Heading North beyond the Artic Circle

Trip Start Aug 07, 2010
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Trip End Sep 07, 2010


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Where I stayed
Patrick and Sophia Pounu's house

Flag of Sweden  , Lapland,
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last night,  I rented a Volvo station wagon and along with Phillip, Jonathan, Hannah and Annika we will be heading North to Kiruna. Phillip wants to show us the big iron mine in Kiruna and visit others that live in the area.

Our first stop was at the Arctic Circle. I didn't realize the real definition of the Arctic Circle: The line which above there is at least one day of complete daylight (in the summer) and complete darkness (winter). The Arctic Circle is located at 66 33' 44"; which is 21 degrees further North than we are at home.

Swedish Lapland also begins near the Arctic Circle. The Lappish people are an interesting group of people/culture and they are protected much the same way that Native American Indians are protected in America. We actually saw some Reindeer on our way up and back from Kiruna (Note: I also saw they sale Reindeer blood in the grocery store - apparently it makes a marvelous blood pudding. I won't ever know as the idea of "blood pudding' sounds utterly disgusting to my taste buds).

Our goal was to make the Kiruna mine at 1pm to attend the 2hr guided tour that included a trip underground. In real Farley/Tretten style, we arrived in Kiruna about 1:15pm and missed the tour. We goal now, is to attend the 9am tour tomorrow morning.

Since we missed the tour, we decided to check out the Ice Hotel (I remember an article in National Geographic a number of years ago). There's not much here now in the summer, but they are getting ready for the winter. http://www.icehotel.com/

We had dinner at Patrick Pouno's home (cousin to Christine - whom we have meet a couple times in Florida previously). For an after dinner treat Patrick was bound and determined to get us a wood fired sauna - which he did. So we went for sauna at Hendrick Espery home - it was a very cute home out in the woods and the sauna reminded me of the the saunas I took when I was very young: no running hot water, just the water warmed in a tank over the stove. After sauna, we were treated to fresh fish (Arctic Char), caught just hours before - very tasty and I'm not a big fish eater.

It's 1am and time for bed. Sleep will not be a problem after the long relaxing sauna....
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