Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sweden - Day 2

Well today techincally started with a late night (after midnight) wakeup Skype call from my favorite Icelander:

I was wide awake after that and it took me quite awhile to fall asleep, so when I heard Tommy up this morning around 8, I decided to just keep sleeping.  I was exhausted.  He left a little after 8 to go out to his sisters house in the country to borrow ice fishing gear.  I figured he would be back in 30 minutes or so and I would get up then.  But when I rolled over and my phone said 9:45 I freaked out!  I thought Tommy was just sitting out there waiting on me to get up and felt awful.  But luckily he wasn't back yet and had been running some erands.  

I got ready and had some breakfast (banana and yogurt) and was ready to go by the time he got home around 10.  We drove out to a lake just outside of Kiruna, parked the car, and just walked out in to the middle of the lake like it was no big deal.  I bet I asked Tommy at least 6 times if he was SURE we werent going to fall through.  Like, no chance?  At ALL?  Haha - poor guy. ;)

The view on the drive to the lake 

He got out his big drill like thing and showed me how to use it, and in no time we had two holes in the ice!  

He baited my hook for me on my tiny little miniature fishing pole, showed me how to use it and the fishing techniques, and I was ice fishing!!

My excitement lasted all of about 5 minutes.  I was freezing, my feet were numb, and I was tired of jiggling the pole around with no bites.  Definitely not patient enough to fish.  Or not ice fish in the freezing cold wind anyways.  Let's just say that.  

30 minutes and 4 holes in the ice later, we decided to call it a day for the ice fishing adventure.  My toes were for real numb!  It was really fun and a cool experience, and I'm really glad I did it.  Just wont be doing it again unless it's in a tent or something. ;)

On the way back, Tommy took me to a neat little shop in a very small non-descript building in a residential area.  I never would have found it (he said tourists dont know about it) but it was awesome!  All local made stuff - right up my alley!  It was part shop (like traditional Sami clothing) and part butcher shop.  So while Tommy bought reindeer tongue and reindeer heart to eat (yuck!), I picked out the coolest shoes made out of reindeer skin!  I couldn't decide between the slip-ons, the low cut shoes, or the boots.  The boots won out in the end.  Tommy said they were more traditional.  

My new Swedish reindeer skin boots!

We came back to his apartment and had leftovers for lunch.  He had the leftover moose from Sunday night and I had leftover pizza he made last week.  It was actually pretty good!

So since I bought those reindeer pelts yesterday, shoes today, sweater in Iceland and was gifted a scarf from Mundi, I've been a little stressed about just how I was going to get all of that home.  I always have this problem.  I pack my suitcase so full it barely shuts before I leave, and then I'm screwed when I buy anything abroad!  This obviously isn't my first time dealing with this issue, so Tommy and I set out to find the DHL office before he had to go to work for the day.  

After driving around for at least 30 minutes trying to find either DHL or the local post office, we finally found a shipping company...that opened at 3:30.  Come one!  Places have such weird hours around here!  And DHL didn't have an office here.  The closest one was three hours away!

Out of luck.  For now.  Tommy dropped me off back at his apartment a litle after 1. I watched a movie on my iPad (Sex Tape with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal - not that good) and took a nap.  Still tired from being up for awhile in the middle of the night last night!

When I woke up a little after 3, Jon Tomas (Tommy's friend from last night) sent me a message and asked me what I wa sup to.  I told him I was about to set out on foot to walk back to that post office place - carrying three bags of stuff - in the snow.  He said he was coming to get me right now, haha.  Score!!  I was NOT looking forward to walking with all of that stuff.

The pile of stuff I need to ship...

So he showed up, and when we got to the place, they said they could ship to the US, but they didnt have boxes there.  What??  How does a shipping company not have boxes?  We had to go to the loal COOP to ship from there they said.  So off we went, to the big store that was kind of like a Super Wal-Mart.  They had everything!  They told us to go back to the back of the store and ask someone for a spare box there.  While Tommy was walking around trying to find someone to ask, I walked right back in to the shipping unloading area, emptied out a perfect size box and came back out.  He couldn't believe it, haha.  I'm resourceful.  And lucky sometimes. ;)

Stuffed it full of my purchases: reindeer pelts, shoes, two sweaters and a scarf, and waited in line at the front desk to get it shipped.  It's always such a long process to ship internationally.  They didn't even seem to confident it was actually going to make it back to the US and to me, so I had to pay extra to have it shipped back to Jon Tomas if it doesnt clear customs!  Yikes!

After that whole long ordeal (I feel like I spent half the day dealing with that!), Jon Tomas and I went to the gym.  The one I found yesterday that didn't open until 4.  He was a member there, so that was fun to hae a workout partner!  We did 5 minutes on the rowing machine, 5 minutes on the treadmill, then a kettle ball workout and some box jumps and some abs.  Felt so good to workout again.  First time in almost 2 weeks!  (Actually excited to get home and back to my workout routine!)

Walking in to the gym

We were both starving after working out, so we walked (all sweaty) to a nearby pizzeria and had pizza for dinner.  So much for working out.  Just put all of those calories right back on... ;)  Oh and the pizza plae was so weird.  I mean the pizza was great, but they had these very oddly placed balloons all over the walls that definitely looked like penises.  And Celine Dion was blasting on repeat.  Just an odd experience, haha.

Jon Tomas and our pizzas 

Jon Tomas brought me back to Tommys around 7:30.  I felt so much better after working out and especially after getting rid of my extra stuff.  I was anxious about how that was going to work out.  Other option was to buy a giant suitcase and check a bag, which I was really not thrilled about. 

(Random fact: IKEA, H&M, Spotify, and Avicci are all Swedish. And all things I love.)

Anyways, took a long hot shower, listened to some music, typed this up, and waited on Tommy to get off at 10.  When he got home, I suited up in all my layers again and we took off for another night of Northern Light Hunting.  Driving out in the middle of nowhere, pitch black, -12 degrees...just waiting for something to appear....

After driving for 10 or 15 minutes, I was literally just thinking, I am so over these stupid northern lights.  I don't need to see them!  I don't like being up late, I don't like being cold, I don't like sitting around idly - no action...  I was over it all.  And then.  Then it happened.  I jerked forward and said, "WAIT! Is that...??"  And sure enough - a streak of lights was in the sky right in front of us.  Tommy whipped the car over to the side of the road and I jumped out - in shock.  I went for a 0 to a 10 in about .5 seconds.  Jumping up and down and punching Tommy.  Poor guy.  He's very quiet, just a slow moving, easy going guy.  And then there's me.  Crazy.  Haha.

The lights are kind of hard to explain.  It was like a curved tail on one end and then a big light green-ish streak across the sky kind of like a wave.  And it moved.  Almost like a lava lamp: slow but enough to see.  And then it was like a windshield wiper came up in the middle and just started wiping it in a straight line away.  But a that was happening, a new one started up from the ground below!  Straight lines shooting up.  It was just wild.  I told Tommy to just get a pillow and sleep in the back seat of the car because I wasn't moving.  ;)  He laid out a mat on the ground and I had a front row seat (in a ditch) to see one of natures most amazing phenomenons.  And on top of the lights moving across the sky, the stars were as bright a anything I'd ever seen.  I loved it.  (But I still really want to see the bright green dancing lights...  Where are those!?)

Those lights eventually went away, for the most part, so we drove on further up the mountain -- and it happened again!  Another set of lights.  This time much bigger - a big thick streak across the sky - but maybe not quite as bright as before.  Those wiped away and another smaller one sprouted up below.  I had goosebumps it was so cool.  I mean I flew half way around the world for that moment!  (Or its very possible the goosebumps were from the -12 degree temps and the frozen snot on my face - but I think it was at least a combination of both excitement and cold temps.)  

That second set of lights eventually went away, too, and I actually wasn't that sad to get in the car and come back to the apartment for some sleep.  I was tired and very cold by that point.  And quite happy I had finally finally seen what I came all this way to see. When we got in the car, Tommy sighed and said, "I'm so relieved you finally saw them!"  Haha - I guess he was worried about it, too!

Oh and the photgraphy - yeah I don't know how they do it.  How they get those pictures.  I think they are either edited or at least they have a long exposure.  They have to.  I couldn't get one thing to even remotely show up on my iPhone screen.  Another one for the memory bank I guess.  One I won't ever forget. :)

Off to sleep now - after midnight again.  Have to be out the door by 9 for my one hour walk to the town center where I'm getting picked up for 3 hours of dog sledding tomorow!  Pretty excited for that... 

That's all for now from Sweden!

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