When we were planning our trip, our travel agency recommended spending a night in a Sami Lavuu (a Norwegian teepee). My first thought was NO WAY. I had my reasons: It's camping, No bathrooms. It's going to be 20 degrees outside. What are we going to eat? Josh saw it as a good opportunity to do something different. I went camping at a beach with friends once, and slept on a hammer (I thought it was a rock), which we had lost when we were building it. I vowed never again to do it.
After talking with our travel agency Off the Map Travel, Katie highly recommended it and assured me it would be warm and there were bathrooms. I begrudgingly said yes somehow and had high anxiety when thinking about it.
When we arrived to the Aurora Alps, we were supposed to stay in a cabin the first night, so I had one last night to get used to the idea I would be sleeping in a teepee, in the snow. However, upon arrival they told us our Itinerary had changed and we were spending that night in the teepee. O.M.G. She made it sound like it was no big deal and that it would be easier for us. I was anxious and nervous inside.
We grabbed our bags and walked to the lavuu which was about 50 feet from the house with a lit path and charming white lights strung in front. HOW ENCHANTING! I then forgot all my fears, and as we entered the candle lit lavuu, I loved everything about it.
There was a giant picnic table with food, a bar with hot drinks ready to go, a warm stove with lots of firewood, comfortable living room setup, and a separated area with sleeping bags. Along with the candles, there were some lights strung along the top of the lavuu giving off plenty of light. I was mesmerized and felt like I was in another world. This was my kind of camping.
Ann Kristin was our host and she brought a hot dinner of reindeer stroganoff along with a special dessert. The bathrooms were connected to the house, complete with shower and wifi. Everything was okay and I was complacent. Josh and I sat and watched the fire for a bit, taking it all in for a bit.
In front of our cozy lavuu, were 2 sets of snow shoes. They were cute and I took a picture, but didn't know how to use them. Ann Kristin had advised the Northern Lights would be out that night and we should use the snowshoes to get to the clearing not far from the teepee. We gathered all of our camera gear and Josh helped me get my snow shoes on and off we went. We found the clearing but the sky was cloudy and there was a light rain. We decided to wait a bit and see if the weather would clear up.
After about 15 minutes, we started to see stars and the clouds started to dissipate. We thought we were looking for green flashes or some kind of light in the sky, but didn't see anything like that. Josh decided to take pictures of the stars while we waited for the aurora borealis to show. After a few pictures, he yelled, "THAT'S IT!" There it was, on his camera screen, green Northern lights! We realized they looked more like glowing clouds to the naked eye! "What about that?! Or that?!" We shot at everything in the sky, taking tons of shots and getting something a little different every time.
After close to 30 minutes, it started to get cloudy again, and we were getting cold. It was time to head back and load pictures to our phones so we could post them on social media with the bathroom wifi.
We slept in a teepee in the snow and found the Northern Lights on our own. I can now change my life status to "Adventurous."
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