Firstly I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year.
I am sorry it has been a while since I last wrote but needs must, presents needed to be bought and turkeys stuffed so after much delay, here I go again…
Are you fed up with skiing and snowboarding (if that is possible). Are you lucky enough to go away on a two week winter holiday and want to do something a little bit different? Well after going to a friends house for dinner the other night I suddenly thought “Not everyone wants to ski every minute of their winter holiday”. So, what else is out there?
And this is what I found!! Although, given the different number of things I found I may have to split it into two different articles.
A) Ice Rally Driving:
Sound exciting hey…and it is. If you happen to be anywhere in France or Sweden you aren’t too far from somewhere that does it.
Everyone knows how cool Rally driving is…well imagine doing that on the ice. The back end kicks out, the wheels lock and the adrenaline most definitely kicks in! To give you a little bit of an advantage, as well as the studded tyres, you will learn how to do a decent power slide, opposite lock slides and lift off over steer (what?!).
If you are in France then you can have a blast in either the Three Valleys or Tignes with a company called Whitetracks:
Or if you happen to find yourselves in Sweden and want to fly around frozen lakes with a choice of two cars then Extreme Rally would be your best bet. These guys also give you the chance to have a shot on an ice karting grand prix and an instructor led passenger trip that will definitely get your stomach turning!
B) Most people probably have an idea as to what Snowmobiling is as it has featured on several different blockbuster films including some of the classic Roger Moore Bond, but actually, how many of us have actually done it? No I didn’t think so!
As with the previous idea, if you are a bit of a petrol head then this is totally for you. Again, those pesky Scandies have got it wrapped and so it is the place to go along with Canada. These beasts can get up to almost 70mph and go from 0-60 in about 4 seconds, which is pretty impressive especially given the crazy terrain that you will be covering. There are all sorts of ways to experience these bad boys from half day blasts around a track or long tours clocking up over 800km in four days. Its a great way to experience something a bit different and see some real fantasy scenery. For those looking for even more of a buzz then you can go on some extreme trips in Norway, Finland and Sweden.
C) Next up something that doesn’t rely on petrol and will definitley get the goose bumps jumping… Have you ever heard of those people who for some reason think its a great idea to go for a dip in the sea everyday of the year? Ever wondered why they do it, especially in winter? Well if I am going to be honest, that will seem positively Caribbean once you have done a bit of Ice Diving!
This is not some kind of gimmick, I can assure you. They literally cut a hole in the ice and in you go. Well, not quite straight away but you get my drift. This is meant to be the best and most serene type of diving available. The only thing that comes remotely close is a night dive but even that is incomparable. The views are truly breathtaking and the calm quiet world is just mesmerizing.
There are a few different options out there for anyone interested in doing it but understandably it isn’t the cheapest past time. Have a look at The Polar People who can whisk you off to Antarctica. If you are in the Alps, more specifically Tignes, and want a rest from the slopes then a local company, Tigne Plongee, can help you out.
The last option and possibly the best if you consider price and location is in The White Sea. The White Sea is in Northern Russia and is the only European Sea that gets covered with ice, that in itself is pretty cool. You can go on 6 day trips out there and get totally submerged in the experience
D) Last up I have plumped for something a little bit more relaxing but no less chilly! Fishing is the most popular sport in the UK. Yes I know, Google it now and you will see that I kid you not. If you want to combine the relaxing with the winter then head to Canada and Scandinavia (a theme here?) again. This activity really takes you back to basics as you cut a hole in the ice and then use lines, hooks or even spears to land the fish. Depending on where you go you can catch rainbow trout, northern pike, walleye and whitefish in Canada.
Hopefully these ideas are useful and of interest. You must remember though that especially in winter the risks are enormous so please make sure you have the right insurance for the right activity!
I will be back in touch again soon, now that Christmas is out of the way with a few more ideas to make your nose tingle!
Happy New Year