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Husky Dog Sledding in Kirkenes – Norway
5th May 2017
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It’s our final day of activities and today we are going Husky Dog Sledding in Kirkenes. I’ve been looking forward to this since I set foot on Norwegian soil. I love adventures and I’m a big dog lover so this is right up my street.

Again, we were picked up at the ship and transferred to the Kirkenes Snow Hotel. This was a real treat as we weren’t sure if we would get to see the Snow Hotel or not. It turns out the Husky Dog Sledding we had booked was right in front of the Snow Hotel. How exciting!!!! A world where you sleep in snow, walk on snow and can dogsled on snow. They even serve snow in their restaurant. The Kirkenes Snowhotel is situated 8km outside Kirkenes in the secluded wilds of Northern Norway. There, 180 huskies excitedly await your arrival and Reindeer graze behind their unique chalets.

Kirkenes Snowhotel opened for the first time in 2006, and since then they have been giving their guests a wonderful experience in one of Norway’s most beautiful surroundings. Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is like a small treasure, uniquely decorated by artists from around the world. All of their 20 rooms have a different theme from their Arctic culture or nature. The lighted ice sculptures give the Snowhotel a very cosy and special atmosphere.  No matter the temperature outside, the Snowhotel holds a stable -4 celsius temperature. They have rooms in different sizes,  for 2 to 5 people, so you can bring your family or friends to experience this arctic adventure together.

When we were finished exploring the Hotel and the Ice Bar it was time to feed some Reindeers and meet our dogs. We got to meet every dog from the newborn puppies to the oldest retired dogs before we set off on our adventure.

We had a thrilling Husky Ride through the Arctic Wilderness, which started off quite slow but as the ride continued the adrenaline began to pump. We were brought up hills, down hills around hairpin bends, through artic woodlands and finally back to our starting point at the Snow Hotel. I know I’ve said it before but this was truly an experience of a lifetime. I’m a huge dog lover but in just a short period of time I felt I built up a bond with the dogs and I wanted to go again. Even if I could go again it wouldn’t be fair on the dogs as they needed a good rest after our trip. The dogs are fed a high calorie dinner with lots of water mixed through it as they get dehydrated easily. 

Before I left Ireland, I really had no idea what clothes to bring. It was my first time visiting the Arctic and my biggest fear was I’d be stuck wearing something too warm or worse again, too cold. Just like hiking in Ireland I knew that I needed layers, but I didn’t know where to begin. Luckily I called in to the fantastic team at Portwest and they kitted me out in the right attire.

Firstly they advised me to go with the Ben Micro Fleece.  This quarter zip, anti-pill 160 microfleece is easy to slip on and off in continuously changing weather. It was a nice, lightweight base layer. Not too warm and not too cold. Perfect for inside the Snow Hotel as it was lightweight, comfortable and warm. Next I needed a waterproof layer but again something light that wasn’t going to restrict me when I was filming on the Dog Sled, so they advised me to go with the Malin Jacket. Highly protective against the rain, the Malin jacket is made from 10K Ventron fabric with mesh lining and waterproof zippers. It was perfect, very breathable, lightweight and most importantly it kept me dry.

Finally, I needed waterproof trousers but for some reason when I think of waterproof trousers I automatically think sweaty pants. Is that just me? The last thing I wanted was to spend the day wearing uncomfortable damp pants under my waterproof trousers. The team at Portwest recommended their lightweight Sante Fe trousers for two reasons. One, they assured me they were breathable and secondly they had pockets and additional access pockets. This was my first time hearing about “additional access pockets” and I didn’t think much of it at the time, that was until I was coming to the end of my husky sled ride and the battery died on my camera. I didn’t have time to change the battery but luckily the additional access pockets allowed me to get my phone from the trousers I was wearing underneath and film the last minute on my phone.  It is a versatile all round over-trousers which can quickly be pulled up when conditions deteriorate. 100% polyester microfibre waterproof and breathable Ventron fabric Elasticated waistband Velcro ankle adjustment Zipped and venting gussest to calf opening. Everything Portwest supplied me with stood up to the harsh Arctic conditions effortlessly.  Everything I wore in Norway is available on their website http://www.theoutdoorshop.ie .

Sadly that was our last adventure in Norway. In just a few short days we got to do so much and more importantly, LEARN so much. Travel on a Cruise Ship in the Arctic Ocean, meet the Sami People, drive a snow mobile, visit the northernmost town in Europe, visit the Snow Hotel, feed Reindeers and take a Husky Dog Sled. Everywhere we went we were greeted by the most genuine smile in the world. At no stage did we feel unsafe, unwelcome or intimidated into buying something we didn’t want. I’d have to say it’s the friendliest country I’ve ever visited and I can’t wait to go back. Next time I’ll make sure I’m there for at least 7 days.

Finally, thanks to Fly Away Travel and Cruises For You for inviting me to Norway to film their promotional video, Its an experience I’ll never forget.

Watch the Fly Away Travel video below and book your trip to Norway today by calling 003539677771 or email info@flyawaytravel.ie

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Alan Clarke

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