Today’s post doesn't have a card but as promised photos of our recent trip to Lapland …I didn't realise just quite how many photographs I had taken over 400 and we where only away 4 days!…thankfully I haven’t posted them all but it is a photo heavy and long post !
It was amazing our first day /night was at the Abisko tourist centre and Aurora Sky station which is renowned worldwide for its unique geography and climate for clear skies and seeing the northern lights. The plan was to spend the evening at the top of the mountain watching the northern lights, unfortunately what started as a beautiful clear night turned to snow, cloud and mist however it was still quite an experience going up a ski lift at 10 pm at night in the pitch black, We set off with a beautiful starry sky and a 20 minute walk to the Aurora sky station where thankful they provided snow suits for the ski lift and summit which took a further 25 minutes ,Unfortunately the higher we got the mistier and wetter it was becoming ,the temperature was at least -30 and keeping our faces warm in the freezing winds on the way up was difficult but a must ...brrrr,
Abisko centre with Mountain in background(white track is ski lift cant see the one above this !)
taken early morning
Wrapped up and ready to go-The Aurora sky station -Ski lift in the background
At the top of the sky station there was a café/restaurant and viewing platform we had hot chocolate keeping warm by the log fire and joined in the conversation with other visitors but no northern light’s, still had 3 days to go and was an amazing place it was unfortunate you couldn't see anything though due to the mist and snow! Nevertheless I’m still pleased we did it, although the ski lift on the way down was scary!
Next day it was off to the ice hotel.The weather changed from overcast and cloudy to clear blue skies. We had an amazing few days here,Our first night was our cold room night… we where fortunate enough to have an art room; all of which are designed by different artists and individually named .Ours was Rain of Memories . We had a guided tour of hotel and a survival talk to ensure we all knew how to survive the night at -5 in an a ice room and bed !!.
Memories of rain- room we slept in
Our cosy bed !
one of the other amazing rooms
It was a beautiful clear night and to top it all we got to see the northern lights. For about 1.5 hrs. the sky danced with colour, although what the eye sees is very different to photographs we decided not to photograph it as you sped so much time trying to get the perfect shot you don’t enjoy what you’re watching and miss out in a way. I was amazed at just how much of the sky it covered and how slowly it moved,so a perfect evening and then one of the best sleeps I ever had ,although in a room at -5 with outside temperatures at -30 getting up during the night to go outside then in again to get to the loo was interesting !
Ice hotel Entrance right and chapel to left of photo
inside ice hotel and chandelier
We spent the days exploring the hotel and surroundings and had various excursions, walked across the frozen lake and generally had an amazing time , We went on a husky ride and tried ice sculpting ( I will stick to card making as 3 dimensional is not my thing I’ve found out !) .
Ice bar- cold but tasty!
Sculptor at work …not!
Some sculptures on display( not mine !!)-river in background
there was an excellent guided tour all about how the hotel came about and is made each year. How that the ice is actually harvested from the river from the previous winter and stored to make each years new individual designed hotel and art rooms .We were also lucky enough to see the start of the harvesting for next years hotel begin …We just happened to be in the right place at the right time and watched as the first block of ice was cut from the river and lifted out.
First Ice block being harvested for next years hotel
carefully does it !
There was a handful of visitors watching and we all let out a cheer as the first piece was carefully and skilfully cut and lifted out swapped over to the forklift and carried away ready to start the journey for next years hotel.
Traditional Tepee -where we stopped for coffee
The husky ride was awesome with 12 dogs pulling each sledge. We travelled over the frozen river, across land and onto a lake where we stopped at a traditional tepee for hot coffee and cake before heading back it was one of the highlights of the holiday for me and I’m not a lover of speed but that was amazing and we where so lucky with the weather which was perfect blue skies and sunshine .
Frozen river- with lots of husky tracks visible
Frozen river- view from church below
Pretty church -we visited at other side of river bank
Wrapped up warm- our walk on the frozen river
Ice heart art on hotel site
It was definitely a trip I will never forget and unlikely to do ever again. If you get the opportunity it s so worth it to see an amazing part of the world, amazing hotel /resort and wonderfully friendly staff …it couldn't have been any better! I hope you enjoy my photos and thanks for visiting Andrea x