Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dogsledding, reindeer, and scenery.

So this post will be about the few days I spent in Lapland, which is above the Artic Circle for those of you who don't know. It was a roughly 16 hour bus ride up from Örebro, which took up our Sunday and we arrived at 9am Monday morning to our hostel.

Monday was mainly settling into our rooms, as well as dog sledding and snowmobiling, two activities I had not done before and will most likely not get to do again any time soon. It was loads of fun, especially the dogs. After dinner we decided to take our chances, and we hiked to try and see the Northern Lights. We did indeed get lucky, we saw them. Unfortunately, they evaded my camera, so no pictures from me.

Tuesday involved visiting the Samí people, learning about the Samí culture and a little background. We also got up close and personal with a few reindeer and got to feed them. Afterwards we had a traditional Samí lunch, which turned out to be reindeer wraps. I like my wraps, and reindeer meat was really nice (reminded me of lamb a little bit). It's a lean meat, and it was explained that it has an estimated 28 minerals as opposed to meats like beef and pork. We finished our visit hanging out by the fire in their outdoor tent structure with tea and coffee before heading to our next destination.

We also got to tour the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi. The Ice Hotel, I don't think it's difficult to guess, is almost entirely made of ice. People can stay and there is a warmer building attached for day to day activities while the Hotel itself is open to the public during the day. There's a church there open for weddings (wow) and it's estimated about 100 weddings happen there during the season. We were free to look around at rooms. There were some great artistic rooms on display and it was astounding to comprehend the patience and detail behind the designs. We went to the Ice Bar for some drinks afterwards; these were served in frozen glasses!

Wednesday involved touring the mine from LKAB in Kiruna, which mines 90% of iron ore for Europe. We then headed up north to Abisko and we saw the Northern Lights again (no complaints from me).

We also got to do some hiking around and appreciate the nature Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning before we got back on the bus and arrived back in Örebro about 8am the next morning.

I got to do a few things this trip which I'm pretty grateful for, one of which was getting to know more people! We ended up playing Werewolves quite a bit and it's a fun little game involving cards, façade and theatricality.

Video summary

My bucket list has since been slightly modified, but I feel like I've achieved so much just by being here in Sweden and travelling around so much. I'm even doing things that I never even considered possible enough to even BE on the list, like dog sledding.

Paris is coming quite soon, and I can barely believe it. doesn't stop me from being really excited, though.

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