I am so upset that I can’t post pictures right now. I have so many amazing ones from today, and even from yesterday. I will just have to speed up my project of moving all my pictures from this blog to my archive blog.
It was a while ago now that I traveled. It must have been Rome in April last year. I have been wanting to go to northern Sweden for a long time now and since my cousin Malin moved here to go to the space high school in Kiruna (Rymdgymnasiet), I finally grabbed the opportunity, booked a flight and flew as north as I have ever been.
I took two days “off” work, flew in yesterday and will leave on Sunday.
The snow was there. Tons of snow were everywhere! -14C I think the pilot said. I thought it would be fine, because it is dry cold, but it was cold.
Airport was tiny, bus ride into the city center was cozy and I saw on the way in that the sun was on its way down. I thought that that meant that it would be dark very soon. But I was wrong. The sun was setting from 2pm and all the way until it actually went down at like 5pm perhaps? And it wasn’t even that dark afterward either. The white snow is making everything so light! It is nothing comapred to the grey darkness back home in Sweden…. sorry, back home in Gothenburg. It is hard to see this place as part of Sweden. It is so completely different. It is magical, it is white, it is cold and the air is full of shiny crystals when the sun is shining. I have definitely found some details to the environment in the area of Isidra in my book!
Yesterday we just walked around town, had dinner at Spis, a restaurant where Malin works (she works at the fika part of it, but same owner). Arctic Char was on my plate and it was delicous (Filet of arctic char wrapped in cabbage served with almond potato puré, shellfish sauce, root vegetable chips and roasted wheat).
The morning of today was spent at her school. The general director of the Swedish National Space Board was there to talk to the students. Super interesting to hear what they are doing. Then he participated in the class afterward which was astronaut knowledge. We looked at the Terrella they have (basically aurora borealis in a can). Malin was interviewed by SVT and it is now up on SVTplay here. 8:55 into the video, the news did a sequence on her high school. She is the cute astronaut and I am the muppet sitting next to her. Hahah! The video will only be available for another 7 days, but I have it downloaded. The article for it is here.
In the afternoon we took the bus to Jukkasjärvi and the Icehotel. I didn’t really know what to expect. I guess I thought it was a “boring” place, a building made out of ice and snow with basic beds and reindeer pelts to sleep on. I was once again surprised. Most of the rooms are individually designed by anyone who sends in their idea. The bst ones are picked out and later that same person creates the room during two weeks. Even the “basic” rooms were very beautiful with ice crystals on each side of the bed.
So, let me explain how this hotel works. In April each year, 2 ton blocks are removed from Torneälven, the big river up there from a farm they have right next to the place of the hotel. The remove snow from the ice during the whole winter to make the ice perfect. It is then stored in a big warehouse behind the hotel and can be stored for several years so the ice in the current hotel might not necccesarily be from last year, but it is definitely from Torneälv. They ship ice to ice bars in Stockholm for instance that goes under the same name. A few years ago they built a whole hotel down in South Africa for a car commercial that then gave the idea of building Icehotel 365, an icehotel that is open year round, right next to the one they build every year.
The Icehotel this year is called Icehotel 28 because it is the 28th hotel they have built. All of them are different and built up in October. The rooms are carved in November and it opens up for business in the end of November. It is then open until, was it March or April, or maybe even later?
Like I said in the beginning. The pictures are incredible, but only on my phone for now. They will be posted eventually!