Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweden - Day 3

Well, it's almost midnight here, and I have to be out the door by 5:15am for my 6am flight to Stokholm.  So, bullet points it is.  I'll fill in the rest of the day when I get home.

Up at 8:30, out the door at 9 for 45 minute walk to center of town.  Found some shortcuts!

Stephanie from Husky Voice picked me up and drove me to kennell outside Kiruna.  Other two didn't show up so I got private tour.

She moved from London to tiny village outisde Kiruna after falling in love with huskie and dog sledding on vacation.  Owns 16 dogs.  We only needed 5 to pull us on small sled. 

Dogs were crazy excited to go and howling like crazy.  They clearly love running.  A couple of videos on  my Youtube of the beginning. 

Bumpy ride at first, not much snow yet.  Sun was just coming up - or as much as it comes up these days.  Beautiful colors. 

Never been so cold in all my life.  Ever.  iPhone actuallyh quit working it got so cold.  It literally froze and shut off, so I missed pictures of the most beautiful part of the ride.

Went out on frozen lake where I got to drive the sled.  Dogs did all the work, I just held on.  

Stopped at little hut on the lake to build a fire and warm up over hot chocolate and cookies.  Feet were literally numb they were so cold. Had to take my boots off and stick them in the fire.

Dogs were so hot steam was coming off of them and they just buried themselves in the snow to cool down!

They were ready to go again and ran us back.  Put them away after giving them some love.  Stephanie drove me back to apartment -- not center of town.

The sun as high as it was going to get at 1pm

Ate my leftover pizza from last night for lunch.  Started watching Wolf of Wall Street on tommys big home theater system, fell asleep, Jon Tomas came over to keep me company for a bit.   Watched some videos on Sami people and learned more about the culture.  Also learned we are 180 kiometers past the Artic Circle!!  Didn't know that...

Still looked like sunrise at 12:30, then the moon was up at 3:30.

Sunset in the middle of the day. 

Took a nap, woke up at 5, showered, walked to big COOP down the street to meet other couchsurfing host for dinner.  I was supposed to stay with him but Tommy let me stay the whole time.  

Met Patrick, ate pizza (AGAIN) and had a 2 hour conversation about everything from food and couchsurfing to politics and Swedish culture.  Good company.  (Funny story:  showed him a picture of my dogs and he said, "Hmm they look quite fat.  Too much KFC?"  In his funny Swedish accent.  I about fell out of my chair laughing so hard.)

Walked back about 9 when Tommy got home from work.  Layered up and set out for more northern light hunting.

Went towards Abisko this time and got semi-lucky again!  Pulled over in the middle of nowhere to a giant light green rainbow streaking across the sky.  It was huge - like one of our rainbows we are used to times 100.  The lights didn't move much, but saw TWO shooting stars while we sat there.  I think I was almost as enthralled with the beautiful bright stars in the night sky as I was with the northern lights.  So still no dancing bright lights like I had hoped for, but I definitely saw the Northern Lights.

Came bak to apartment at 11:30, got ready for bed, and packed up.  Looooong day of traveling tomorrow.

5 airports, 3 countries, and 26 hour of traveling to get me home.  Yikes.

Recap:  Sweden was good, but Iceland was better.  (Even though I didn't see the northern lights there!)  Shouldn't have stayed in a small town for so long in Sweden -- I like moving around more.  Also, European toilet paper sucks.  They need some soft Charmin ASAP. ;)

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