Today we will get close to nature by going to the Arctic Zoo.
At the zoo, you really get to see many Arctic animals in their enclosures. As we get closer to the end of the year, it was getting colder everyday. Every breath we took can freeze up.
We took this picture to remind ourselves how cold it was as our eye lashes, hair, mask and scarf all froze up. It was very close to minus 30 degrees.
There are many cute animals to see and I have combined some of those you only get to see in the artic area. Day 6 ended after the visit to the zoo as it took almost half a day for the tour as well as driving to and fro to the zoo.
Today we woke earlier to travel up to Ivalo for the glass igloo which was included in the package.
We were greeted by more white kingdom with ankle thick soft snow. The snow was so fresh and clean you can literally fall into them and not be hurt.
We did a quick tour of the ice hotel which has a chapel, bar as well as hotel rooms. You can opt to stay at the ice hotel but when I did a research from the Internet, I found out that you have to wake up super early and check out so that tourists can come and do these ice hotel tours from the morning. So instead, we opted to stay at the glass igloo which was much more comfortable. The ice beds was also not that comfortable at all so having this tour enables us to have the full experience without staying at the ice hotel.
After the tour, we had our dinner at the townhall building which is a very warm and cosy log cabin.
After the late lunch, we got to check in to our individual glass igloos.
The igloo itself is not big with 2 twin beds and a small shower room. The entire igloo is kept at a constant temperature of 26 degrees so it was really warm and comfortable. The floors were also heated but it was still quite chilly to take a bath within the igloo.
The beds can be elevated electronically for the perfect angle for you to view the lights through the glass roof. As the glass is made with a special coating, it does not fog up even in the cold so you get a 100% clear view of the sky when all the lights are switched off.
After checking in, we headed to the nearby snow field to experience ice fishing.
This is the instructor drilling holes in the ground for the ice fishing
The instructor showing us how to fish. It is really tough as it gets very cold in the open and in the end none of us manage to get any fish.
After the tiring fishing session, we had our dinner inside the ice restaurant which is also included in the package. All the tables and chairs were made of ice with animal skin for us to sit on and even the dessert was served from an ice plate. The dinner was far from nice as most of the dishes were cold but it was the experience that counted
After dinner, we headed back to the ice bar for drinks since it was kind of like our last night. The alcohol we had was in ice cups and you can keep the cup as a souvenir or you can choose to throw them against the walls to break them.
This was like a perfect end to the trip with many first experiences.
Of course, not to forget always make a snow angel when you get snow fields that are so fresh.
Day 8 was spend at the airport as we were suppose to fly back to Helsinki for our flight home but the domestic flight was delayed and we were stuck at the airport for another 2 hours more. We were suppose to get another free and easy time in Helsinki city when we arrive but due to the delay, we headed straight to the airport instead.
Most of the day was spend on the flight and transfer in Frankfurt and we arrived back in Singapore in the evening and that marks an end of our tour.
My thoughts about the tour, it is not a bad idea to join a tour for a place that is not as accessible and safe to do a self drive and we actually got to make new friends during the trip. Many people feel that travelling all the way there for the lights is not that worth it but trust me that it is worth your every single penny and if I had extra cash now, I will book a tour to Norway to see the lights again. It sounds cliché but it is an experience money cannot buy. I will share in my next post on tips to survive the harsh winters in the Arctic.