Dog sledding through the wilderness
Kiruna Travel Blog› entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
On Wednesday, given that its impossible to really have a hotel room to use as a home base (because its made out of ice and below freezing and a tourist attraction) we went into the town of Kiruna to go on an excursion. We decided to skip the Ice Hotel-sponsored excursions (about 1000kr more) and booked a dog sledding/snowmobile tour through the town tourism office. We navigated to the tourist office and waited for a 10 am pickup.
Not knowing what to expect…10am rolled around and a young, mid-30s dog sledding guide picked us up in his Audi all-wheel drive and then went to another local hotel to pick up two more people. There was nothing obnoxiously commercial about this jaunt. No bright blue minibus to pick us up, no gaudy signs saying DOG SLEDDING SAFARI!, it was just a dog sledding guide and his team of dogs that him and his 3 person crew used.
After a short drive, we arrived at his house (or training facility house, not sure which…). There was a small three room building where the equipment was stored with about 5-10 dog sledding carriages. Behind that, there were about 15 dog pens, each with 2-5 huskies. After meeting the dogs for a little bit, our guide grabbed 11 excited huskies and we helped put them in their harnesses and attached them to the sled.
Once the dogs were ready, Katie and the other two people got on the dog sled to start with and I jumped on the snowmobile. For about 2 hrs we cruised through the Sweden wilderness, alternating between sitting in the dog sled, driving the snowmobile, and helping our guide on the back of the dog sled. The atmosphere and landscape was amazing. You fell into a trance gliding through the snow-packed woods.
Two-thirds of the way through the adventure, we stopped at a tepee and had some freshly brewed coffee. The coffee was brewed in a well-used, iron tea kettle boiled over a small homemade wood fire. The coffee was accompanied with some sweet, home-baked pastries. After an hour and a half of being out in the wilderness, the mantra “everything tastes better over the fire” definitely rang true.