Day 13: Arvidsjaur, Swedish Lapland.

With the light rain and low cloud combination last night it meant that it actually went dark. Well, I say dark, slightly overcast but enough to get rid of the glaring midnight sun and actually allow us to get a little bit of sleep.

We’ve been experimenting with sleeping downstairs (Doris has a pull down bed), closing more curtains, using towels. Last night we closed ourselves in with the main cab curtains and the double layer to filter the light made a hell of a difference.

Unfortunately tonights forecast is clear and we’re further North. The sun doesn’t actually set today, and is due to set at 7 minutes past midnight (12:07AM) and rise again a little after 1AM. It’s a crazy, crazy world up here, but an incredible one at that.

After a short 150KM drive we pulled in, had some lunch and made the most of the wonderful road side rest stop that Northern Sweden provided. With a place for emptying the toilet too. Cute little benches and areas for each motorhome/car to enjoy the view and have their own picnic table if they want it.


Where’s all the wildlife?

As we’ve headed inland the roads are completely different. They’re sitting right beside thick woodland, which as we know are a moose’s favourite hiding spot. Although we’re unsure how such large beasts hide so well in the tiny pine trees.

Just as we were heading north we started discussing Moose and whether we’d be lucky enough to spot one or not. With them being nearly 8ft tall and weighing in at 850kg it’d be hard to miss such an enormous beast and it’d be an absolute pleasure to see one whilst we’re still in Sweden.

Literally as we’re talking about Moose and looking up Moose related facts I noticed a white moving object in front of us on the road.

I glanced hard, squinted but couldn’t tell what it was. Then I guessed it! It was a white German Shepard, but why the hell was it on the road by itself?!

That’s because it wasn’t a German Shepard.


And right behind it was it’s mother, presumably anyway.

Not the moose we were looking for but two bloody cute reindeer and we couldn’t have been happier to see them!

They were a bit scruffy, which is natural as they shed their coat in the summer months ready for a fresh coat for the harsh winter ahead. We slowed down and drove next to them and they’re just as magical as you’d imagine. Their beautiful antlers, big fluffy hooves and weird run. Weirdly running right into the middle of the road and with Doris.

Which makes sense as they’ve a herding instinct.

We decided to pull into the next available parking place and head back up the road for a little of a closer look. When we got out another car had passed and they’d darted into the woodland next to the road. Hopeful, we headed up and wandered on the road to see if we could see them again.

We could! But wow, even though their coats were bright/white they camouflaged themselves incredibly well. I crouched into the woodland and stayed still in hope to get some better pictures of Mum and her calf. Getting eaten alive by mosquitos and eyeballed by Mum I thought it’d be best to leave them too it.

Heading back to the van, they bloody followed us! Baby too! I’m not sure if it was Mum telling us to keep our distance or whether they were used to humans and thought we might be able to offer some food for our troubles and for payment for some photos. Nat wasn’t sticking around and from her performance today I’d back her greatly to win the 100m race in flip flops.

What an encounter. Wild reindeer. Doesn’t really get much better than that.


The Saami People of Lapland

Elated and happy from our recent experience and meeting we continued North to the village of Arvidsjaur.

Arvidsjaur has some Saami history and has it’s own Saami settlement here that’s still in use today.

In the 17th century the first churches were built in Northern Sweden and a new church attending law came into play. This obviously was going to be difficult for the Saami people to fulfil and abide by as they lived nomadic lives. Travelling with their reindeer and with the seasons. This is when traditional gahties were built and the Saami could stay here to fulfil their church obiding laws.

The houses are small and purposely so. They had a small footprint and were low in height so that they gained warmth easily. I’m not quite sure how many buildings are in Lappstaden but there are plenty. They don’t furnish them and they’re completely empty. An incredible insight to how the Saami people travel and live. The gahties (pyramid shaped dwellings) were so fascinating and wonderfully built. It’s such a unique and enchanting culture and it’s so incredibly to see it’s still going on today.


All in all todays been an absolutely fantastic day. The sun has been shining, although the wind is cold. We’ve covered some good miles North, proven so by the fact we made 30 minutes of time on tonights sunset. Seeing wild reindeers was as magical as you would imagine it was. We’re less than a day away from the Arctic Circle now and on track for our last month being spent coming down Norway!

Tonights camping location: Arvidsjaur, Sweden. (CamperContact: Click Here)

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2 Replies to “REINDEER ARE REAL!”

  1. Looks amazing Lou ? ?

    1. Thanks buddy. Hope you’ve had a great weekend! Spotting reindeer made ours a little more special!

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