Paula Perriens - from the Netherlands to Lapland
It is a sunny day in March, not a cloud is visible in the sky and I am sitting in the car on the way to Tväråträsk. When I turn off road 363 and onto the small ice-covered road I feel that this is where the excitement begins. I look forward to meet with Paula and find out how two Dutch people found their way here! What was the attraction to move to a remote place as Tväråträsk?
I have to stop a villager picking up the mail... - Excuse me, do you know where Paula live? In a small village like this, everybody know each other so the villager simply show me to the house I am looking for. It doesn´t look like a large tourist center, it´s a house. A home. Given everything I heard about LaplandTime and how many visitors from Europe come here, I thought it would be a huge building.
Paula stands in the kitchen when I step inside and greets me with such energy and joy. Siamese cats Bart and Prince are very interested in me, they are so beautiful but forbidden fruit for someone like me, allergic to cats. Paula Perriens is an important part of Gold of Lapland. She is not only an entrepreneur who offer week long stays, she is also our board member, translator, a team player and a general source of knowledge.
- I think it is important to work together and there are such unique resources here she says
I did not know that Tväråträsk would be so international. LaplandTime accepts bookings from Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. I ask how the guests find their way here. - Usually we help them find flights up to Lycksele, Umeå or Skellefteå, then they drive here. They apparently have no problem venturing out on wild inland roads.
In the Netherlands Paula worked as a municipal manager and as a solicitor at a law firm, work that demanded a lot of time. Her husband Frans managed his own company and also spent almost all hours of the day working. - We felt that we needed something else, and we have been traveling in Scandinavia a lot of times before, which we enjoyed. We used to drive around in a motorhome and drive almost 10000km in four weeks, paula says while serving tea. When asked about how you find you way from the netherlands to Tväråträsk, the answer is: coincidence. They were searching some sale sites and found the house they have been living in since 2010. -We are living our dream, she says happily.
Their company LaplandTime offers both accomodation and experiences in nature around Tväråträsk. In the summer fishing is the thing and in wintertime snowmobile tours and dog sledding tours are popular. Frans is often the one guiding the guests and Paula is responsible of the service part. - I usually go get food for the guests at Ica Jonsson i Gargnäs. She points out that she thinks it's obvious that the tourism should support local buisnesses. -It is important that we give back to the community that we live in, for example we buy out snowmobiles at local delaler. What happens to these businesses if we shop somewhere else? Frans and Paulas Lodge offer accomodation with self-catering, and sometime she has to interpret the text on different packages, which often ends up at berbecue on the porch instead. The Lodge in Tväråträsk do not rest many days over the year. - We are only free from October to the end of January, then it is full speed ahead again. The Västerbotten hinterlands really delivers - through the Netherlands.
Years active: since 2010
Visitors per year: around 130