Stunning Sweden was a fab way to wrap travel series – Cheryl Gibbs

Cheryl Gibbs and her colleagues in Sweden
Cheryl Gibbs and her colleagues in Sweden

I’ve finished! In fact, I’ve finished a few things actually. Work is over for Christmas and filming on the travel series I’ve been working on for the past six months has ended and I feel a mixture of emotions, that’s for sure. 

Sweden was the perfect place to finish directing this travel show – I’d never been to Scandinavia before and both Finland and Sweden blew me away.

After our six-hour drive from Finland to Sweden we arrived at the Ice Hotel and it wasn’t at all what I expected – in a good way.

I expected it to be in the middle of nowhere, but it was just off the road and was an entire village. 

It had two big hotel receptions/lobby areas with roaring fires, a little cabin village where we stayed and then two ice hotels. 

One of them was called Ice Hotel 365 which, as the name suggests, is open all year and has ice rooms exactly like the other one, but is supported by a solid, static  structure. 

IceHotel29 is built each year of snow and ice – known as snice – and melts away. As the name suggest, it  is in its 29th year.

One of the things I love about my job the most is the fact I get to delve into people’s lives a bit and find out about them.

It still fascinates me to this day how different we all are  as human beings.

It’s a silly comment to make, I know, but when you interview people whose job it is to conduct husky sleigh rides all day, manage an ice hotel, or perhaps use a snowmobile  to get to work, it kind of blows you away. 

It’s amazing how different their 9-5 is compared to yours and it’s probably the thing I love the most about what I do. Well, that and the fact  I get to experience some amazing places, obviously. 

The first evening we arrived at the ice hotel, the Northern Lights came out and I was like a child in a candy shop – you’ve never seen me move so fast in my life.

It was -25C there and I actually ended up with chill burns on my hands and fingers where it was so cold – and that was while  wearing thermal gloves.

But I ran outside to see Aurora in all her glory – and how beautiful she was!

Now to put the whole thing together for the final cut

Although I’m sad that the actual filming of this series is finished – for me anyway – my job in 2019 will be to edit-produce the episodes I’ve filmed. 

That means working with an editor and basically putting the episodes together, which I’m excited about.

I’ve edit-produced before and you always moan about the fact the director didn’t get this shot or that one, but in this scenario I’ll only have myself to blame because I was the director on it.

I’m cutting my own episodes so I best pre-warn my editor this is probably the one and only time we can whinge and moan about the quality of content. 

Fingers crossed the footage is good otherwise I’ll have to give myself a good telling off.

Christmas is off to a great start – flossing with Santa!

The day after I arrived back home, last Saturday, Matt and I took our niece and nephew to Four London Road for brunch with Santa.

I have to say, having just come from Scandinavia where I was half convinced that the Santas there may in fact be the real deal, I was genuinely amazed by the Santa at Four London Road – he was blooming brilliant. 

He was chatting away to Hollie and Lewie like he knew them inside out and ended up flossing with Lewie, which had the whole place laughing.

The breakfasts are amazing – the quality matched the quantity and I polished off the lot.

They’re doing it again on Christmas Eve – I highly recommend it.