by Drew Avery
Klocka is a must visit for anyone who ever liked the idea of dog sledding. The icy temperatures, vast fir forests and placid mountains make this place a wonderful winter wonderland. After a hard day of Sledding out here you can sooth your exhausted muscles in the warm Swedish saunas and satisfy your hunger with the delicious Swedish cuisine on offer.
Klocka is situated around the Sylarna mountain region along the Norwegian border of Sweden. Klocka is a small old rural village on the shore of the captivating Lake Annsjon. The wonders of nature are a joy to behold here as reindeer graze along the waters edges as birds of prey stalk overhead.
The husky dogs though are the element of nature you will learn the most about on your trip to Klocka. As you arrive at the kennels the dogs immediately become animated jumping on their hind legs and barking in an exited frenzy. All this canine energy is used to power your sled and be warned that is a lot of power. As Klocka musher Kari-Mette advises ‘You don’t have to teach them to pull, you have to teach them to stop’. The Huskies are admirable animals what with their formidable strength, fervour and friendliness. It is a great feeling when you get to grips with sledding after what begins as an uncontrollable power surge from the dogs and eventually calms into simultaneous loping rhythm from the dogs pulling as the sled now slides easily through the snow.
The winter sun casts long shadows of the dogs and their sleds as you skid through the forests and on through the scenic Vallrun hills. The gentle sun at this time provides soothing warmth to relieve you from the biting cold. One word of advice put on all your warmest clothes when sledding because the cold is unforgiving.
The untamed mountain lake of Sodra Grasjon is the only open plateaux of the journey and as such provides you with the perfect arena to experiment with your new found sledding skills. The dogs will obey you by now more confident and daring orders but they are smart enough to know a novice musher. At the end of the plateaux things return to normality as the dogs stride up the steep incline to a beautiful hillside viewpoint and a food stop at Grasjolien.
The beauty of dog sledding is that it blends perfectly with the immaculate landscape. The mountains are high but their slopes are gentle and do not plunge dangerously making them more user friendly for sledding. The dogs love their work and their tails will wag at the taught of another sledding journey. The dogs will dutifully charge home to the warm saunas at the command of the musher in the fading sunlight. This is a journey that will make you feel more at one with nature more so than any other.
The dog sledding season of Klocka runs from mid December to late April depending on weather conditions of course. February onwards is the best time as the weather is not as chilly. Osterand is the nearest airport 125 kilometres away. This is served several times a day by Scandinavian airlines (SAS) from the capital Stockholm. I would advise any potential visitors to stay in the Klocka Fjallgard hotel as it organises snowmobiling, dog sledding as well as numerous other activities and arranges transport to and from the Osterand airport.
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My name is Cathal Doorley. I was a travel consultant for 3 years before I left and took 2 years out to travel around the world. I know work in the same agency looking after our websites. If you are looking for information on travel to many destinations around the world visit our main website http://www.travel247.ie.
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