Groot Utrecht goes Lapland (8-11 December 2005)

In December 2005 I joined 30 other members of Groot Utrecht on a business trip to Finland.


 

Somewhere during the 6-hour trip from Schiphol to Ivalo (with transfer in Helsinki)

Arrival at Ivalo airport: the whole runway is covered with thick layer of fresh snow

Preparations for a snowmobile safari

These snowmobiles have a top speed of about 80km/h

Eleven o'clock in the morning and it is still pitch black

Two thick coats over thermal underwear, but it is still freezing cold

A short break in an eerie forest of frozen trees

Second stop is a Reindeer farm where we enjoyed a short Reindeer sledge trip...

...after which we received our "Poroajokortti" (International Reindeer Driving License)

Then it's off to our next and final stop for today: a Husky farm

Huskies can live and work in extreme cold (up to -75º C)

As soon as the Huskies see the sledges, they start barking & howling of excitement...

...and don't stop doing so until they got a move on. Click here to watch the video (9.7 MB)

Female dogs are better leading dogs, the male dogs do the actual hard work

Photo taken during my Husky sledge ride

On the second day we visited the Mellatracks Proving Ground of Test World (Ivalo)

Ice go-karting looks dull but is great to figure out when to apply the handbrake

After that it's time to put it all in practice using these Alfa Romeo's

Action! This is me on ice track 1A, trying to steer the car between the cones

In the mean time Vivian is enjoying the warmth of a fire...

...and Alderina crashes her car in a pile of snow. Ouch!

Close to the North Pole but even closer to Murmansk

One of the four-wheel-drive 300HP Subaru rally cars of Test World...

...this time driven by an experienced rally driver...

...showing all the neat tricks you can do with a car (when you've got lots of space)

 

Skiing at noon by moonlight on the slopes of the Iisakkipää (Saariselkä)

 Or "downhill skiing" as the Finnish say, well that's what we did!

Farewell party in a Lappish hut at the Tunturi hotel

I wonder where the Reindeer will be seated!
   
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