Scandinavia Part 2. The search for Northern Lights
This is Part 3 of a 4-part post covering our #DeenAdventures in London, Stockholm, KIRUNA, and Berlin.
Day 11 - Monday, March 23: We made it to Kiruna! Man, do we have some amazing pictures to share!
These are BEDROOMS. People SLEEP here. I'm overwhelmed. Can't. Contain. Excitement!
There are 63 rooms in all here. We are staying in a room called The Northern Lights Room.... We get to stare at the sky and get mesmerized by imitation Northern Lights. Let's hope we get to see the real thing while we are here too!!!!
Short break time before we can "check in" to our ice room. MasterMind anyone?
Off to a 4-course Ice Menu Dinner! Who knows what that means. If it's anything like Stockholm... We can rest assured the food will be DELICIOUS!
Dinner was yummy... Now it's time to figure out this whole sleeping in -5degrees thing....
First off... If you are staying in an ice room, everything is community..... You have a huge locker that houses all your stuff while you sleep; Otherwise everything freezes.
You also have access to a red room, showers, sauna, etc. You don't just hang out on your ice room. You only go there when it is time to go to sleep. You get completely in your jammies (they suggest only one thick layer, kind of like socks when you are skiing), then you put on these HUGE slip on snow shoes and go grab a triangle shaped sleeping bag.... Big shoulders, small feet. We got to choose between 2 single sleeping bags or 1 double... What do you think we chose? Then you trapse out to your room (no doors, just an animal skin pelt curtain), throw off your shoes and hop in as quick as you can and then cuddle up and zip the sleeping bag as tight around you as you can. You don't so much feel the ice block you are sleeping on due to the animal pelt and sleeping bag, but boy is your face cold. It was a very COOL experience. Very glad we did it!
Day 12 - Tuesday, March 24: Today is our adventure day. Now that we have "sleeping on ice" checked off the bucket list.... Why not add in some others?
We start the day off learning how to create ice sculptures. It was really fun! I am HOOKED! Now I just need to practice and maybe I can come back and be one if the artists for these amazing rooms they have here!
Next up.... Switch hotel rooms (time to get warm), nap, and snack time before snowmobiling and hopefully some Northern Lights.
I don't know how we got so amazingly lucky..... It's a clear night and it's spring equinox (good time of year for Northern Lights), there was an eclipse a few days ago AND there was a solar flare recently. Best part.... The stars aligned perfectly and....
WE SAW NORTHERN LIGHTS! I have to say.... It was one of the most miserably cold nights of my life (WAYYYY colder than sleeping on ice.... It was -25degrees and the wind is going so fast because we were on snowmobiles), but it was honestly worth every single second. I would be that frozen for days if it means I get another glimpse at that amazing sky. I wish we could have captured that experience photographically, but instead we will just have to rely on the experts to capture it for us. To watch the lights "dance" is one of the coolest things.
Time for bed. My heart just can't handle this much joy.
Day 13 - Wednesday, March 25: Free day!!
We sleep in and hit up the breakfast just before it closes. Then explore the hotel a little... And possibly film a "Frozen" inspired music video.... Before a quick history lesson on the ICEHOTEL. You know they have been doing this for 25 years and have never repeated a design once?
2pm - Time to load the bus towards downtown Kiruna to do a tour of the mine that put Kiruna on the map. The visitor center is nearly 2,000ft underground!!!!
Yea, I'm sure this hard hat they gave us will help if there is an issue. Sure.....
So this is pretty crazy... This mine has been "open for business" since the late 1800's -125 years! When they first started mining, the town was set up not too far from the mine so that the crew could go home when not working. Turns out, they set up camp right on top of where the mine was "settling" - A.K.A. caving in after they took the iron ore that they were mining out. See the slant in the picture below? Yea, the town is on top of that and that slant is caving in. Thus, they are now moving the city 3km away so they can mine for another 100 years without worry of the city collapsing.
Dinner time!... Rudolph pizza anyone?
Clink in the ICEBAR with our Ice Champagne glasses bid our farewell to Kiruna.
Lucky us.... The sky is full of more Northern Lights for us to enjoy before saying goodnight. ✨💤
Day 14 - Thursday, March 26
This is our 4am view on our way to the airport...
Bye bye Kiruna! Hello Berlin!!