To survive in such a harsh and inhospitable environment, you must be savvy about planning ahead for your supper. In fact, the summer harvest of fish, meat and berries for the Sámi often feeds them throughout the harsher months of winter. Over time they have mastered making the most of the snow and ice to create electricity-free fridge freezers to preserve things, producing lingonberry jams and smoking Arctic Char to last them for the cold months ahead. The end result on your plate is a foraged and locally sourced feast of reindeer meatballs or smoked Arctic Char with berry sauces and local vegetables. You can guarantee that everything fed to you has been sourced within five miles of where you sit.
Full from your feast, you will then served some sweet treats over a coffee and some squeaky cheese At first glance, you’d be forgiven being unsure due to its unappealing appearance, but Lennart explains you’ll need to plunge it in your tea before eating it. It feels like a bad joke you are the butt of but really, it is rather delicious – I ended up eating an entire block.
Technology Free Life
Even if you wanted to cheat this one, the lack of signal will make it rather difficult. The only bit of tech you might be able to make the most of is that of your camera – if it can stand the cold. With no television, darkness from 3pm and facility-free rooms, you are forced to continue to make the most of the outdoors, listen to Lennart’s captivating stories and learn more about the extraordinary part of the world you are in. It is liberating and rewarding and really helps capture what this place is all about.
Silence & Northern Lights
The final surprise, if the night allows, is the Northern Lights. Far from light pollution and any other distractions on the surface of a frozen river, wait safely on a platform of ice thicker than you are tall. The silence is overwhelming, save for all the whooping you’ll be doing when the blues, greens and pinks light up the night’s sky. As magical as the Northern Lights themselves are the stars around them – Orion’s Belt, shooting stars, and from time to time the glow of Venus and Mars all those millions of miles away. In my opinion, it is one of the most magical places in the world to view them.