. we caught the chair lift down at 11:30 and power walked back to the hostel. the hostel was really laid back, the rooms were basic but there was a nice big kitchen/dining area on each floor where we spent most of our inside time. on our first morning we went dog sledding, it was so much fun! we got to harness 44 dogs, hook them up to the sleds and went for a ride around the mountains. unfortunately there were some fallers in our group so we stopped alot, but i managed to stay on the whole time, alana managed to hold on to her sled the whole time... even if she was on the ground! then we slept. that night we went down to the lake to try to see the lights, i don't think we saw them, i think it was the lights of a town reflecting off a cloud... but there was some differences in opinion! the next day we went ice climbing (alana's idea) it was a bit scary but it turned out to be really fun! we climbed up a frozen waterfall, alana turned out to be a bit of a natural! that afternoon we went to the supermarket on got distracted on the way back by playing noughts and crosses in the snow! the boiler suits provided by the hostel made it bearable to lie in the snow. thast night we did a snow shoe walk up the mountain. our guide pointed out some fresh hare and lynx tracks in the snow. we didn't see much more than a white glow that night but it was a nice lookout over the town. on our 3rd day we went ice fishing. this involved driving to a frozen lake, walking (sliding) out to the middle, drilling holes in the 1 metre thick ice and sitting there jiggling little fishing rods for 4 hours
. it was actually pretty fun. alana and i collected fire wood and got stuck in knee deep snow, trying to pull yourself out would result in getting stuck in elbow deep snow! our guide, klas, lit a fire on the ice and we had a bit of a play with silka, he's gorgeous siberian husky. just when we (me, alana and 2 other guys) were giving up hope i thought i felt something, which i told everyone. klas pulled my line out of the water and i had caught an arctic shark...the holy grail of ice fishing! every one started fishing with renewed excitment. about 10 minutes later i thought i felt another one, but then nothing happened. 5 minutes later i decideded to pull up my line just to check and turns out i'd caught another arctic shark! all in all a very successful fishing trip (even though i was the only one to catch anything! we had a sauna that night then went to the only restaurant in town (which had opened 2 days before) to listen to some live music. on the way down alana and i saw another green glow in the sky, stronger than we had on the first night. we went back to the hostel after dinner and suited up and walked halfway up the mountains to find a good dark spot to watch the sky. over about half an hour the glow moved closer towards us and got stronger. suddenly it exploded all over the sky. it was bright green and waved like a ribbon in a long loop right above our heads. it was amazing, photos don't do it justice! it lasted for about 10 minutes the slowly faded into 2 patches. that night had made the whole trip worth it, even without the all the fun activities during the day! the next day alana and i were supposed to catch the train to stockholm but we decided to stay longer so we spent some time cancelling and rebooking trains and planes. in the afternoon we went cross country skiing on a 4km loop near the hostel. its alot harder than i thought! i fell over a few times, one time i took alana down with me! we ended up in the school playground then headed back to make a late lunch
. that night it was snowing so we didn't even bother going outside. the next day was pretty cruisy. in the afternoon we went for a walk on the lake and went out to one of the islands. the snow messes up your depth perception so it didn't seem to be getting any closer until we were about 10m away! it was snowing again at night so we had an early night. on our second last day we did another round of skiing (didn't fall this time!) then alana went caving. it was crystal clear that night and we went out just in time to see another amazing show of the lights. it wasn't as good as the first time but it was still really good, they were really tall this time. we went inside to avoid frostbite then ran outside again just in time to see the lights explode again! on our last day we packed up and struggled to make an eatable breakfast with our remaining food! 5 nights before on of the huskies had 7 puppies and orjan, who ran the hostel with his 2 sons, let us have a look at the puppies. they were adorable! they hadn't opened their eyes yet and just lay there twitching. we got to hold one, it was like little guinea pig! we caught a 16 hour train to stockholm, fortunately we had a bunk bed room so it wasn't too bad! we got into stockholm at 7am and alana left for the airport to fly to poland. i spent the day in stockholm then caught a plane 12 hours later to berlin. we had a fantastic time in abisko and now we need to start planning our next completely random holiday!
our first night in the small lakeside village of abisko was really clear so we decided to walk to the tourist station and catch the chair lift up the mountain to the sky station which was supposed to be the best place to see the northern lights (cause its so dark) we saw a green glow in the sky so we suited up and headed off for the 15minute walk. it definitely wasn't 15 minutes, fortunately alana had a little wind up torch otherwise we probably would have gotten eaten by a wolverine (turns out they actually exist, not just an x-men character) we finally got there 45 minutes later, pleaded the staff for a way back other than walking but there was no way back. we paid up and caught the chair lift 20 minutes up the mountain, about 5 minutes from the top it became a icy siberia. the wind was insanely strong, it was -23 degrees, a whole 10 degrees lower than on the ground. we defrosted in the cafe at the top then stood outside for a while watching the sky. the stars were amazing, we could see mars and the milky way. but the lights didn't get any stronger than a pale glow on the horizon