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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Not quite ready to say goodbye…to snow

Written by Antoinette Marie
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Spring is almost here, and I can’t wait. As the warmer weather arrives I have to admit as much as I dislike being cold, I will miss the snow. I love the idea of going outside making snow angels, building igloos and coming back in to warm my hands by the fire. Do I want to do this every day? Probably not. I could definitely live in a place where palm trees were the norm. With that being said, I would still want to see snow on occasion and if I had the nerve, take a trip to the North Pole to experience it in a way not possible in my back yard. 


First let me start off by saying getting to the North Pole can be done in all kinds of dramatic ways. Let’s face it, any way you get there is dramatic but you have options to make it even more spectacular. You can go by dog-sled, helicopter, skis, ice-breaker ship or simply parachute in. Seriously? Seriously. 


As you make your way to the North Pole, you’ll be on an ice-breaker ship part of the way and will see the front part of the ship cut away at the ice and push it to the sides as it makes its way through. I would not venture out into this expedition if you have any fears of whales tipping ships (I may have one or two) as you might see them swimming in the ocean as well as native birds that will land on the ship. When you arrive you have the option of getting out and taking a small hike to the “top of the world.” Most tours do a champagne toast. Because each tour is different, you’ll have all kinds of options like taking a helicopter ride and sky-diving over the North Pole. You can make your own mini movie or take lots of pictures to brag to all your friends and family back home. 


Just like how you get there, where you stay is as dramatic with just as many options. You can visit for the day and take as many pictures to show all your friends and family or you can stay at or near the North Pole in an igloo. Igloos are all different. You may be the rugged kind and want to go all out. This is definitely doable. In Svalbard, part of the islands in Norway, you can stay in an authentic igloo. While there, check out the museums nearby, go dog-sledding and depending when you go, you may see the Northern lights. 


Perhaps staying in a real igloo is not for you but you still want the experience.  In Finnish, Lapland, the Kakslauttanen Igloo Village (located above the Arctic Circle), there are a few ways you can stay warm. They have log cabins, authentic igloos and not to be outdone glass igloos which are by far the most romantic. At least I think so. The bottom part of the igloo is nestled down into the ground with only the top part showing. The top or the roof of the igloo is made of glass, so as you sleep you can watch the night sky. Romantic right? Each glass igloo has its own beds and bathroom. In the morning if you really want to be adventurous you can swim in one of the ice holes or head to the sauna. Once a year the Kakslauttanen Igloo Village builds sculptors made out of ice, including an ice bar, chapel and a snow restaurant. 


After planting your spring flowers and watering your gardens, a trip to an igloo with huskies, polar bears and the occasional jump out of a helicopter to drink champagne may be in order. 

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