The next day, after a leisurely breakfast, we packed our suitcases up and said farewell to Muotka Wilderness Lodge.
Fun as it was, we would be moving to a different hotel for the next couple of days here (which is something we’d arrange with Inghams Holiday prior to arriving so no surprises there).
As we had a free morning to kill, we made our way over to the Northern Lights Village which is just a hive of lots of different Lapland fun.
You can stay here (they have rooms with glass roofs so you can see the Northern Lights in bed if they come out), sauna, old-style Sami houses (the Sami people are the ones who live around here), reindeers, dog-sledding – the lot!
The morning here started with a sort of aimless amble around the village, the kind that’s just perfect for a cold morning like this.
It’s just so adorable here and you can turn a corner and feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere with no one else around you.
Luckily as we aimlessly wandered around, we came across the Sami reindeer farmer who was off to tend to his reindeers and was only to pleased to show off his reindeer.
In the space of 10 – 15 minutes, I feel like I got something of a crash course in reindeer-ology – what they like, what they eat, how they roam around in the summer freely and even how one of the biggest predators they have are eagles (how an eagle can get at such a huge animal I haven’t a clue but it happens apparently).
Eventually, we said farewell to the farmer and made our way over to the restaurant for lunch, where, still enthralled by the memories of yesterday’s salmon stew, decided to have exactly the same thing for lunch again. I could easily have had that for lunch every single day when we were up here.
By the time lunch was over, the cloud had started to clear away and what was already quite a gorgeous area looked even more amazing in the sun-tinted hues.
Now our home for the night would be the Star Arctic Hotel and we arrived just in time for a glorious sunset.
The sun doesn’t typically rise here but as we’re slowly making our way towards spring, there’s more of a sunset around now and it. Is. GLORIOUS!
We didn’t even attempt to check in until most of that sunset was well and truly soaked up. 😀
So, why the change of hotels to the Star Arctic Hotel?
Well, one thing you have to do up in the Finnish Lapland (you don’t have to, clearly, but it is always nice) is to try to see the Northern Lights and if they are out, there’s no better way to do this than just sat comfortably in bed.
The Star Arctic is one of those hotels that has said-glass roofs to ensure that you get quite the show, even if you’re in bed (as long as you’re not fast asleep, of course).
After checking in, we headed to the hotel’s restaurant for dinner which turned out to be different from your typical Lapland hotel dinner.
Dinners in Finnish Lapland hotels are typically buffets (you can eat out but a lot of places have meals included which always nice to take that off things you have to plan for) but here, it was a-la-carte and I’m just gonna go ahead and say it – absolutely delicious!
I think that last bit took me by surprise because I wasn’t even thinking about it initially. I was just so ravenous (again why? I have no idea cos I’d essentially done nothing but relaxed all day) that I hadn’t even though about much else but just getting rid of that rumbling in my tummy.
We both started thing off with the local white fish before diving into the goose for myself and the reindeer for Lloyd.
Dessert came in the form of the baked apple for me and the chocolate brownie for Lloyd. Both perfect finishes to the absolutely delicious meal.
Using the Northern Lights forecast app, I’d downloaded earlier, the weather and probability that the lights would be out seemed both high and with that, we decided to just head up the hill for a post-dinner walk (which was coincidentally right next to the same place we had lunch the day before) to see if they were out.
It was, by the way, but not the strongest. Like you can see that it’s out but my previous experience with the Northern Lights meant that I knew they could be so much brighter.
We stuck around for a bit, just in case before eventually decided to call it a night. If there were out, there wasn’t a cosier place to see them than the cabin after all. 😀