WINTER TRAVEL GUIDE – SWEDISH LAPLAND PART 1

By Wednesday, February 24, 2016 21 , Permalink 3

Swedish LaplandHello! I am so excited today to share my first post about our recent travels. After the warmest, wettest winter on record in the UK, we decided it was time to get away and find some real wintery landscapes and snow. On arriving in Luleå, Sweden – we cautiously got in our hire car and drove 170km on glistening ice roads to Jokkmokk. Our trusty steed for the week gripped to the icy roads in amazing style! Layers and layers of fresh white snow were piled up all around and barely a sound came from the forests as we passed them on our travels to the middle of Swedish Lapland. Watch out for Reindeer and Moose were the words of advice as we left the airport – yep they just wander on out into the road in ones, twos, fives . . . . . .Swedish Lapland Jokkmokk Lake This was the morning view we woke up to on our first stop at the Hotel Jokkmokk. These magical scenes of dog walkers making the most of the solid water could be seen every day out over the frozen Talvatis lake. Talvatis lake jokkmokkAll around are trees and cabins and wood. I fell in love with nearly every home and building we passed and we passed a lot, our five snowy days were about as packed as they could be!Swedish Lapland Nil's ReindeerWe met so many people (and animals) – craftsmen, reindeer herders, a foraged ‘food creator’ and lots of local business owners. This beauty above was part of Sámi reindeer herder Nils’ herd. These majestic animals summer up in the mountains and are then led down to warmer ground for feeding and closer care in the snowy months when they can no longer forage moss from the ground. Below is the exterior of the Ájttes Museum – inside our lovely guide, Sofia talked us through the culture of the Sami people and how they have survived in this challenging landscape that covers marsh, woods and mountains – since the country became free of ice until today.Swedish Lapland Ájtte museumWe saw amazing temporary Lavvo tents lined with birch twigs to keep the cold ground at bay and animal skins for extra warmth. A dreamy rustic setting that quickly gets serious when you stop to think what it would actually be like to live outdoors long term – moving all your belongings with you via sled and wayward reindeer. We loved learning about this fascinating culture, a swirling history steeped in folklore and harsh realities. I could have stayed all day looking at ancient artifacts (if you go – make sure to see the shaman belt and baby hats stitched from treasured pieces of colourful fabric that had huge red pompoms and tassels.Swedish Lapland JokkmokkThe town of Jokkmokk was hushed and quite, a vast difference from only a couple of weeks before when the Winter Market – a four-hundred-year unbroken tradition – saw this town overrun with excited visitors. Behind these quiet scenes pockets of skilled artisans are making all manner of treasures from silver, wool, botanicals and nature (more of that in my next post).Swedish Lapland BovallenFurther down in Harads – the views were astounding in every direction and we barely felt the cold. It didn’t feel like the chill you get here in blighty – it was bright white and dry and yes our mouths got chapped (and hands a little when taking photos without gloves) – but with good boots and a proper winter coat, my feet stayed warm and my body had no idea it was sub zero!Swedish Lapland Bovallen We drove up and down the country in our five days and passed lots of tiny villages and towns. The traditional red wood clad cabins and beautiful out buildings looked magical against their snowy backdrop.Swedish LaplandWhite dusted trees stood tall and straight all around as we jumped in and out of the Volvo to shoot pictures. I can’t even describe how beautiful it was to be surrounded by all this snow and nature.Swedish LaplandSwedish LaplandGlimpses of birch and pines were always visible through the windows and this furry fellow was perfectly posed outside a home in Gammelstad Church Town. I will be back tomorrow with more highlights from our trip and some interiors I just know you will love! If you can’t wait until then get over to Swedish Lapland and Visit Sweden and see what season you’d like to spend there? xxxSwedish Lapland Gammelstad Old Church Town

  • Jeska these photos are BEAUTIFUL! What a lovely, cosy, real & proper winter-y place to curl up!

    Sal x

    • Thank you Sally – it was so lovely, five days was not enough! :)

  • katyatapartmentapothecary

    Wow, wow, wow! So much to love about all of this. I simply must go (and see those naughty mooses) xxx

    • They are amazing! We only spotted one but he was huge and reindeers everywhere! :)

  • What an absolute dream of a holiday. I can’t get over how beautiful these pictures are!

  • What an absolute dream of a holiday. I can’t get over how beautiful these pictures are!

  • What stunning photos! It looks like such a wonderful place. Like you I’ve been craving winter – snow and crisp blue skies are good for the soul! I can’t to see the next installment! x

  • What stunning photos! It looks like such a wonderful place. Like you I’ve been craving winter – snow and crisp blue skies are good for the soul! I can’t to see the next installment! x

    • Yay! It did feel really good to experience a proper winter in a country that can handle and embrace it’s snow! ;)

  • Caroline

    Such beautiful photos and words, Jeska!
    I grew up in Swedish Lapland and Tornedalen and spent all my school-free time outside enjoying the nature. It’s been almost ten years since I moved away and even though my parents send me pictures and I visit every year, your photos bring back memories and feelings like nothing else. It’s a special place. Thanks for sharing your little Lapland story. :)

    Oh, and years ago I used to read everyone of your posts and I found so much joy and delight in your texts and photos. I’m very happy to see that you’re still here. Your digital (and your real one as well, I bet) is so full of creativity and energy it’s hard to stay still after a visit.

    • Thank you for your lovely words Caroline, it has made my day to receive such a complement from a local. We had such a wonderful time, too many memories to fit in two posts!

      So I am writing another for tomorrow about an amazing lady we spent an afternoon with, I hope you’ll visit again :)

      • Caroline

        I’m glad you had a great time and I look forward to your nex post! The winter here in Stockholm have been mostly gray and wet, so every little glimpse of thick snow and birch trees makes me full of winter craving. Sometimes all you need is snow inside your clothes and cold air in your lungs. :)

        • It did feel so good – to be away from our computer screens with the snow all around and fresh pine air :)

        • It did feel so good – to be away from our computer screens with the snow all around and fresh pine air :)

      • Caroline

        I’m glad you had a great time and I look forward to your nex post! The winter here in Stockholm have been mostly gray and wet, so every little glimpse of thick snow and birch trees makes me full of winter craving. Sometimes all you need is snow inside your clothes and cold air in your lungs. :)

  • Caroline

    Such beautiful photos and words, Jeska!
    I grew up in Swedish Lapland and Tornedalen and spent all my school-free time outside enjoying the nature. It’s been almost ten years since I moved away and even though my parents send me pictures and I visit every year, your photos bring back memories and feelings like nothing else. It’s a special place. Thanks for sharing your little Lapland story. :)

    Oh, and years ago I used to read everyone of your posts and I found so much joy and delight in your texts and photos. I’m very happy to see that you’re still here. Your digital (and your real one as well, I bet) is so full of creativity and energy it’s hard to stay still after a visit.

  • Melanie

    So so beautiful. I am having serious wanderlust!

  • Rike

    Love your pics!

    Just got back from swedish winterwonderland and missing it already…

    • Yes! We cannot wait to go back for another adventure :)