I feel like I start most of my posts by apologising for how late I post things. I’ve probably scared most of you off by now since 99% of you might just assume this blog has stopped, but good on you if you’re reading this and hanging in there! I promise I’ll be better!
This is a big one anyway. One that’s been on my bucket-list for a while, and probably on a lot of yours too! My dream of sleeping under the Northen Lights at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort was finally coming true, and when better to do it than your 4 year anniversary? Huzzah!
It was only for a long weekend, and bloody hell, it’s far away. We (for some reason) thought we could just fly to Helsinki and drive, but no no, you need to get another flight to Ivalo. So we left Friday morning, spent a couple of hours in Helsinki airport (wasn’t really enough time to go into town) and arrived in Ivalo Friday evening. I was planning on snoozing on the plane, but the fact that FinAir gives you free blueberry juice was for some reason too exciting to me.
If you watched my Insta story, you’d see we flew into the smallest airport in the world, with about 4 men stood outside the (one) gate, from different hotels, waiting for the guests to arrive. There were quite a few heading where we were (tip – you need to organise and pay for the transfer in advance if you’re going!). The drive on the bus was about half an hour, which kind of hit us that we were in the middle of bloody no where, and SO far away from home.
But this was our new home for 2 nights.
Yes, my dreams and Instagram Saved tab were filled with the glass igloos, but we went for a Kel0-Glass Igloo for a few reasons.
- The glass igloos have zero privacy (obviously). The Kelo-Glass Igloo has the best of both worlds, a bed in the lodge part and a bed in the glass igloo section. It can actually sleep up to 6 people.
- The glass igloos don’t have showers, and you have to walk to the building with the showers. HELL NO. I’M FROM SINGAPORE. THERE’S SNOW ON THE GROUND.
- The Kelo-Glass Igloos have saunas inside. Enough said, really.
The room looked awesome (the pictures I took weren’t so hot so check it out on the website). Bathroom was very average though, it kind of reminded me of a hospital bathroom. The shampoo and body wash is all one liquid in a soap dispenser (bring your own if that’s not your thing, and conditioner, etc.), and they had one of those hair dryers attached to the wall where you have to hold down the button constantly to keep it on. I know I sound super bratty, but I just wanted to make sure I tell you so you know what to expect!
Anyway, we strolled to the glass igloos to see what we were missing. Amazing if you bring your drone and photographer boyfriend, alas I have neither. But they really do have very little privacy, since I could spot people napping (and thank god nothing else) as we walked past.
On the first night we arrived, we were so tired that we watched Riverdale and fell asleep by 10pm. Apparently the Northern Lights were OUT AND ABOUT. We were a little disappointed, but confident we’d see a little summin summin during our Northern Lights hunt that evening.
Alas, we started our only full day with some breakfast at the restaurant. Breakfast and dinner are included in your stay (I had no idea), which was a nice surprise.
You don’t have to book breakfast, but you have to book your dinner, which can either be at 6pm or 8pm.
I concluded that they would have nothing for vegans and stocked up with Kind Bars and Emily’s Fruit Crisps, but they were actually not so bad.
I mean, breakfast wasn’t fab, but it wasn’t the worst I’ve had. Toast, margarine, jam, hash browns galore. I was just thankful I could eat, really. Obviously the breakfast buffet had A LOT more for everyone else!
There’s not a huge amount to do at the resort as we arrived a week before the winter season’s activities started (all the good stuff), and we weren’t keen for husking hiking etc, so we got a taxi into the closest town (ordered, obviously, we couldn’t exactly hail one down), which is Saariselkä.
So, not a huge amount in Saariselkaä. A lot of places were closed until winter season (WHICH WAS THE NEXT WEEK WAAA), so we walked around the town, which is a loop basically. After our loop (which didn’t take very long), we saw a pub and decided to settle in for a game of backgammon – by the way we are obsessed with our travel set, makes a great christmas present, you’re welcome.
The barmaid suggested a hot rum punch, and I was like YES perfect.
At least, I think she said the word ‘punch’. It was literally hot rum, maybe a tiny bit of water, but definitely at least 80% rum. It actually wasn’t as bad as it smelt, but I couldn’t drink it. We’re definitely in Finland.
After I crushed Luke at backgammon and cheerleaded him on to finish our heated up rum, I got hungry. We found a restaurant with a vegan burger, but alas, closed until winter season, surprise surprise.
We stumbled across the smallest burger place and tried out luck. She said the veggie burger wasn’t vegan, so I settled for chips while Luke got himself a hot dog. Then, the woman tottered out of the back towards us with a box full of the veggie burgers and read out the ingredients. VEGAN IT WAS! HURRAH FOR VEGAN BURGER IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!
Okay, it wasn’t that great, but it was a bloody vegan burger! That was awesome enough in itself.
We went off to the supermarket (which was stocked with Oatly products, hurrah!) to stock up for midnight snacks as we were determined to stay up for the Northern Lights that evening. Instant noodles, chocolate oat milk, avocados, crackers, biscuits and chocolate galore.
Dinner was at 6pm since we booked a Northern Lights tour at 8pm, where we go with a group in individual little quad-car-buggy things (can you tell I don’t remember the name?) in the winter you can do quad bikes when there’s more snow, but to be honest it was so cold I’m glad I could sit back with the heating on (Luke obv drove) – more on that later.
If you tell them your dietary requirements, they’re really good. I said before that I expected to eat bread the whole trip, but they were like “No problem!” when I told them I was vegan. You still get bread, starter, main, dessert.
On the first night, I got broccoli soup as a starter, which was AMAZING. Second night was a green salad. Not a green salad fan. I did that thing where you play around with your food and try to get your boyfriend to eat it so it doesn’t look rude.
Main was better, which was ravioli but wrapped in a cabbage leaf instead of pasta, with veg and rice (and yes, I avoided the peppers).
We saw that the main that evening was Reindeer, which Luke refused to eat, so he made sure he order the fish option. (There’s no menu by the way, there’s a little board when you walk in which says what’s for dinner, but you can get a meat, fish or veg (or vegan!) option.
Dessert was the same as the day before, a berry parfait thing. How nice!
It’s not a five-star meal, but my expectations were so low with vegan food here to start with that I couldn’t help but be happy.
Our Northern Lights tour was not successful. We drove around, saw little bits but it was so cloudy that you couldn’t see much clearly. We stopped halfway and lit a fire, drinking hot juice and eating biscuits (none for me though), which was really nice. It was a fun thing to do though, definitely would recommend.
They said the clouds usually clear up late night/early hours of the morning, so we stayed up as late as we could. Nothing much, really. DAMN US SLEEPING EARLY ON THE FIRST NIGHT.
Nonetheless (lol am I writing a school essay), it was an amazing trip, and I’m so happy we did it, just to tick off sleeping in a glass igloo.
We had to leave early Sunday morning since that was the time the Ivalo-Helsinki flight was, and they packed us little breakfasts which was sweet. They even picked us up from the cabin, THANK GOODNESS, since it’s a 10 minute walk to the reception, which doesn’t sound like much but it was SO COLD.
We waved farewell to our little cabin home and the black cat that roams around the resort, and off to the tiny airport we went for our few hours in Helsinki, where I planned to eat every vegan burger I could find. STAY TUNED.