Europe

My Really, REALLY White Holiday!!!

I’m sitting on my couch at the moment having hot chocolate from my native country, Trinidad. It’s pure chocolate with cinnamon, nutmeg and other delicious spices. You have to grate this huge lump then boil the tiny pieces with milk and sugar. It really is bliss in a cup!! I am reminded of the last time I had great hot chocolate. I was sitting on a blanket in the snow having a snow picnic…

I was 30 years old and had never played in the snow!! I had seen snow before but not the gorgeous, covering-everything-white kind of snow. I was always unlucky enough to meet the slushy, almost-melted, yucky pile-in-a-watery-heap snow. So I decided I wanted to experience the Christmas card!

As usual, or rather maybe more often then not, I decided to go all out!! If I was going to travel somewhere I had better be guaranteed the Christmas Card.

Åre, Sweden. A mere 350km south of the Artic circle. It was recommended by my co-worker, who is Swedish, so I went.

Stockholm

You have to love a city that still has it’s Christmas lights up in the middle of January.We flew in there and stayed one night wandering the festive streets of the Old City. We ate freshly made Ryvita crackers with butter, it was so simple and surprisingly delicious.

The next day was our seven hour train journey from Stockholm to Åre. It was my first ever really long train ride and, let me tell you, the hours just melted away. I had never before seen such stunning pine forests and quaint little villages. I was mesmorised just looking out the window!

Our hotel resembled a gigantic modern log cabin. It was on the top of a hill and the view was simply stunning. Waking up each morning to mist that cleared to pink sunrises meant hundreds of pictures, none that captured the beauty to it’s full essence. (Just look at the picture above!)

DSCN1258

Having my first taste…

I was in heaven. A white heaven!!! I was fascinated with it. Being a girl from the Caribbean, I was truly taken. We went snow shoeing, wandered the pine forests, marveled at the quiet and the peace. I made my first snow angel. I was deliriously happy to eat my first handful. We then spread the picnic that the hotel had provided and had the best hot chocolate!!

The Dogsled

We decided to go on a dogsled ride with Alaskan huskies. I really don’t have the words to describe the joy it was to be on the back of a sled and be pulled around by the very, very enthusiastic dogs. I don’t think I have ever seen happier dogs; they just wanted to keep going and going. As we crossed over the frozen lake in the village, I have to say I was rather nervous. I had never before been on a frozen lake and I saw cracks….YIKES!!! Of course, it was all fine and now I want an Alaskan Husky!!

The Skidoo

The Swedish snow experience is of course not complete without a ride on a Skidoo. The half jet ski, half sled makes for one powerful ride!! We rode over frozen lakes up tiny mountain paths and stopped on a hill that was the edge of Norway. Such a cool experience. Pardon the pun!! I am glad I was on the back, hanging on because it took a lot of work to drive it!!

It really was a magical experience. I did not ski or snowboard, I just wanted to play. And play, I did!!! Luckily for me, I had very, very warm clothes and after the holiday I was wondering if I would ever use it again.

Well, I decided I wanted to go camping (first time) and hiking and yet again, I just had to go all out. Kilimanjaro it is then!! The Roof of Africa!!

As you read this, I am somewhere up there, so if you can do me a favor and send warm vibes and happy thoughts it would be awesome of you!!!!

Safia Hosein
Safia hails from the lovely island of Trinidad. She left home four years ago on a journey that she has never once regretted. She’s been to 18 countries and counting and dozens more cities. Her most prized possessions in life are a jumping jack her dad made for her as a child, a gold chain that belonged to her grandmother, a wooden chess set and the fridge magnets that she collects whenever she visits a new place. These are the things she would save in a fire. Safia is a helicopter pilot and currently the only female working in her unit. She’s thankful to have a job that allows her to do the two things she loves: travel and fly helicopters.

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