This semester ESN DTU and ESN Copenhagen kicked off our brand-new cooperation with the travel company Scanbalt Experience with 2 fantastic trips to the Swedish and Finnish Lapland.
Joined trip to the Swedish Lapland
On February 23rd, 30 students from ESN Odense and 20 students from ESN DTU started the long journey to the Swedish Lapland. After almost 30 hours of trains and busses, we arrived finally in Kiruna: a winter wonderland where everything is bound of snow and covered with a veil of magic.
We started the first day full of experiences and actions dog sledging and driving snowmobiles, while enjoying the beautiful nature covered by snow and sun. We also got a chance to have a walking tour around Kiruna, which is a beautiful and charming city with some impressive buildings, especially the church and the town hall. At night it was time to go “hunting” for northern lights and after an hour we got lucky: we saw some weak but still beautiful green lines in the sky. Everybody was amazed.
Wednesday we continued towards Abisko National Park, on our way we made a stop at the Ice Hotel and a reindeer farm. The Ice Hotel was an amazing experience and it was truly magnificent with so many different rooms, most of which had their own unique design and history. Then it was time to learn a little about the Sami culture and what better place to do that than a reindeer farm owned by a Sami family. We got invited inside a traditional Sami hut where we heard about life as a Sami now and through history. Furthermore we got to taste smoked reindeer meat and got a drink made of the marrow of the reindeer bones. It was a really nice experience. Afterwards we got close and personal with the reindeers and helped feed them. Wednesday night we had a barbeque, relaxing and hanging out by the fire. Eating marshmallows and playing social games, all the students knew each others and a new compact group was built. Once again a very nice night in Lapland and it became perfect when the most amazing northern light stated dancing in the sky.
Thursday it was time to hit the roads again, however just for a day trip across the boarder to Narvik in Norway. The drive took us through snow covered mountains to the fjords of Norway and finally to the small charming Norwegian town Narvik. Here the students had some free time to explore the city before it was time to drive back to Abisko for Sauna night. Once again we had a very nice and relaxing nights: in groups the students went down to the sauna where they got heated up and then rolled around in the snow, only to go back inside and repeat the séance. The top of the night was when the students were lying down on the snow after a quick sauna and watching again the incredible Aurora Borealis, just in front of them on a huge frozen lake.
Friday was the last day, the students had some free time during the day where some of them went for a walk in the National Park, others went ice climbing on frozen waterfalls, some went cross-country skiing and some went up the mountain to enjoy the national park from above. After lunch we all met up and unfortunately it was time to start the long journey back. On the way we had a stop at a restaurant where most of the students had the chance eat delicious moose meatballs.
On Saturday morning we arrived to Stockholm where we had a few hours before our train towards Copenhagen left. So the students went out to take a look and visit the beautiful capital city of Sweden. On Saturday night we arrived home completely exhausted, but all aware to have a unique and unforgettable experience.
The ESN Coordinators
Isabel Friis, ESN Odense
Andrea Lucherini, ESN DTU