It’s that time of year when the temperature drops, the decorations start to come out and all of the Christmas books hit the shelves and maybe this has inspired today’s entry on the Bucket List. I recently reviewed Tilly Tennant’s The Christmas Wish here on the blog and have Darcie Boleyn’s Love at the Northern Lights coming up, both of which feature a visit to view this natural phenomena, so today’s addition to the wish list is hunting for the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.
I know I am not alone in having the desire to see the Northern Lights on my list of must-dos. Until recently, I was engaged in selling travel and the demand for trips to see this phenomenon has grown exponentially year on year. You can view them from cruises which guarantee a free return trip if they aren’t spotted during your voyage. You can see them from 40,000 feet on special flights taking off in the UK with an astronomer on board to give you all the scientific background. You can see them on a city break in Iceland. However, my dream Aurora hunting trip is very specific and involves lying back, snuggled in a warm bed and staring up at them dancing across the sky through the roof of a glass igloo at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort near Saariselka in Finnish Lapland.
The minute I saw the images of these ethereal buildings gently glowing in the darkened, snowy forest nestled in Urho Kekkonen National Park, my romantic heart was stirred and I was determined that one day I would be burrowed under furry coverlets (I don’t know if they have these, but this is my fantasy so I’m going with it) with the man of my dreams as we stare up at a sky alive with vibrant rippling colour, just for us. That would definitely be the makings of a night that you’d look fondly back on from your dotage when you limbs are frail and the only travelling you can do is through the memories in your mind.
It sounds kind of lazy to view the lights lying down, but I am sure I would be partaking of the multitude of active outdoor excursions on offer in the area, Downhill skiing & snowboarding, snowmobiling, reindeer safaris, ice fishing and husky sledding are all available, some of which I was lucky enough to have tried before and would do again. Husky sledding in particular is one of my top five favourite things I have ever done (maybe the full list will appear in another post) and I would absolutely love to repeat it, but there are some other experiences on offer that I’ve never tried before. Riding safaris in the snow? Yes, please. Icebreaker Sampo? Absolutely! Cross-country skiing? I’d love to try it, especially with the promise of a sauna, warm bed and the prospect of all-night viewing of one of the world’s most fascinating and beautiful natural phenomenon on offer.
Kakslauttanen is open outside of the winter months and there are a lot of activities available through the year that also sound appealing. Hiking and mountain biking. ATV and horse safaris. Canoeing and whitewater kayaking. Panning for gold and foraging for berries and mushrooms, And, of course, the summer has the virtue of long daylight hours in which to enjoy the outdoors. But the best time to see the Aurora Borealis is late-September to late-March, so this is when you’ll find me there – one day.