Santa, elves and a dash of snowy magic

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL 2013 -

KATY HILL

THE WORD “mag­i­cal” is of­ten used to de­scribe La­p­land, but it’s hard to think of a bet­ter one.

The snow is thick on the ground and, be­cause it’s only light for two hours in the mid­dle of each day dur­ing the depths of win­ter, ev­ery­where is lit up. The re­sult is like be­ing in a magic king­dom be­cause the snow glis­tens and sparkles in the re­flected light.

We stayed in a toasty log cabin in Lu­osto com­plete with Christ­mas tree, open fire and sauna, al­though we were too busy dur­ing our short stay to use it.

On the first morn­ing we were in­tro­duced to “mush­ing” – our chil­dren, Kaya Skye, seven, and Akira, three, were ex­cited at the thought of be­ing pulled along on a sledge by a pack of huskies, es­pe­cially as my hus­band Trey was go­ing to be in charge of the reins as the huskies raced through the trees.

Trey was warned that, when we came to a hill, he’d have to jump off and help push the sledge. It proved to be a ma­jor work­out.

The chil­dren and I had a lovely, long, re­lax­ing ride through the snowy hills; Trey less so. Af­ter that, and as a re­ward, we were al­lowed a go on a Ski­doo, a mo­tor­bike suit­able for the snow. Trey and I have spent many hours on his bikes with him at the helm. I thought it fair that he trust me this time. By the end, he was al­most as white as the snow.

The time we spent at the Kopara Rein­deer Farm was one of our high­lights. We sat on a sleigh un­der rugs to keep us warm and were pulled along by the an­i­mals at high speed.

It was thrilling. At one point Akira turned to me. “Mummy,” he said, “when are we go­ing to take off ?” It was one of the sweet­est things I’d ever heard.

Not long af­ter­wards, as we were dash­ing through the for­est, the only sound was the run­ners in the snow and the sleigh bells on the necks of the rein­deer. On our sec­ond morn­ing, we would meet Fa­ther Christ­mas. But first, there was much fun to be had tobog­gan­ing in the snow.

We were lucky to be in La­p­land with fam­i­lies who’d been flown there by the Starlight char­ity. It ar­ranges mem­o­rable trips for chil­dren and those with life-threat­en­ing and life-short­en­ing con­di­tions.

And I love the fact that Starlight makes a fuss of sib­lings and par­ents, too, since the whole fam­ily is so dra­mat­i­cally af­fected. Through­out the whole trip, we were looked af­ter and en­ter­tained by Santa’s elves – ev­ery­one from Speedy Sam to Snowy Bowy.

They were a huge hit, es­pe­cially when we vis­ited the Post Of­fice where let­ters to Santa get de­liv­ered from all over the world, and the Elves’ House where toys are made.

Af­ter that, we were de­liv­ered to Fa­ther Christ­mas’s house. Mrs Claus was there and we met the great man him­self. He asked the chil­dren if they’d been good. Of course, they said yes and he gave each a present.

I’d say that the op­ti­mum age for a child go­ing to La­p­land would be five to seven – old enough to re­mem­ber ev­ery­thing but young enough to be­lieve in Santa. – Daily Mail

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