Our first adventure of our second day was a reindeer sleigh ride! We walked over to the Radisson Blu and got on a small bus of about 14 people to the Tromso Lapland. It was a 20 minute drive to the Sami lavvu where we changed into a winter suit and gloves. We jumped back on the bus and drove another 20 mins to the reindeer.
After a small hike uphill, the reindeer were waiting for us by our sleighs. I leaped to them (literally, I was that excited)! Of course I had to pet them and take tons of pictures, which I'm sure they loved me invading their personal space. It's what I do best. ;-) Soon after, we were all seated and ready for take off. The reindeer don't run quite as fast as the sled dogs, it's a slower paced, more peaceful ride.
This was a once in a lifetime experience. Not only did we have a reindeer ride, but we also learned of the native Sami culture. The reindeer ride consisted of about 7 or 8 reindeer pulling individual sleds. They are connected buy ropes and then all sleds are connected one by one.
At first the guide was leading the reindeer up and around the hill and then hopped on the sled and away we went. Our ride lasted about 40 mins total and was very peaceful trekking through the freshly powdered snow.
After our ride, they tied the reindeer in a more open area, where we were able to feed them! Most of the time they would knock the food out of my hands and almost force me out of the way with their antlers to eat the remains from the snowy ground. I did get to pet them, their fur is coarse and some of them even had fur fuzz on their antlers!
We then moved locations to a traditional Sami Lavuu (it looks like a teepee) where we had reindeer stew for lunch while being told stories of their culture along and even a joik (Sami song) was sung for us.
It wasn't quite reindeer leading Santa's sleigh, but still had an enjoyable time!
*Note: before the reindeer ride we were given the option to get a snow suit and gloves from them so ours didn't get wet.
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