Sweden 2 (and rather a lot of Finland)
Trip Start Feb 20, 2008
29Trip End Apr 23, 2008
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The next day I caught up with a proper Swede (and her lovely family)who I first met in New Zealand, and was treated to the traditional Swedish dish of tortillas and chicken fajitas. I was also shown around my first Swedish house, an interesting experience; the highlight probably being the impressive balcony with enough room to similtaniously barbeque an entire herd of cattle, nice. A very enjoyable evening.
At the next hostel I met a group of students who were studying at Lapland University and, following the advice of a number of Swedes took a party boat to Helsinki with them (this was after visiting the Music Museum, the most fun museum ever!) It was an enjoyable trip across
In a slightly bigger diversion and not particularly well thought through decision I joined the student lasses on the overnight train to Rovianemi (which I still can't pronounce, let alone spell) in Finnish Lapland. Cue a lot of sowing and a very uncomfortable night (no beds, just seats).
Still, it was worth it to get to the rather pretty snowy town where I did some cross country skiing in the morning and met some Dutch peeps who I joined for some downhill skiing in the afternoon. Again, rather a fun day. The next day I visited the 'official Santa Claus' and crossed the Arctic Circle. Unfortunately, due to the rather atmospherically-dead hotel costing and arm and a leg and the fact that I spoke and understood no Finnish whatsoever I thought it best to crack on toKiruna in Sweden and back to the original 'plan'. The journey involveda stop-off in Kemi, a rather sulphurous Finnish town with its very own Ice Castle and another even more expensive hotel room.
I finally arrived in Kiruna after a rather long day of bussing and was so pleased to get there because it is a beautiful place with more snow than I had ever seen in my life. It was from here that I took the snow-mobile tour to the Ice-Hotel but you already know about that.
Its all good although Finland has proved to be rather an expensive tangent. Still I think it was worth it. The prospect of staying herefor 3 months seems a lot less likely now but I'll just have to see how things go.