We are 150 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle with Sara and Johan at Explore the North in Kangos, Pajala. Here, under the Arctic sky and deep in the wilderness, Sara and Johan have made a life for themselves.

– We live in an eldorado of natural phenomena and we want to share that with our guests, says Johan.

We follow Sara’s and Johan’s footsteps through the forest. Every exhalation looks like a small cloud as it meets the cold at 24 degrees below zero, but the cold doesn’t reach us underneath our three layers of clothing.

– Many guests comes to us with a dream of experiencing the northern lights, explains Sara. We wanted to give them the whole sky. There’s so much to discover up there.

– A moose passed here quite recently, interjects Johan and points to the tracks outside the dome. He smiles when he sees our surprise, –don’t worry, the moose prefer to observe you from a distance – and no, they would never tell on our guests.

There are many impressions, but now it’s more haste, less speed to the husky farm. Johan runs through the instructions ahead of our expedition with the dog teams.

I stand on the sledge brake, releases the snow anchor and memorise the different commands as we wait for the starting signal. In the sledge is my colleague and in front of us five Alaskan huskies and an adventure. We’re off, the dogs’ eager barks turn into quiet pulling power and we make our way into the landscape. The moon is enormous and lights up the terrain. After a few kilometres, Johan raises his hand: the stop signal. Johan checks that all is well with the participants.

– You’re doing well but relax and you’ll stay warm, says Johan. I release the brake and Johan gives the thumbs up.

For the rest of the journey, I fill every cell in my body with impressions.

The nuances of the meeting of light and dark, the stillness and the landscape. I smile and feel the cold against my front teeth. Swedish Lapland really is magnificent.

If you ever get the chance to drive your own dog sled - do it!

Learn more
Explore the North is owned and run by a couple, Johan and Sara. They arrange different kinds of activities, dog sledding being their main focus. They’re located in Kangos, a small village 150 km above the Arctic Circle. A beautiful spot surrounded by dense pine tree forests, lakes and rivers. Find out more by visiting explorethenorth.se.

Three hours have passed and Sara welcomes us to dinner. A big fire in the centre of the restaurant spreads warmth and creates a cosy feeling. As we satisfy our hunger, we learn that the chances of seeing the northern lights in the evening are good. We finish off with the steam from the sauna.

We update Instagram with pictures and greetings from our great location and quite soon we are in the middle of a spectacular light show. The northern lights dance across the Arctic sky in changing ranges of colours and we are overcome by something far beyond what words can describe.

#särkimukka on instagram
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