Finally, spring actually makes its way to Sweden. The days are getting longer and on Sunday we hit the heat record here in Uppsala, 20° C making it the hottest day in March in over 200 years. Tomorrow the forecasts predicts snow. Well, I guess that’s spring in Sweden. You never know what to expect. And the snow reminds me that I still haven’t posted all my winter adventures yet. Shame on me, I really wanted to become more consistent with updating this site.
But better late than never!
So now, let’s travel together to the arctic! Imagine all you heard of Northern Sweden, ever! Yes, I’m talking snow, ice, darkness, northern lights and endless wilderness. Then you have a pretty good picture of what to expect if you come to Kiruna.
Except, you have to add a huge mine in the middle of the picture. Yes, you heard right, Kiruna is home to the biggest underground iron ore mines in the world. This gives Kiruna a very special appearance.
One side- picture perfect Lapland
One side- scarred mining mountain
Truly, I felt like Kiruna actually is a two-faced city.
Nevertheless, it is great to explore Lapland. It boasts coloured wooden houses against a stunning backdrop. But still, don’t be surprised if some parts of the city might seem a bit rundown. Kiruna actually needs to be moved. Due to the steady expansion of the mine parts of the city might become unsafe in the future. So they started to move the city centre, including the famous church. Crazy, right?
Once you leave the city limits behind you, you are greeted by endless space covered in small trees (remember we are above the Arctic Circle!) and obviously tons of snow. It’s harsh and still truly magical.
We spent most of our time in Kiruna walking around the town and the surroundings. There are many skiing tracks you can follow, so you have nice paths even in winter and you can get a great glimpse of the majesty of Lapland. If you have a little bit of extra money in your travel budget you can also take a dog sledding or snowmobile tour (I did that years ago and thought it was totally awesome. But it’s quite expansive)
While we only saw a super faint trace of the Northern Lights (still counts-right? Right!), we actually witnessed another phenomenon which was super magical: PSC- polar stratospheric clouds or Pärlemormoln.
It was so crazy, I really googled “fluorescent clouds” because I have never seen or heard of anything similar to it. At sunset the colours just turned super crazy. I was literally taking about a hundred photos of the same clods. Ouups.
Oh, Lapland has a way of charm people regardless if how harsh and cold it can be. So the endless hours on the night train were worth it, except now I want to come back in summer to finally see the fjäll without snow.