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Posts Tagged "winter activity"

Northern Lights revisited

Northern Lights revisited

A couple of years ago I posted a round up on where to see the Northern Lights in Europe. In this round up I have concentrated on different ways to enjoy the Northern Lights and I have included destinations outside of Europe this time. The Solar Maximum is when there are more particles from the sun hitting the Earth’s atmosphere and causing the auroras around the southern and northern latitudes. This phenomena which began in 2013/14 continues into the 2014/15 winter and as a result interest in the Northern Lights has increased. More tour operators are offering trips to countries where it is most likely to see them. It should be noted, hover, that the Northern Lights cannot be guaranteed so make sure you choose a package that includes other Arctic activities and consider the Northern Lights as a bonus….

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Newfoundland snowmobile adventure

Newfoundland snowmobile adventure

In yesterday’s post, which you can read here, we crossed a stream and took a track up a mountain but did not see a single moose. That was after all the raison d’être for the trip. Our break finished we mounted up, started the engines and in single file headed along the trail down the mountain. We soon discovered that driving down the mountain was not as difficult as it appeared. A snowmobile soon stops when there is no power to the engine because the blades on its track act as very efficient brakes. The path traversed across the steep face of the mountain and doubled back on itself several times. Soon we were down by the lake and picking up speed along the trail. It was at this point that one of the group thought it might be fun…

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On a Snowmobile in Newfoundland

On a Snowmobile in Newfoundland

The one thing you do not do when running out of control is grip the handle bars harder in your terror. You control the speed the snowmobile with a thumb switch; the harder you push the faster you go. Somebody in the group always forgets this piece of advice; I just hoped it was not going to be me. We were off to track moose in Newfoundland’s backcountry. Alongside the orca, the humpback and the grizzly and polar bears the moose ranks as one of Canada’s big five. They are huge majestic animals treated with great respect by Canadians. Earlier in the day we had seen moose from a helicopter and wanted to see them on the ground. This meant a trip out into the wilderness and that meant either walking with aid of snowshoes, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling. Snowmobiling…

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Limone, an Italian secret

Limone, an Italian secret

A ski resort called Lemon? Perhaps the name is why it has been kept a secret. Limone, translated as Lemon in English, is neither to the north or west of Turin where all the big ski resorts are. We headed south towards the Mediterranean after leaving Turin behind us which seemed a little counter intuitive. As we headed south I could make out the dark shadowy peaks of the Maritime Alps through the breaks in the gloom. At least there were still snow-capped mountains close to our route. Eventually we turned west up one of the valleys and the rain turned to snow. So much snow in fact that as we entered the romantic little village of Limone, without snow chains, we became stuck. Sliding back into a wall of snow well over the height of our minivan transport. It…

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Where to see the Northern Lights

Where to see the Northern Lights

I will never forget the night I was in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, and experienced the Northern Lights show. Down at the waters edge with our backs to the city lights, such as they were, we watched entranced as pink and green curtains of light rippled across the sky. It was a magical moment – actually over an hour. Currently, because of the solar maximum, conditions are at their best for seeing the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. NASA predicts there will be a double peak during this cycle with the first this winter and the second next winter. It’s never been a better time to head north to hunt the Northern lights or Fire Fox as the Sami people call it. The Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, is a phenomena caused by electrically charged…

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Paws in Finland’s Wilderness

Paws in Finland’s Wilderness

There is nothing like the Finnish Wilderness in winter. It’s silent. If there is any sound it is the gentle whoomp as snow from laden branches lands softly in the powdery snow covering the mosses and lichens beneath the trees. The silence is tangible as the blue zone approaches; a time around sunset when the air seems to take on a stunningly brittle icy electric blue colour. To avoid disturbing this awesome silence with the cacophonous roar of a 1000cc engined snowmobile we decided to take a team of dogs and sledge into the wilderness of the old no-go zone close to the Russian border. The only sound would be the panting of the dogs and the hissing scrunch of metal runners on snow punctuated with an occasional call of a human issuing commands and encouragement to the dogs. We…

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Finland: Winter Funland

Finland: Winter Funland

As snow finally reaches most of the United Kingdom and reminds us it is winter my thoughts turned to winter travel. I have already posted about some moments of Finnish Madness on this blog so I thought I would write about some slightly less crazy winter activities, other than skiing, which I experienced in Finland. Snowshoeing, walking and outdoor dining After a hearty Nordic breakfast we set off in a 4×4 to “somewhere near the Russian border”. It sounded like a line from a spy thriller set in the Cold War. The Cold War is over; now it is just cold. Imagine your feet being strapped to Andy Murray’s tennis rackets with the shaft sawn off and then trying to walk. That’s the kind of gait you have as you walk with snowshoes on. They do however make it very…

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