Franziska Kohler

My arrival in Lapland – a personal report about myself and my motivation

The lake is frozen – complete silence except for the dogs panting, and the runners scrunching through the snow. Above, the green northern lights, dancing in all forms and shapes.
Hundegespann

10 years ago I travelled the Yukon in Canada for the first time. And it was then, when I fell in love with the sled dogs. On from my first sledride, I was infected by the Husky virus.
Ayka, my Siberian Huskygirl is now at my side since 9 years.

 The lake passes by as we come up into the fairy-tale like forest. The trees are covered in a thick, white blanket of snow. The moonlight lets them appear as bizarre figures, big and small. There is not a second you don’t believe you are in the middle of the homelands of trolls and fairies.

Just as contagious as the Husky virus, is the most similar Nordland virus (this two addictions mostly comes paired). Together with Ayka, soon followed by Cayenne, I travelled to the North year by year – Canada, Finland and Sweden. The cold of the north was fascinating, and my love for nature and the wide open countryside drew me up north every winter.

Lappis-by-nightA small Stuga right on the lake, without running water and a simple outhouse in the garden is what I may call my Home since I emigrated in 2014. The view and the peace make up for the lack of comfort. The colorful spectacle at sunrise and sunset let the countryside shine in yellow, red or ice-cold blue and violet; it is breathtakingly every time.

I guess it was pure coincidence that brought me to Lappeasuando Loge, which I bought in 2014. It was a long wished dream of a self-determined life coming true. I gave up my safe and secure job as a teacher in Switzerland and made my way up north with the whole kit and caboodle and, of course, with my dogs.

caddy-trailer

I arrived in Lappeasuando in July 2014. In front of me laid a year that would bring my biggest adventure in my life so far. Oh, it was just full of small, big and sometimes huge surprises and challenges.

The northern heatwave that had welcomed me in Lapland soon gave way to the golden season and before I knew, I was hiking in the snow with our first winter guests. The forest was covered in snow and from the viewing point, everybody was letting their eyes roam the beautiful countryside. Of course, our lunchbreak was typically Swedish, which means, we were barbecuing Falun-sausiage by a temperature of -30° C. Well we didn’t sit around long for that break…

After we returned, we first went for a lovely visit to the sauna, and to finish off the great experience, we went all the way on the traditions and had a nice beer afterwards. So at the end of the day body and soul were totally relaxed.

Somewhere in between rage and resignation I pick up a small shuffle and start digging. The snow is like powder, light as a feather and right up to my hips. How is a „greenhorn“ supposed to cope with a ride on a motors led in these conditions… Dripping with sweat by a temperature of -20° C, I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Oh am I proud as I can finally finish my training drive without any more shovelling incidences!

Fellnase

A small, playful, furball is scuttling over my desk. Taiga just turned 10 weeks old. She is the third fluffynose in the pack. She picks up her ears as the noise outside gets louder. Sabine’s dogs are being hooked up, they are howling and barking exited and eager to run, just waiting for their favourite word: „Go“.

Only moments after the huskies took off, we can hear Thierry outside distributing the helmets and giving first instructions on how to ride a motors led. All the adventures about the ride will be told in the evening, whilst we all sit together at the bar and another unique day ends for me and my team.

After the first year in my new life up here in Lapland, I often get asked if I would do it all again. And oh yes, I would. All the adventures, all the interesting guests, the breath-taking nature and the freedom I have is worth all the hard work.

Welcome to my winter wonderland in Lappeasuando.