Chasing the Northern Lights

Chasing the Northern Lights was something I always wanted to do so when my husband surprised me with a holiday to Finland to see the Northern Lights, I was over the moon. We set of for the trip with another couple who are our good friends.
We stayed at the Muotka Wilderness Lodge which was a lovely place with very welcoming staff. I loved spending time in the wood burning sauna after a day in the snow. The scenery surrounding the Lodge was beautiful and it was lovely to be able to look out to see reindeer walking amongst the trees, especially at Christmas. The food was also delicious and my friend who was vegetarian also found a good variety of choice.
Lapland Northern LightsPhoto courtesy of www.theaurorazone.com

On our first day we were welcomed by our helpful guide who gave us some useful advice on how to find the Lights. We went skiing in the day and at night headed out to witness an Aurora. We headed out on sled and as we did so I felt that excitement I remember feeling during childhood at Christmas time. Being pulled on a sled amongst the snow, it was just incredible. We were lucky enough to see the beautiful Aurora display, something I will never forget.

The next day we took the opportunity to go exploring in snowshoes. The guide led us through the forest and we enjoyed a picnic out in the open. At night we all headed out as a group on the minibus to find another Aurora display. Booking a package with tour guides is the best way to experience the Northern lights as our guide used the Aurora forecast to decide what route to take, making sure we saw the lights.
On Christmas eve we went to visit the Sami Silda museum. I found it fascinating to learn about the culture and history of the Sami people. The museum gift shop was an excellent place to pick up handmade Christmas presents for the family. At night we had a traditional Finnish Christmas dinner and then my husband and I joined our friends by the campfire to enjoy some drinks while looking out at the snow covered landscape. Truly a magical evening with that festive feeling.
Northern LightsPhoto Courtesy of D33pan via Flickr.com

On Christmas day we headed out to the reindeer farm on snowmobile. My husband was really eager to drive the snowmobile so I let him drive it on the way to the farm. We enjoyed learning about the history of reindeer. To us reindeer are something we associate with Christmas and Santa but as we learned, they are actually an important part of the Sami culture. On the way back, my husband reluctantly let me drive the snowmobile.
One of my favorite days was boxing day. The day was spent at the husky farm and we went on a husky safari. In the evening we went on our final Aurora hunt. While looking at the beautiful display of lights I remember feeling happy but sad that it was the last time I was looking at this once in a lifetime experience.
I feel really lucky that I got to go and see the Northern Lights. Being there at christmas was extra special and we got to enjoy a magical white christmas. Booking the package with the tour guide really helped us make the most of the trip.