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Västerbotten E




Dog sledging in Granö

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Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

One of the winter activities planned for my press trip to Umeå and the surrounding area (February 2020) was a dog sled ride. We were expected at the lodge early in the morning (well, around 9am) for the briefing. We were to drive the dog sled with enthusiastic huskies ourselves! I had previously obtained my reindeer driver’s license (basically just a certificate that shows you did this) after a round of reindeer sledding in Finland and had read about a husky ride in advance.

huskytocht

Husky sled and animal welfare

One of my concerns, as always when there is something on the agenda with animals, was whether the animals really like it. In a previous life I worked as a zookeeper in a seal rescue center and although my diploma takes a completely different direction, I there learned a lot about animal behavior and repetitive behavior.

Now, I expected the Scandinavians to work with respect for nature and animals. And that was immediately apparent too. The stories of the dog keepers showed the love for their animals. There was also a lot of transparency. You can just walk between the spacious enclosures of the huskies. That gives confidence.

Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

Moreover, despite their hard work, the enthusiasm of the animal keepers showed that they only want the best for their animals. So I was immediately reassured. And when I saw the dogs’ enthusiasm to run with the sled, the last doubt was gone. These huskies love to run! That way I could enjoy this husky trip a lot more myself as well.

The brake of the dogsled

Uitleg over de hondenslee

The guides explained how we could drive the husky sled. For example, it was important that someone always stood on the brakes when we stood still. So while all the dogs were led to their place in the sled, one of us was on the brakes, while the other was able to greet the dogs. The dogs could barely overcome their enthusiasm to start running and if you let go of the brake, they are gone! We also learned how to help the huskies when it was uphill. Yes, you also have to work when riding a dog sled!

De rem van de hondenslee

I was quite nervous, but I soon got the hang of it and really enjoyed the environment. Contrary to the snowmobile ride, after a while I was really on my own ease. It was wonderful to work with the huskies.

Through the forest with the huskies

Although it is not difficult, it proofed not to be very easy either. That became clear when the dog sled in front of us tilted. A little later they also didn’t have the brakes properly and the dogs were almost alone! Fortunately, the supervisors were alert. I myself suddenly lost my hat. The husky ride went through the woods, along narrow paths between (and sometimes under) the trees. My hat had been caught by one of the branches of the tree! I didn’t really mind the loss but we made a round back so I could get my hat back. And of course it was better to collect it so it wouldn’t lay around in the woods.

Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

It was a beautiful sunny day and it was not cold at all. Halfway through the tour, we changed drivers and I was allowed to take a seat on the sled. I was able to take some beautiful photos. I even had one of them printed on canvas and I can’t wait to give it a nice place in my new home.

Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

After the dog sled ride, there was still time to pet the animals and take pictures. We talked a bit with the caretakers and then it was time for us for the next activity. I now secretly dream of a multi-day husky trip!

Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

Practical information: dog sledging at Granö Beckasin

At Granö Beckasin you have the choice between 4 options: from an hour and a half to half a day or a full day and an evening trip in the moonlight (with the chance of seeing the northern lights but then you don’t drive yourself). You can borrow warm clothing on the spot. You can also take a husky trip in the summer months. The sled is then on wheels. Prices start from 850 SEK (about 85 euros). More information can be found on their website.

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Dog sledging at Granö Beckasin
20 January 2021
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By snowmobile through Västerbotten

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Tussenstop met de sneeuwscooter in Västerbotten

A few years ago I drove a snowmobile through Åre and the surrounding area. I wrote extensively about it (whether you need a driving license to drive a snowmobile, what to wear in terms of clothing, what it is like to drive a snowmobile,…). You will also find such practical information there. Today I want to show you some pictures of a snowmobile ride at Granö Beckasin.

At Granö Beckasin you can not only spend the night in a Bird’s Nest, it is also the starting point for many winter adventures, like a snowmobile tour. We got warm overalls, warm winter boots and extra warm mittens. Then we got explanations about the snowmobiles and how to drive it.

Explanations on how to drive a snowmobile

Snowmobiles

Snowmobiles aren’t really for me. I knew that from last time. I was happy to leave the steering to my partner during this press trip to Umeå (February 2020). Last time I felt quite comfortable on the back, but this time I really wasn’t.

Onderweg met de sneeuwscooter

Was it the tension, the steering or a combination, I don’t know but I quickly felt nauseous. When we stopped along the way for ice fishing and then drove to the other side of the lake for a cozy fika, I was very relieved. It took a while before I could relax again. The surroundings were breathtakingly beautiful! So it was worth it, lol.

Ice fishing

IJsvissen Granö Beckasin

I had already done ice fishing in Finland. Then none of our group caught anything. This time we had better luck. We made a few holes in the ice and started fishing.

Vis gevangen bij ijsvissen

Fika

Fortunately, a fika was provided with sandwiches and coffee, because to be honest, we wouldn’t have survived if we had to do it with those few small fish. We need more practice!

Fika by the fire

These are really the nicest moments in Scandinavia in winter: a fire in a snowy landscape and then something tasty to eat and warm up with coffee or tea.

Practical info: by snowmobile through Västerbotten

At Granö Beckasin you can choose between a 2 hour introductory tour or a half day tour (which we did) with a stop for ice fishing and coffee with a sandwich. Other options include an evening tour with the option to see the Northern Lights or a full day by snowmobile with lunch and ice fishing. Prices via the website.

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4 January 2021
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Staying at the Bird’s Nest in Granö Beckasin

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Birds Nest Granö Beckasin

About 70 km from Umeå you find the natural paradise of Granö Beckasin. This domain is located on the Umeälven. Here you sleep high among the trees in a so-called Bird’s Nest. Granö Beckasin is the perfect base for adventurers.

Granö

Granö is located just south of Swedish Lapland or in the south of Swedish Lapland, depending on which definition of Lapland you use. It is about 700 km above Stockholm.

Granö

In February 2020 this was the destination of a press trip to Västerbotten and more specifically the area around Umeå. After discovering Umeå and skating on Tavelsjön, fun winter adventures in Granö Beckasin were on the program. Absolutely lovely!

Spend the night between the trees

I spent the nights in a Bird’s Nest meters high between the trees. A fantastic view and all the luxury you could wish for. The partly glass roof allows you to sleep under the stars. At least if it’s not cloudy. You have your own bathroom and there is also a kitchenette installed in the Bird’s Nest.

Bird's Nest - Granö Beckasin

You don’t have to go downstairs for breakfast. That is delivered to your door in a picnic basket. The night before you can fill in a form to indicate what you want for breakfast. Indulgence!

Bird's Nest - Granö Beckasin

Even more pampering: there is a sauna and a hot tub that you can use privately. After the sauna I obviously had to roll in the snow! Before the sauna I was already looking forward to the sensation of rolling in the snow.

Sauna, rolling in the snow, enjoying a hottub

I definitely want to come back here. At least twice! Once in the summer to discover the environment at its greenest and once again in the winter but with northern lights!

Sunrise from Bird's Nest - Granö Beckasin

In addition to the Bird’s Nest, you can also spend the night here in the eco hotel, a bungalow or cabin or at the campsite. A small tip if you go for the Bird’s Nest: try to limit your luggage or pack a separate bag for your overnight stay (s) in the tree house.

Book your stay here

View on Granö from the bridge to Granö Beckasin

Winter adventures

Sleigh

A little further on the other side of the road is the starting point for the numerous winter adventures you can experience in Granö Beckasin. We drove a snowmobile, were allowed to drive a husky sled and went ice fishing. You can also cross-country ski, hike and snowshoe. You get warm winter overalls and warm winter boots on the spot.

In the summer you can go on a moose safari, canoeing, hiking and so much more.

It is best to book the activities in advance, to be guaranteed you can join.

Fika in winter wonderland

Restaurant

restaurant Granö Beckasin

Granö Beckasin also has its own restaurant where they serve lunch and dinner. They serve fresh meals with local products. Vegetarian menu is possible too. Reservations are recommended because the restaurant is also very popular with locals.

Beckasin

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Granö Beckasin
31 December 2020
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