2011 Feb 25 | Ice Bar, observatory, ice swim

The Absolut Icebar is in the Nordic Sea Hotel.

We went up on the roof, but for obvious reasons it wasn't open.

You can kind of see inside it from the lobby of the hotel.

And you can see the lobby from inside the icebar.

The entrance price includes the big coat with gloves and one drink.

The glasses are made out of ice.

Ah, yes, one of those wonderful "stick your head through this hole" things.

A flash gives a little more color, but it's not what you actually see in the bar. Everything really appears tinted blue.

Some seats in the corner.

Jellyfish ice sculptures.

Another group getting some drinks.

Us by the bar.

Our drinks.

There was a fake periscope you could look into.

Although it only had a picture where the image would be.

A hole in the side of the room. Hope that's not gonna cause a problem.

Some taller people had written on the frost on the ceiling.

A neat picture behind the bar.

Enjoying her drink.

"Help, help, the turtle is biting my tongue!"

Aw, the turtle getting a kiss from a pretty girl.

The exit.

You had to go through these double doors which wouldn't open at the same time to keep the heat out.

The observatory at the top of the hill.

Neat old instruments.

Average temperatures of February and April in every year. -53 C was the coldest temperature ever recorded here.

Lightning that struck sand and turned it solid.

A model of the planets. The yellow line on the wall was north.

We had a pretty small tour group.

More instruments.

The instrument on the left is the most expensive one in the building.

The original observation room.

Extremely accurate clocks in their day.

A model of of people watching the transit of Venus in front of the sun in 1761.

The cabinet of naturalia, a room with all kinds of animals and plants and rocks.


Turtle shells and such.

All kinds of weird things in jars.

A fetus and the finger of a troll that a fisherman chopped off after the troll tried to drown him. Both are reproductions, though.

More weird stuff.

The new meridian room, where later telescopes were placed on marble stands to improve accuracy, and new north-south lines were drawn.

The Swedish Solar System is the largest scale model of the solar system in the world.

A map of the Swedish Solar System.

There were also astronomical photographs.

More pictures.

And more.

You can look through the big telescope at the top of the building after going up multiple flights of stairs every half hour, and we thought that was a part of the guided tour. Unfortunately, it wasn't, and the telescope was closed by the time our tour ended. Our guide did let us run up and look at the telescope, but it was already covered for the night, so we didn't get to look through it.

Cafe Opera has a schooltender challenge on Wednesday night.

Cool lasers.

The lasers in the form of a woman in a bikini.

Old guy in a suit dancing with a teenager in skintight leather pants. :/

Still dancing.

Team 1: love the wigs.

Team 2.

Team 3: the bartenders from KI won the competition and deservedly so; they were the only ones to really do any flair.

Mixing drinks.

Salla really liked this guy.

The hostesses.

This guy was getting a lap dance and then realized it was a guy.

Off comes his top.


The first round the teams only made drinks for the judges. The second round is where they actually entertained the crowd while making them.

These guys were kind of boring.

The crowd.

More drinks.

The made a flaming drink here, which was cool.

Jenny, me, Salla, and Eveliina.

Eveliina snuck her head into this picture to, heh.

Salla, MacKenzie, and Eveliina.

Jenny and me.

Another room.

The main room.

Even some little game tables.

We went to Hellasgården, which is a sauna with nude ice swimming.

School kids practicing getting out of the ice.

The hole in the ice.

Don't forget the door code or you'll freeze outside.

The school group is almost done.

Some guys jumping in together.

Jenny coming down from the sauna.


The water.

And some more.

It's cold when you get in, but not as bad as you'd think. Then it's cold when you get out, but only for about 10 seconds. After that you're fine as long as you have flip flops to keep your feet off the ground.

Jenny going in.

There's a foot.


And in.

Another guy going down.

And going in.

Coming back out.

Run back to the sauna, warm up for 10 minutes, and run back in for dip #2.

This guy gave us helpful advice on how to breathe and such, since your first instinct when the cold hits you is to stop breating.

He even took our picture.

Dip #3.

Coming back to the sauna.

Posing for the picture.

The older guy going in again.

And me going in again.

This time I actually let go of the ladder for a few seconds.

OK, so it is still kind of cold, haha.

And Jenny in again.

This guy's hat blew off, so the other guy swam over and got it.

A few more people showed up after 5pm.

It's dark now.

One more quick dip.

A nice old Russian guy helped Jenny up the snowy path. Although he also threw snowballs at us and put beer on the sauna rocks, heh.