Coming halfway around the world to Sweden, I could not miss out on the most noted icons – the freezing winter, the wilderness and the notorious northern lights. My simple quest to experience these three elements turned out to be even better than I had imagined. After a few searches online and a booking with Scandbalt tours, I was on my way to experience all that Sweden – or Lapland had to offer.

The thing is, before I booked the trip I did not realise how large Sweden actually was. Our journey from Gothenburg to Kiruna was a lengthy 23-hour bus ride or 1600 km of stretching roads – to compare, the distance between Gothenburg and Paris is just 1500km. Despite this hideously long road trip, what awaited us was well, worth it.

A brilliant sunrise and mounds of snow that covered every surface available, welcomed us. And so, the winter wonderland that Lapland is, offered us many adventurous activities for the next few days between the mere sunlit hours of 9 am to 2 pm.

I saw a real snow fall for the first time, drove a snow mobile (and at one point into a slight hole which may or may not have slightly flipped our vehicle), cross-country skied in Abisko National Park and saw the infamous Lapporten (and fell over several times), went Husky sledging, had a winter barbeque in a wood fired tent, fed some reindeers – then ate some smoked reindeer meat, met and heard stories from the Sami people, explored the small town of Narvik, went to the Arctic Circle, star gazed, saw a faint glimpse of the Northern Lights, and probably the craziest thing I have ever done…..went from a 80-degree Celsius heated wooden sauna to jumping into a lake and rolling in the snow at around -10 degrees!

Of course my words do no justice to the actual experiences of the wonders of Lapland and the beautiful landscapes it has to offer. So if you haven’t already been there, I highly recommend seeing some of the wilderness that northern Sweden and Norway has to offer!

Written by Jessie Wong

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