After reading the itinerary for this trip I knew this was going to be my kind of holiday. To say I wasn’t disappointed would be a colossal understatement. This trip screams, or more accurately I should say, roars action: ploughing through the snow at 100km per hour on a snowmobile over a frozen fjord was definitely one of my personal highlights. Snowmobiling alone is enough to pique my competitiveness, but throw king crab fishing into the mix and I am in my element. After successfully catching the biggest (obviously), I continued with the others and set off back to Lavvo where we enjoyed our catch, which was cooked to perfection and enjoyed with a crisp and most welcome glass of wine. Each day it seemed I was ticking item after item off my bucket list and the second day was no exception. Husky sledding was incredible! After some initial training concerning how to steer the dogs and about basic safety, we were let loose for four hours to explore the vast wilderness close to the Russian border. I’m ashamed to say it, but initially, I wasn’t convinced the huskies would know how to get us back, but I should have known that these dogs have their own Norwegian version of “The Knowledge” and of course, with only a little guidance from the musher, knew exactly where they were going.
I didn’t think this trip could get any better, but when the Northern Lights made an appearance during the bus tour (another tick off the old bucket list); I was proven wrong, yet again.
Other highlights of my visit included an excursion to the Second World War air raid shelter Andersgrotta, which, unless you were specifically looking for it, would remain regrettably hidden.
Accommodation during my stay varied in style. Thon Hotel has the advantageous quayside position overlooking the fjord, and although its exterior doesn’t show much promise, this is actually an incredibly modern and stylish hotel.
On the final day, so desperate to eke out every last bit of this break, I was on the verge of returning to hide in one of the ornately carved ice rooms of Kirkenes Snowhotel, which are beautifully decorated with art created from ice. Each year, the Snow Hotel is built anew signed with a specific theme and many would say I would be camouflaged brilliantly by the hotel’s current theme of trolls...