Kiruna, the very small city that was my base in Sweden, is an unusual place. It was founded a little over a hundred years ago, when the local Suomi people helped out the new settlers by pointing them in the direction of iron ore. It turns out the locals really new there business and the proof is that today Kiruna hosts the world’s largest iron mine, which is in the process of forcing the city to move (due to digging under the city) and also employs the better part of the local population.
Not a bad looking mine…
It seems that job stability has lingered here longer than in much of the modern world, because in addition to the descendants of those early miners, the Suomi people are still Continue reading
While many people find my interest in camping in sub-zero temperatures bizarre, in the north of Sweden, one of the world’s most unusual hotels has created an amazing business around just such an interest. The Ice Hotel offers its guests the unique opportunity to sleep in a -5 C (23 F) room on a bed of ice located in a hotel also made of ice. As if this were not enough to warrant a visit, the hotel is also unique in that it is completely rebuilt each year with a new design.
The hotel’s entrance at night.
In fact, while it’s easy to focus on the freezing temperatures and strange construction materials Continue reading
Even after years of searching for the Earth’s most beautiful places, there are still sights waiting to be seen that cannot only take my breath away but bring tears to my eyes.
Like a roman candle burning across the night sky.
My interest in the northern lights, more formally known as the aurora borealis, began years ago on a trip to Alaska. I often heard Continue reading
Me, the arctic circle and 10 euros. I found myself in this lovely situation at the ATM when, out of money, I went to make a withdrawal only to find my bank card didn’t work. The bank clarified that due to an unpleasant disagreement with a past creditor my account was frozen indefinitely: I was broke. Thus in a matter of minutes I went from having a year’s savings to having only the loose change in my pocket.
Tranquil or desolate… all a matter of perspective.
I’d like to say I took it graciously, that after years of Continue reading
Most people don’t head north for the winter, but after reviewing my 2012 I knew I needed to start the year with something intense. My idea was to take advantage of the peek of activity in the Northern Lights and try to cross this item off my bucket list. So a few days ago I began the long journey to northern Sweden.
This is high noon in Sweden.
After flying into to Stockholm, where I spent one day, I hopped on a train and headed north. That’s where it starts to get interesting. Continue reading