Horse Riding in Inari
Today was my favourite day so far. I’d booked horse riding in the Sami village of Inari, northern Finland which I travelled up to last night.
The snow hit here yesterday, transforming it into a Narnia-esque world of arctic pine forests. The hotel I’m staying at is right by the river Juutua, which looks absolutely beautiful with the sun setting over it.
The guide agreed to pick me up from the hotel at 10am. I waited by the entrance, watching the snowstorm, half expecting a Sami man to turn up with the Norwegian horses in tow.
It turned out to be an Australian woman in a car. The scheme is apparently run by volunteers, given free bed and board in exchange for their work. Lucky for me, the staff were all fluent English (two Aussies and a British girl).
They hadn’t been here long and were still adjusting to the snow. As were the horses. Mine was determined to escape. We took two for a ride, when the other made a break for it. Mine tried to buck, but luckily a few summers of rising lessons kicked it and I managed to stay on! The guides were amazed.
In return for the trauma (I was fine), they let me play with the huskies. They were so adorable and so friendly. I must’ve had about 20 husky cuddles.
Cute as they were though, apparently one escaped once and killed 9 reindeer. The huskies are bred for their friendliness to humans, but they’re still hunters deep down.
I was feeling pretty frozen by this point, so we drove back to the farmhouse and had hot chocolate and pizza. The guides were so friendly, we chatted for about an hour and then they dropped me off at the Siida Museum (about Sami culture).
It’s definitely worth a look around, there’s some really interesting info about the changing seasons and pieces from a local Sami artist.
Afterwards, I went across the road to the silver jewellery shop. Spent quite a while chatting to the (very cute) guy behind the counter as he played me some Finnish metal music. His dad, who owns the shop didn’t look very impressed.
For dinner, I wandered through town looking for a takeaway. Found a kebab shop, so thought I’d give it a try. As I explained to the owner that I don’t eat meat, he turned really helpful. ‘you eat this?’ yes. ‘You eat this?’ no. Ended up with a nice salad wrap.
Definitely the best day. Xx