A week or so ago myself, Wilf and my little sister Serin were invited to take a trip to Lapland with Thomsons. I have to admit I literally had no idea what to expect, from what to wear to what we would eat, to how we would get in on in such cold temperatures.
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We were due to check in for our flight at the excruciating time of 4am meaning waking around 3am (actually I was so nervous I ended up getting up around 2.30am). Poor Wilf wasn't coping too well with such an early start and although I had this crazy idea he might sleep on the 3 and a half hour flight..he didn't (of course!) and there were a few tears which I guess is how all good family holidays go ;).
I've never been on a package holiday so it was the first time I'd had the experience of everyone on the plane going to the same place for the same thing. It did give it a sense of camaraderie and the flight attendants were so good singing carols with the kids and handing out Christmas themed activity packs.
After such an exhausting morning and with Finland being two hours ahead in time I was pleased to hear that on our first day on the trip we were pretty much free to do what we liked. After we arrived at Kittila we were met by our friendly elf Cranberry and driven an hours drive to our hotel, the Snow Princess. The scenery on our drive was simply breathtaking and it gave me butterflies thinking about the landscape we were about to discover. Apparently the drive we took is considered to be one the most picturesque in the whole of Finland.
We arrived at our hotel and before we even checked into our rooms we were taken to a tipi for a champagnue toast around a fire. We had been told it was going to be around -20 when we arrived but the weather had taken a very warm turn and it was only -1 (which is how we were able to spend sometime in our ordinary clothes before checking in).
I had wondered if we needed to kit ourselves out in snow gear before we came but was assured the holiday had us covered. We were taken to a room in the hotel which stocked all the appropriate clothing you could ask for including full snow suits, boots, thermal socks, gloves and hat. Wilf is 2,8 and was still a teeny bit too small for the smallest suit they had available but it wasn't really a problem more an observation that a younger child would probably need to bring their
After lunch we were dying to head out into the snow so we donned our suits, grabbed a sledge from the stack piled at the door and took to the slope in front of the hotel.
I have to say it was completely wonderful to be surrounded by so much snow and for Wilf who has never really experienced snow his eyes were as big as saucers! I felt a little sad that Tom was having to miss this experience (he didn't have any time left off work) and he also said as soon as he saw us out in the snow (on IG) he missed us terribly. Although that's just an excuse to visit again as a family I guess. My sister Serin was almost as excited as Wilf so see so much snow and even I had a few goes whizzing down the slope on my sledge. So much fun!
It only really gets vaguely light around 10.30am-ish and by 4pm its pitch dark once more which made taking photos really difficult throughout the trip. By the time we had gone out to explore the snow after lunch, dark was already falling and made us feel even more ready for bed. With a long day ahead of us for the next day we grabbed some dinner and tried to call it an early night.
I think I might have to split these posts up a bit or they will get super long! I'll be back to tell you about husky rides and evening snowmobile sleigh rides too!
we were invited to Lapland with Thomson but all words and thoughts are my own