In this special journey with FACE (Fighting Against Cancer Edinburgh) I again travelled with a party of 46 young people medical staff and friends of a unique cancer fund on this our 20th year of a journey far into the Arctic Circle to Enontekio in Lapland.
Departing from Edinburgh once again with Jet 2 airlines. A friendly welcome by check in staff from the airline on a very early start on this Sunday 15th December 2013. Smooth passage through security and in no time we were boarding our Jet 2 flight to be greeted by an outstanding cabin crew.
No sooner had the final checks been made we were on our way for our somewhat short 2 hours 45 minutes flight ,made much shorter by the delicious breakfast and off course our traditional singing of Christmas carols on the prepared song sheets enjoyed by the many young passengers on the flight.
On arrival at Enontekio airport we are greeted by ground handlers of our tour company Canterbury Travel whom I have used for many years and who are the real experts of travelling to Lapland.
A short walk to the terminal and swiftly through friendly welcoming passport control you are immediately directed to the issue of your thermal Arctic clothing. No sooner balaclavas on and helmets you then board a motorised sledge for a. 20 minute journey to Santas village.
On arrival at the well signed village you are greeted by staff eager to assist and directing you to rheindeer trips , husky rides or a precisely visit to an ice castle.
In the village there are hot drinks available at all times together with healthy and most enjoyable food comprising , soup , pasta and hot delicious pancakes served in great dining facilities .
As daylight falls and everyone taking advantage of sledging , snowball throwing and a visit to the souvenir shop you are then allocated a visiting time to that special visit to see Santa.
The journey to see that special man in red suit is arranged again by a short sledge journey over a frozen lake and a magical walk through a forrest to be greeted by elves who take you into see the great man Nicholas Santa Claus in his Forrest cabin.
The magic of this visit is what dreams are made off and words cannot express the smiles of each child's face as they are greeted and spoken to by the great man.
On seeing parents and teenagers leaving the cabin they are now definite believers !!!!.
A short journey by coach back to the airport for our return journey returning your thermal clothing and again the smooth transfer through passport control and security and to the warmth and friendly welcoming of your Jet 2 flight crew.
A somewhat longer flight home ( just under 4 hours) and no sooner after an evening meal we are back at Edinburgh airport at the end of a magical journey.
This is my 20th journey to Lapland and the best by far !!!!
In travelling with young people who have had to experience intense hospital treatment throughout the year and young people who have lost family to illness , joined by medical staff and fundraisers of a somewhat unique cancer fund on this magical winter experience.
I look forward to our 21st adventure in De ember 2014.
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