Day Trip to Lapland

Day Trip to Lapland

Emily, Lapland Finland. Bath Christmas Market Photography. Monarch Airways Charter flight

As you may know Emily and I took a trip to Lapland courtesy of Bath Tourism & Canterbury Travels. We couldn’t take Matilda as we didn’t have a passport for her and according to the passport office we couldn’t get her first passport in less than 7 days. As it also happens the Travel Company don’t provide snowsuits for under 2’s anyhow so she would have froze!

Our day started at 4am, up showered and dressed with the all important coffee in hand ready to meet our friends, Ben and Katie, for a 6am Check-in at Bristol Airport. With our e-tickets and passports in hand it all got very real when we sailed through check-in (I really like flying with only hand luggage!) and the excitement of going to a winter wonderland to see Santa in his actual home in Lapland really started to kick in! We went through the ever necessary security checks – which really is a more of a rigmarole for photographers than the average traveler, having to take out the cameras, lenses and iPad (on which I’m writing this blog on the flight home with everyone else on the plane asleep). Even with all the kit out the bag I always seem to set the scanners off 9 times out of 10 (I will never forget my public strip search in Dubai International when we flew back from a wedding in Malaysia…all shades of dignity left, embarrassed on the floor).

The walk to the departure gate was one of pure excitement for young and old alike! You could hear snippets of conversations from various parties. Some children knowing where they were going and others wondering where they are going at such an hour! The flight was a painless 3 hours with Monarch on one of their Boeing 757’s. Breakfast was served which was actually a lot better than the average airline meal and the stewards were great. As we drew closer to Lapland a couple of the stewards grabbed the microphone and informed everyone that we were going to have a sing-a-long of Christmas songs which was great fun!
 
 
As our descent began the atmosphere in the cabin really did seem to switch up a gear as children gradually cottoned on to where they were going. Excitement was definitely in the air with the views out of the aircraft’s windows adding to the hype. The sight was awesome with the Scandinavian sun setting on the horizon even with it only being around 1pm in the afternoon. On the ground all you could see was snow with many forests dotted around and below the lower level of cloud was the “grey light” that was described to us in the week. It truly did look as if we were being taken to a magical place.
 
Once on the ground we were ushered into the tiny airport where we were given massive, thick snow suits and boots if you wanted them. We then made our way outside where we were fitted with helmets and shown to the waiting sledges. Being pulled by snow mobiles sat on a sledge very quickly through a properly amazing winter wonderland isn’t something I’m likely to forget in a long time!!
 

Once we got to the site at Enontekio it was already very dark and was only about 4pm. We were shown all the activities we could do! But first we had make our appointment to see SANTA !!! Once this was made we had a couple hours to do activities and have some lunch before meeting the big man!

Lapland Trip 2013 with Canterbury Travels Enontekio to See Santa and Elves - Photography by Justin and Emily Krause-46 shot on Canon 6D GPS lock Daytrip

Lapland Trip 2013 with Canterbury Travels Enontekio to See Santa and Elves - Photography by Justin and Emily Krause-51 shot on Canon 6D GPS lock Daytrip

Lapland Trip 2013 with Canterbury Travels Enontekio to See Santa and Elves - Photography by Justin and Emily Krause-65 shot on Canon 6D GPS lock Daytrip

Lapland Trip 2013 with Canterbury Travels Enontekio to See Santa and Elves - Photography by Justin and Emily Krause-58 shot on Canon 6D GPS lock Daytrip

We experienced reindeer rides & husky sleigh rides. We drove snowmobiles on the frozen lake and had a proper laugh on toboggans. We found the snowcastle really great and the warm berry juice that was served in the Icebar was amazing!  Lunch was available through the day so we for that before heading to the sleigh to see Santa. While simple in nature, it was nice and warm and did just the job to warm you up; hot soup, baked potatoes and/or pasta with bolognese and a vegetarian option. For dessert there was mountains of  pancakes & jam and cream, not forgetting hot chocolate and coffee (the Finnish don’t do tea apparently).

Lapland Trip 2013 with Canterbury Travels Enontekio to See Santa and Elves - Photography by Justin and Emily Krause-70 shot on Canon 6D GPS lock DaytripAfter this it was time to see SANTA !! A short sleigh ride to his own log cabin beside the frozen lake and a short walk down some candle lit path ways. We won’t put any photographs of the man himself up. It’s not fair to spoil the surprise but he was great!! We explained we had come as we won a competition and that we wanted to bring our 15 month old daughter but she was really too little. He gave us a gift for Matilda which was lovely and then we had some photos with him!
Lapland Trip 2013 with Canterbury Travels Enontekio to See Santa and Elves - Photography by Justin and Emily Krause-77 white snow Reindeer shot on Canon 6D GPS lock Daytrip

 

The return flight from Lapland was very quiet with the majority of the children and adults alike all wiped out from the days activities. An airplane version of Christmas Dinner was served on the plane flight complete with mincepie which was great! We landed back in Bristol Airport at 11pm to very wet, cold (much colder than it felt in Lapland) weather. We agree with Santa completely when he said he preferred the Finnish dry powder snow and winter to the UK’s wet snow and rain!

 

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Would we go again with Matilda?  YES we would!  But not until she is a lot older and maybe for one of the longer trips – 2 days or 4 days. See the Canterbury Travels website for all the information you require; They’re really helpful!

If you’re in the southwest at Christmas time, don’t forget to check out Bath Christmas Market!

Merry Christmas!

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