As a child, I always was stunned by other cultures and how they are living in a different way as we are. The Inuit were one of those groups of people I was obsessed with. I guess you all can imagine how stoked I was when asked to join a trip to South Tyrol and sleep in an actual iglu. I packed my snow boots and the warmest coat I own, a Woolrich parka with a fur trim. You know, like the real Inuit. The next thing I knew, I was on a plane to Venice. From Venice it was just a 2-3 hour ride to Speikboden in South Tyrol. Where we were planning on having this iglu experience.
At 2,000m above sea level, one of my many childhood dreams came true. First thing I realised when we arrived was the temperature. It almost seemed like I forgot that an iglo is actually made out of ice/snow and therefor cold as fuck. At that moment my main priority was to keep warm by drinking snaps – which sounds a lot more innocent than it is. Luckily for us, the guides who make your stay at the mini iglu village a little more comfortable had some things prepared for us. A steaming sauna, a 45 degree pool and our sleeping bags were just a few of those things.
In the evening, we all had dinner in the biggest iglu. Which served as a restaurant. The guides made us some of the local dishes like ‘Keizerschmarrn’, which just looked like a fucked up pancake to me. But it was delicious! After dinner, we had the opportunity to go hang out in the sauna. Our local host, who was joining us for the occasion, told us to roll in the snow after finishing the sauna. Which we did! After cooling down in the snow we enjoyed a heated pool under a sky filled with stars. It doesn’t get better than this, guys.
The night in the iglu itself was okay. We received sleeping bags that were able to cope with temperatures as low as -40. As a result of that, the only thing that was cold during the night was my nose.
If you’re interested in doing this iglu-thing yourself, Speikboden is the place to be. Speikboden actually is a ski resort, but the iglus are in the centre of the area. There’s a lot one can do when staying there. We, for example, went for a snow hike after our night in the iglu. During our snow hike, we took a break in a super cute mountain house where we ate homemade cheese and drank some snaps to stay warm. Most of all, I found the snow hike really relaxing. The route we hiked was beautiful and I really enjoyed it.
Photo credits: Dennis Van Peel.