Gareth and I decided to have our last hoorah of Europe before I came and lived with him in Singapore. We went to see the Aurora Borealis!
From Brussels, we flew to Stockholm in Sweden and spent the rest of the day walking around and taking night shots of the city. We spent the night in Hotell Skeppsbron in the Old Town District!
The next day, we spent the day walking around Stockholm again towards Vasa and Abba museums. At the end of the day we checked out of the hotel and took the train further north to start chasing the Aurora. Our destination, Kiruna!
We went to Kiruna for a once in a lifetime experience of staying in the Icehotel! We also saw our first Aurora there! Almost all the rooms and the chapel of the hotel were made of ice carefully carved by artists from around the world commissioned to design the hotel rooms that year, so they will be gone by the end of winter. We spent the afternoon looking at each of the hotel rooms, making sure we have a souvenir of them before they all melt away. We then had a few drinks at the hotel bar where everything was still made of Ice--even the drinking glasses!
Our room carved by Lisa Lindqvist & her alter ego Katarina Rose was called Sleeping inside a thought--it felt like we were sleeping on a magical flying bed surrounded by dancing flames and snow! At -5 degree C, we surprisingly had a comfortable sleep and woke up to a glass of hot lingon berry juice!
On the next day, the plan was to get get to Abisko by train but it was too cold that even the trains could not start running! Fortunately, two other travellers convinced us to rent a car with them that would drive us to Abisko instead. We stayed for a few days in Abisko Mountain Lodge. We saw some more of the Aurora! Our days in Abisko were filled with snowshoe hikes, a few Aurora and Landscape photography courses by the Lights over Lapland, had a day meeting the Sami and the reindeers, dog sledding and more snow mobile adventures! The Sami let us ride and later on ate a reindeer, too!
After Abisko, we went south to Harads to stay in Tree Hotel. We tried to stay in their UFO and Mirrorcube rooms and celebrated the end of the adventure with a sauna and Champagne! After here, we flew from Lulea back to Brussels through Stockholm!
This was a really wonderful and memorable trip for us! A good way to start our 2017! In hindsight, this was indeed a great way to temporarily say goodbye to winter as we moved to live in the tropics!
Here is our first and failed attempt to do a vlog on This is how you dress-up for the Arctic Adventure!