We did not look ‘selfie’-worthy when we got our wake-up call. The hot, fresh lingonberry juice was a lovely touch, but I was pretty miffed that it was 07:50 when we got our call, rather than the requested 07:00. Thus, with an uneasy night sleep, Katherine’s back seizing up a bit and my hip hurting from lying on my side, we weren’t off to the best of starts for the morning. The sauna/shower rooms were packed and our little sauna, although 68*, was more of a respite to cool down the tempers. Before having our showers, Katherine had to storm off and find towels. The rich and famous were using 4-5 towels for their hair and the hotel had not anticipated to keep check on the facilities during the morning rush. The showers were see through with a thin blue curtain, so imagine the pair of us, cringing at the set-up with heightened senses and stress levels already at breaking point. The breakfast buffet almost tipped us over the edge with politeness resulting in the lady in front getting the last of the coffee out of the urn. Big deep breaths, ignore the chorus of needy kids wanting plates of just bacon or pancakes and try and source some food before the staff kicked us out of the restaurant. Ugh, what a morning!
With the morning mostly spent, our plans of renting snow shoes was now out the window. But, improvise, adapt and overcome, we wouldn’t let the mood continue all day. After all, we had just experienced some incredible moments during the week, we wouldn’t ruin it on the last day.
We suited up in our black ninja astronaut gear and headed further in to the village. The church murals behind the altar were lovely. In fact, when we left and talked about them, Katherine hadn’t seen much of the left hand screen so we went back in for me to point out the winter scene blending across in to the spring/summer scene. It was a quaint church and a lovely place to gather the thoughts and settle.
The cat outside the Sami museum made himself comfortable on my boots, getting up off the cold snow and ice. He wasn’t around the site when we went in, but photos showed that he had a friendship with the reindeer.
The reindeer recognised the brown paper bags of lichen. Snuffling in a fashion reminiscent of piglet back home, we ventured further in to their enclosure to pass out the treats. I may have taken too many photos at this point, but knowing we wouldn’t be able to take one home as a pet, we enjoyed the unique experience. The rest of the museum was incredibly fascinating: learning about the 8x different seasons in their calendar year, the different structures they build and the purpose they serve, as well as the lifestyle they lived and the crafts they made. We got in to the spirit of things and lasso’d some reindeer. We could totally move to Sweden.
After a delicious lunch of reindeer, lingonberry and flatbread, we walked home via the frozen river.
The signs for Finland, placed there for tourist purposes only was calling to Katherine to visit another county. We checked our maps.me app and it showed how close we were to the border and in affect how we were standing in the middle river. Standing aside for snowmobiles, dog sleds, skiers and cars that were taking shortcuts across the river, we preambled up the white avenue till we were back at our lavish abode.
We timed it well, being able to take a few sneaky photos in our cold room that were a bit more glamourise, and then checking in for our warm room. Comfy mattresses, en-suite with private shower and a tv, we didn’t get too comfortable just yet, heading back in to town to get a fizzy drink and chocolate for the evening. I don’t think the shop were used to seeing Ice Hotel guests in the shop, nor were the aisles adequately wide enough for my fat ass in a boiler suit. We kept checking the weather outside and with no prospect of seeing the northern lights, we watched some tv and packed ready for tomorrow.
Friday, 22nd February 2019