We have a good variety of different means of transport in Finland. Instead of your ordinary microcar, scooter or moped you can also pick a kicksled, roller skis or a reindeer, depending on the weather. Or you can do what we did and hop on a sled pulled by huskies.
A Family of 100
104 dogs, each one an individual. Some are younger and others older, some of them are friends and others have a bit less chemistry. But they are all eager. Together they consume about a hundred kilos of food a day. They are Alaskan huskies, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. Obviously their owner Päivi knows each and every dog by name. You should know all your family members, even if there were over a hundred of them.
We got to meet Päivi’s dogs on Christmas morning at Polar Lights Tours in Levi, Lapland. She also has eight Finnish horses who we had already gotten to know pretty well when we went riding in the forest. And not only did we get to meet the dogs, we got to go on their morning run. At nine in the morning the dogs had just finished their breakfast and were all excited. We could hear them howling a mile away as they were jumping up and down looking forward to the first safari of the day.
There are five dogs in front of each sled. The order in which the dogs are placed is carefully considered as the dogs need to able to get along and work together. They seem to love people – I have one dog poking my hand inviting me to pat him while another is leaning on my leg.
There are two of us in each sled: one steers the composition while the other sits in the sled and enjoys the ride. We decide I steer first and then we switch half-way. The start is speedy and eventful and I soon notice you actually have to pay attention. The one sitting down can relax and admire the scenery.
How Do You Drive This Thing?
The actual driving is pretty straightforward as long as you pay attention to the simple instructions given to you beforehand. Just remember to keep a safe distance to the sled in front of you so the dogs don’t hurt their legs in the runners. The brake pedal is easy to find but at first I had now idea how to get the dogs running again after stopping them. Finally I realised I should just hop off the runners and give the sled a little push and off we were again.
You should also keep a close eye on the dogs in case nature calls. If one dog needs to stop the driver has to make sure the others stop as well so the ropes stay tight and don’t get tangled up.
As an activity a husky safari is good fun for the whole family and suitable for kids as well. The youngest participant on our safari fell fast asleep in the sled though so she missed a lot of the fun. But she was so cute.
As an experience a husky safari in the Finnish winter nature is something you should not skip on your trip to Lapland.
What? A 1-hour husky safari on Christmas Day.
Where and how to get there? In Levi, Lapland. Easiest way to get there is to fly to Kittilä, Levi is only 15 minutes from the airport.
Organised by Polar Lights Tours. They offer a variety of husky safaris and horse riding trips and transportation to their premises is included in the booking.
Questions? Or just want to say hi? Drop me a line in the comment box below or send email. Happy to reply!
In cooperation with Polar Lights Tours.