How to be clothed SNOW READY for less than SGD250

One of the difficulties I had when preparing for subzero is not knowing what and how much clothes to bring. Juggling between wanting to be absolutely prepared for the cold and wanting to travel with ease (without lugging heavy luggages around), this was no easy feat. Not to mention, how to look fab despite the many layers of clothing.

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But the most important thing of all is.. How to be snow ready (clothed) without spending a bomb. Here’s how you CAN for less than SGD$250.

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What you NEVER KNEW about hunting the Northern lights in Scandinavia

What you NEVER KNEW about hunting the Northern lights in Scandinavia

I would consider myself to be quite fortunate to have witnessed the northern lights 4 nights out of 13 nights in scandanivia; once in Rovaniemi, Levi, Tromso and lofoten each.

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Here’s what I learnt during my trip that NONE of my research prior to my trip ever told me. The blatant truth about hunting for the northern lights:

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Crossing the border between Finland and Norway Lapland

The most challenging part of my trip in Scandinavia was crossing the border between the Lappish cities. i.e. Levi or Rovaniemi (Finland) to Tromso (Norway).

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The initial plan was to travel from Finland to Sweden Lapland (i.e. Levi to Kiruna through Tornio), and we had already worked out the multiple bus + train route from Finland to Sweden and were devastated when we found out that Abisko sky station near Kiruna was already fully booked. So we had to change our destination from Sweden to Norway.

Difficulties
It is not possible to drive from 1 country to another because the car rental companies do not allow return of vehicle to another country.

There are also no flights to fly direct to Lapland cities that are in different countries. You can only do so from the capitals.
For example, If you wanted to get from Levi to Tromso, you’d need to fly from Levi to Helsinki, Helsinki to Oslo, Oslo to Tromso. This would take more than a day and a whole heap of money.

After months of research and searching for all options, we finally found a way to cross the border in a day.

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Oslo: What to eat in Oslo during Christmas

Oslo: What to eat in Oslo during Christmas

If you don’t already know, stockfish from Norway is world famous.

Stockfish is dried fish (unsalted) and is typically cod fish.

If you happen to be in Oslo during Christmas, you’re in luck! Because during Christmas, restaurants start serving a dish called Lutefisk. Lutefisk is one of the most interesting scandanivian dish you can experience. You either love it or you hate it.

Lutefisk or lutfisk is a traditional dish of some Nordic countries. It is traditionally part of the Swedish julbord (Christmas table). It is made from aged stockfish or dried/salted whitefish and lye. It is gelatinous in texture. Its name literally means “lye fish”.

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Levi: Northern Light safari with Snowmobile

Levi: Northern Light safari with Snowmobile

Levi is a fell and the largest ski resort in Finland with a total of 43 ski slopes. Aside from skiing / snowboarding though, Levi has much more to offer. Being located in the Artic, you also have the chance to witness the Northern lights!

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A long strip of the northern lights

I was lucky enough to see the northern lights while in Levi! It was during a snowmobile northern lights hunt with a tour company called Levi Tunturilomat. They are a tour company specialising in snowmobile tours like Snowmobiling to a reindeer farm, ice fishing safari, etc.

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Tromso: Dog Sledding into the Lyngen Alps

A trip to Lapland will never be complete without a dog sledding experience in the snowy forests.

There are many types of dog sledding available in Tromso. You can choose between shorter 1km rides or safaris of 1hr and above. You may get to try “driving” (aka mushing) the sled on your own too.

There are also dog sledding safaris at night that hunt for the northern lights!

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The company that I went with is called Northern Light Dog Adventure. It’s a family owned company with over 30 huskies. They are located 1hr from Tromso.

Their tours are in small groups of 2-8; everyone can get the most out of the adventure.

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the setting for dog sledding

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Copenhagen: Christmas market at Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen: Christmas market at Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli is the world’s 2nd oldest theme park. It opened in 1843 and has made its mark on history; it inspired some big names like Hans Christian Andersen (fairytale writer) and Walt Disney (Disneyland).

I personally feel that it’s much more than an amusement park, Tivoli is like a mini town of its own. Other than the rides, it has theatres, gardens, music festivals, shops and a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafes. There is truly something for everyone of all ages in Tivoli!

I love that it’s open till late (11/12pm) everyday.

Christmas at Tivoli
During Christmas, the park is transformed with Christmas decorations. Just imagine a huge Christmas market within the amusement park.

 

Christmas in Tivoli is known to be one of the best Christmas markets in Europe!

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