I’m back from a fantastic trip with my lovely other half to the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden, some 200km (125 miles) North of the Arctic Circle.
The whole trip was amazing, and a real chance to get back to nature by going husky-dog sledding through forests and frozen rivers, hiking around in the snow and taking a wilderness survival course for an afternoon.
As well as all that, we slept on reindeer hides in an ice room (literally a room carved out of ice) and saw the Northern Lights flickering in the sky.
My normal vegetarianism took a break, too, as I wanted to try some local delicacies including free-range local reindeer and moose. Nom!
I also learned a bit about the indigenous Sami culture at a local small museum, and read about how traditional animist Sami beliefs were persecuted with the coming of Christianity, but are being revived through museums, music, art and culture.
It was an utterly wonderful experience, and one I recommend to anyone. While I didn’t do anything particularly “Pagan” on my travels, spending time outdoors in one of Europe’s last great wildernesses felt very much like a Druidic retreat.
(All photos taken by me and/or my other half)