Imagine being told you have won an all inclusive weekend holiday to a place where snow-capped mountains line the horizon and tranquillity exceeds all expectations with a silence that is deafening. That is what eight people were told in September of last year!
Molar Ltd entered all their reward scheme entrants into a prize draw for two practices to send four members of their team to one of the most stunningly beautiful corners of the world, Klocka Fjällgård, located on a 350-hectare private estate in Jämtland, North Sweden. None of the winners could possibly have contemplated any of the experiences that were about to be bestowed upon them.
On Thursday 13 January 2011, four members of Hafren House Dental Practice in Derbyshire and four members of Pure Dental Solutions in Stafford were escorted, by myself and Andrew Rose from Molar Ltd, from Birmingham airport to Trondheim, Norway, where they were met by Molar’s managing director, Stefan Viklund. We were then driven to what would be our sub-arctic home for the next three days.
Gasps of amazement were heard when pulling up to the snow-covered fairytale land which is Klocka Fjällgård. Glowing candles lined the path to the main house and we were all shown to each of our rooms before sitting down to a delectable meal prepared by Klocka’s acclaimed Chef, Anders.
Freshly caught salmon and Arctic char, from the surrounding rivers and lakes, together with reindeer and elk were all exquisitely prepared as part of the three-course meals each evening. After dinner we relaxed in the library with a nightcap before lighting our wood burning fires in our rooms and settling down for a good night’s slumber! From this moment on it was a whirlwind of experiences making the stay feel a lot longer than just one weekend!
Ice-hole fishing and snowmobile riding (above) with Stefan’s son, Alex Viklund, was first on the agenda for half the group on Friday morning, while the other half, none of whom had skied before, were taken to the slopes of Åre and successfully taught to ski by Natalie Viklund, Stefan’s very patient daughter (and I really can’t stress ‘very patient’ enough)!
Later that day, both groups then met at Tännforsen, where we were shown around the hand made igloo and given the chance to walk under a magnificent frozen waterfall. Here all members had a go at demonstrating their dexterity by carving their very own drinking glass from ice while reminiscing about wax carving in their dental student days.
With an array of sparkling goblets, some found it too difficult to leave their achievements behind – after smuggling them back to Klocka they celebrated their accomplishments by putting the ice vessels to the test!
Saturday breakfast was disturbed by raucous barks as the group discovered that dog sledging was the first activity of the day. Out over the ice covered lakes and through the woods we all went being pulled by an excitable pack of huskies before settling around the log fire within a tepee (and by this I mean a ‘conical tent traditionally made of animal skins or birch bark’ rather than a giant green TePe interdental Brush) to enjoy reindeer and chili stew with crusty bread – much appreciated in temperatures of -17!
As the dogs had retired for the day after the morning ride, cross-country skiing was one option of getting back to the house and for those that didn’t fancy that, it was back on the snow mobiles.
While some enjoyed the sauna followed by jumping into the snow, others either relaxed in the house with a hot drink and a book or went walking around the vast countryside before sitting down to the last evening meal at Klocka.
We all left Klocka at 11.00am on the Sunday morning, some with tears but all pledging to return again one day.
The welcoming environment, created by Marianne, Stefan and the team, together with the beautiful and tranquil surrounding, left people speechless and emotional. So to Marianne and Stefan we all say ‘tusen tack’!
All the words I have used to describe Klocka and the many experiences do not give justice so to help express the many feelings experienced I asked the group to write down words they would use to portray their weekend – exhilarating, once in a lifetime experience, stunningly beautiful, an emotional experience… but to truly appreciate this little bit of paradise we can only say ‘go there for yourself’!
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