amazing. And, honestly… not even that cold…