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Hi All, I really enjoyed posting about my experiences in Berlin earlier this year, so I figured I’d do it for my Horse trailing in Sweden too. So I kept a diary while I was away and I’ll be posting bits from each day over the next 5 days. I don’t do these travel blogs for any reason other than a bit of fun, so I hope you enjoy it!

August 14

9:25AM

I’m on the first flight of the two flights we need to take to get to Kiruna. We being Frizz and myself, we’re heading out to Kiruna in Sweden for a week of horse trekking. Our main goal is to stay on the horse – everything else is optional.

This journey is a killer, we’ve been traveling since 7PM yesterday to get to the airport on time so we only just got our heads down for an hours sleep, it’s a full flight so we had to pile on top of one another like Tetris blocks, well, I piled on top of Frizz, she’s lucky enough that she can sleep sitting up.

We were using some interesting tactics to keep ourselves awake in the airport, my favourite and most hysterical, as it occurred about 5AM, was us trying to figure out and improve on the Olympics. As two complete non-sport watchers, we could practically hear those within earshot cringing. They didn’t seem think it was a good suggestion that, while the throwing and gymnastic events are all well and good it’s hard to judge the running events when you’re watching them on screen, so perhaps they need to get a non-runner to sprint alongside the racers, just so we can gauge how fast they actually are.

Anyway, that’s enough tired blithering. This is our first girly holiday, so now we’ve had an hours sleep we’re starting to get psyched.

8:40PM

We were so lucky landing, we’ve got beautiful clear weather, so Frizz and I were pressing up against the windows while we were landing, like children on our first flight, looking out over green Sweden and marvelling at all the lakes.

We nearly had a mishap at the airport since we couldn’t spot our name on any of the taxi cards, luckily I have a weird last name, so I spotted Owen-Blue out of the corner of my eye on the board of a man walking away from the airport, as we were looking around outside like lost ducklings. So we tottered after him and met our first fellow trekker, who I’ll call Dr Pony from now on, since she’s a medical student who’s really big on horses, like really keen, more than you need to be for a horse holiday.

Then we got to enjoy our taxi ride through rural Sweden listening to nothing but Elvis because apparently, our Taxi driver was a fan. Just watching the lakes (there are too many, seriously Sweden has a monopoly on beautiful lakes, I think the country needs to learn to share) and chatting to Dr Pony about her horse experience all 15 years of it.

It actually turns out Frizz and I are the least experienced on horses, by a long way, out of the eight others we’re riding with. We found out when we all had dinner together and we all introduced ourselves and everyone else started talking about their decades on horses and the wilderness trails they’ve gone on before. This is only a basic riding trail though, with beginner/intermediate requirements, we keep reminding ourselves in an attempt to not feel bad.

Dinner went a long way to making us feel better too, fresh fish caught by our hosts cousin in the nearby river Kalix, served with a crème fraiche/caviar/red onion mix and what our hosts calls ‘Almond’ potatoes, for their shape, grown in North Sweden – although I don’t know what they’re actually called.

The farm we’re staying at is lovely. There are a pair of incredibly fat brother goats who stood outside while we ate, peering through the window desperately at us. It’s all really animal-centric, with the goats, one spoiled pussycat and three lovely dogs. One of whom was called, I don’t know how to write it, but basically Smile, and she’s just the fluffiest. Apparently her and one of the other dogs sometimes come on the trails, but apparently one of the is now too old, and Smile is too naughty, chasing reindeer and the like.

Then, of course, there are horses, who we haven’t met yet since they aren’t here, they’re ahead on the trail and we’ll meet them tomorrow for our first ride. The horses who are here are apparently not the ones we’re riding.

We’re in our room right now, in one of two traditional looking wooden houses our group has been split between,with lots of antlers, pictures of horses and woven things, there’s even an old-fashioned spinning wheel. We’ve already tried the beds, and we approve.

We had a little explore before retreating, down to the lake the houses are by (seriously, lakes everywhere) and found the sauna so that’s something to look forward to. For now, we’ve had 1 hour of sleep in two days so it’s time to turn in early, since today’s been a lot of running around and set up -tomorrow we get to meet the horses!

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View from outside the house