The "in between" days (between Christmas and NYE) were a busy time for us. It was too cold to go skiing, but we visited my relatives and did some shopping at the post-Christmas sales. It also happened to be our 5 year anniversary at the end of December, and I had booked us a night at the Snow Village (an ice hotel) in Ylläs, a couple of hours drive north from my hometown.
I have no idea where I got this crazy idea to spend a night at an ice hotel when it's -30C outside! Inside the ice room the temperature doesn't drop below -10C, but trust me it's cold enough when you're trying to get some sleep. I had booked a reindeer sleigh ride for the evening of our anniversary, and it so happened that during the ride we got to see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis)! They were as beautiful as ever, and it really was the highlight of our trip making it all worth it.
The Snow Village is beautiful and definitely a unique experience even for someone like me who has lived in Lapland most of her life. Was it cold? Hell yes! But it was worth it ;-)
We spent New Year's Eve at home and had a selection of cold and warm nibbles for a light dinner: gravlax, herring, muikku, smoked elk, cheeses and salads. It was another ingenious idea of mine (I blame the cold, my brain must have frozen) to buy a can of Surströmming (Swedish rotten herring).
My parents were not all too happy about having the smell of this fish lingering in the house (even though we opened the can outside!), but it's another experience my partner can tick off his list now :-) I can report that the herring did not taste any better than I remembered, but many Swedes might disagree on this.
An important New Year's Eve tradition in Finland is to melt a horse shoe made of tin in a ladle, spill it into cold water and then try telling your fortune for the upcoming year from the resulting shape. Mine was shaped like a ship which means travel, but my partner's was a clear mermaid and I am not at all sure what it might mean. Maybe we are travelling to Copenhagen to see the Little Mermaid? Mum thinks her tin had taken the shape of a stork, but I am not too sure about that...
Happy New Year!