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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Lapland Travel Activities: Ice Swimming, Husky Safaris, Sauna-Tours & more!

8 layers. 6 participants. 2 degrees. 1 river. If you like to go ice swimming in Lapland, you do have to be a bit crazy. “How on Earth will we ever fit into this ..?”, Christine next to me is about to give up wriggling her way into the waterproof, well-sealed overall. Underneath, she is wearing ski undies, shirt, fleece, ski jacket & another overall against the cold. Finally, I can see her wearing the ice swimming overall while she’s out of breath again: Martin, our guide at Oulanka National Park, has strapped the life vest tight against her torso. Dear me. Before finally floating on the 1 degree icy river waters looking like a well zipped-up, buoyant body, I do really take a moment to ask myself: “What are we actually doing here?!”

 

Fins are ready for just about anything to do with the cold: Ice swimming, ice fishing, ice sauna, you name it. Their enthusiasm warms the hearts of all of us happy Lapland travellers.

So ice swimming in the river, really, is just the beginning. Have you ever been out on a snow mobile? Hunted down some northern lights? Or even met with Santa Claus, the one and only Santa Claus, out here in Finland?

If travelling to Lapland, you will do well taking a great portion of enthusiasm for the outdoors with you. “My ice float on the river really felt like a comfy water bed”, I beam at Christine after my adventurous ice swim. “Beautiful, as if nothing else mattered … a great feeling!”

 

Unterwegs in Lappland ...

Moving around in Lapland …

 

… ist man bzw. frau schon mal auf Abenteuer gefasst ...

… we are always ready for an adventure …

 

… vor allem, als Christine und ich hier den super-sensationellen Eis-Schwimm-Anzug anlegen!

… especially, as Christine and I are about to wear our sensational, ice-swimming suit …

 

… nur im Anschluss so den Fluss hinabzutreiben .. Echt einzigartig !!

… only to float down the river looking like this !!

 

Auch Eisfischen ...

Ice fishing, too …

 

… will gelernt sein: Bei sooo viel Geduld im bzw. am Eis aber eher nichts für mich ..!

… is something for the patiently inclined: Not really for me, I must say ..!

 

Where ice fishing & snowmobiling are among the coolest things to do, Huskies cannot be far either. We have paid a visit to “Erä-Susi” – the wolf man! – near Ruka-Kuusamo.

Only about fifteen minutes drive from our Ruka ski resort town, Jukka Nordman runs his husky farm of about 200 dogs. He does, however, prefer to introduce himself as follows: “My real name is Jukka .. But you can call me Susi.!” SUSI. Said by a tall & strong Fin. Because that means “wolf”. Only, it’s in Finnish. But I cannot help myself, but think of a small girl (in German) when he says, “Please call me Susi .!”

After a short introduction into the art of husky sledging, we are ready to go: The dogs even more, “they are born to run and pull a sleigh”, Mister Susi tells us in his authoritative, yet warm voice. A little later, he returns holding a five week husky puppy on his arm, happy to pass him around. Blown away by the magic of this spot, and steering our own husky sledge, I respond with my love for travel photography.

Willkommen bei "Erä-Susi" Husky-Farm ...

Welcome to “Erä-Susi” Husky farm …

 

Willkommen bei "Erä-Susi" Husky-Farm ...

… where we first learn how to properly steer a husky sledge …

 

 

… sowie schon wenig später über (Lapp)Land flitzen.

… before moving across (Lap)land.

 

Zwischen den erwachsenen Hunden, die "fürs Laufen geboren sind" ...

Next to the adult dogs eager to run and pull the sledge …

 

… und dem Zauber des erst fünf Wochen alten Welpens liegen Welten.!

… the magic of this puppy means worlds to me.!

 

Auch das große Rentier nebenan hat es mir angetan.

I do love the big reindeer here, too. Erä-Susi, we’ll be back!

 

(Snowshoe) Hiking in the national park, skiing as well as abseiling from a frozen waterfall are definitely state-of-the-art here in Lapland. Must-dos for all those adventurous at heart!

Have you ever listened to the “sound of silence”? Lapland’s deeply snow-covered winter forests offer you this unique opportunity. It really is, absolutely silent. I do dare to say that this has all but vanished from the hustle & bustle of life in Central Europe. Mile after mile, just silence. Not even the “sound” of freshly falling snow, let alone some animal, wind or cracking in the woods.

Consider stepping on to that stage of nature by taking a guided (snowshoe) hike in the national parks of Finland. Check this out.

Auf in den Nationalpark Oulanka, nahe Ruka-Kuusamo im Osten Lapplands ...

Off we go on our hike into the national park Korouoma, near Ruka-Kuusamo in the east of  Lapland …

 

… wo wir zwischen der Vorstellung einer Schafweide im Sommer ...

… where we take a walk day dreaming of spring …

 

… dichten Schneewächten ...

… while managing the snow …

 

… und dem Extrem eines mächtigen, gefrorenen Wasserfalls wandern.

… and the extreme heights of a frozen waterfall.

 

Wer dieses Abenteuer wagt, kommt besser gut ausgerüstet ...

You are best advised investing into your gear …

 

… wie diese fünf sympathischen, jungen Abenteurer: Unter www.polarnightmagic.com könnt Ihr mehr über ihre 100 Tage #PolarNightMagic erfahren!

… such as these five polar explorers: Check out www.polarnightmagic.com #PolarNightMagic for their amazing, truly “out-of-this-world-experiences”!

 

Eine gute Idee ist es weiters, Schneeschuhe anzulegen ...

It’s also a good idea to put your snow shoes on …

 

… um fröhlich und gut gerüstet über Lapplands tiefe Schneedecken zu stapfen.

… hiking across the land in style.

 

Schließlich ruft der Wintersportort Ruka alle Schifahrer zu sich ...

Finally, the winter resort town Ruka calls for all skiers …

 

… und bietet dabei magische Ausblicke weit in das "Land der 188.000 Seen" (!) hinein.

… keen on a winter experiences of the “land of 188.000 lakes” (!).

 

Hier in Ruka gibt es abends gar die Möglichkeit, die berühmt-berüchtigte Aurora Borealis am klirrend-kalten Nachthimmel Lapplands zu beobachten.

At night, Ruka beckons us to pay tribute to the famous Aurora Borealis. A must-see, magic moment for all Nordic fans travelling here !!!

 

Last but not least, “Sauna’s calling”.

Because I do take that you, just like me, are pretty cold now. Shivering from being afoot in the snow and well, nothing else is going to help you but a visit to the sauna. A real and true Finnish sauna at that. Because the Finnish sauna isn’t an awful 80-90°C hot, but rather a warm & welcoming 55-65°C, I learn. Including high humidity from hot steam. Not even I knew that, despite being called a real “sauna freak” by my dear friends sometimes!

Check out why the Fins, in turn, have decided to stage a whole sauna tour around their most popular world export item.

 

Die "Sauna-Tour", wie sie so nur aus Finnland, der Heimat der Sauna kommen kann, beginnt schon im Exkursions-Bus direkt, wo wir alles über Geschichte mit Geschichten der finnischen Sauna erfahren ...

Our “Sauna tour” already starts in the “sauna bus”, another invention brought up by the Fins to share stories about their sauna history and culture.

 

Einige bieten erfrischen innovatives Sauna-Yoga an, wie hier bei Ruka Safaris gesehen ...

Some offer sauna refreshingly different, such as Sauna yoga being offered by Ruka Safaris …

 

… andere wiederum starten mit einer gemütlichen Outdoor Pool Party ...

… others like to take to a cool Outdoor Pool Party first …

 

… nur um uns beizubringen, wie man sich in der dampfenden, finnischen Sauna "richtig abklopft" ...

… only to teach us how to gently whip each other with aromatic herbs in the true Finnish steam sauna …

 

… wohl als Vorbereitung auf das, was uns wenig später hier erwartet: Die echte, einzig wahre, finnische EIS SAUNA.

… preparing us, most likely, for what’s to follow: A visit to the one & only ICE SAUNA. Quite literally, out of this world!

 

Einfach genial. Wie Ihr hierher kommt und wo es sich dabei am besten nächtigen lässt, erfahrt Ihr hier.

A precious gem, don’t you think? Check out my previous post here telling you how and when to get here.

 

VIELEN DANK an dieser Stelle an meine tolle Truppe, mit der ich Lappland bereisen durfte: Unsere internationalen Journalisten

THANK YOU to all my team who have made this trip such a wonderful experience: Eva Kiviranta from VisitFinland as well as our international journalists from Russia, England, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Austria & Spain. What a meeting here at Santa Claus’ home in Lapland!

 

Fancy watching even more Lapland photographs? Here they are. See you soon in Finland! 🙂

Disclaimer: We have been invited by VisitFinland on this trip to Lapland. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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