2011 Mar 11 | Lapland 1: mine, Ice Hotel, snow

Gotta stock up on alcohol for the trip.

Usually, weekend trip = fits in a backpack easily. I forgot about all the snow gear and alcohol, though.

"Meet by the big hole at Central Station." Great idea, except I think half of Stockholm is here.

Our train.

Teaching my cabin-mates how to play Texas hold 'em.

It's cold and snowy outside.

The dining car.

Other seats.

Skinny hallways.

Parts of the train break off and go to different cities. Don't wanna wake up in the wrong one.

Snack time in our cabin.

Trying to guess who you are in 10 questions.

The different people we had to guess.


Brr, snow is coming in between these train cars.

Leaving a bunch of snow on the floor.

These got really, really hot.

This is what you saw 90% of the time looking out the train window.

Lots of snow and trees.

There were a few towns, though.

Another one.

An open area.

A map of our route.

Other stops.

The bathroom was really hot, too.

The front of the train with the engine.

And we arrive.

Some rocket thingy.

The mine.


I love this cat sculpture.

Lots of food.

And lots of bread.

Down into the mine with the bus.

Really narrow passageways.

The roads aren't lit; instead, they use reflectors on the walls to save money.

Getting our helmets on.

A map of the mine from the top.

And from the side.

Different rock types.

The iron deposit actually angles down under the city, so they're going to have to move the city as they keep mining.

A 15-minute movie on the history of the mine.

This iron is special because it's magnetite.

The Kiruna mine is easy to mine because the iron ore shaft is one giant piece; the Malmberget one is harder because there are multiple ore shafts scattered around.

A model.

A big accident.

Train models.

Our group listening to the guide.

More diagrams of the mine.

That's one big machine.

And another one.

Fika (coffee break).

Showing us the pellets.

And we each got to take a bag as a gift.

Down a long passageway.

A sculpture in town.

We visited the Ice Hotel, although we didn't stay there. Which I'm actually happy about because some people I talked to who did stay there said it was really cold, even with the warm blankets.

The entrance.

Neat doors.

The entrance close up.

The main hallway.

Pictures on the walls.

Another one.

At the end of the hallway.

Down one of the side passageways.

Our group being given a tour.

What a basic room looked like: just a bed and chairs.

However, there were also suites that had ice art, like this one.

A really neat room with a fish and a hook. There were normal rooms with just a bed and some chairs, and then some suites which each had a special theme like this.

Lots of balls.

Polar bear and cubs.

Ice chairs.

A bed in an ice car.

Pretty neat.

And even a light-up dashboard.

The name and artist of the car room.

This one had frames of abstract images.

Another one.

And another one.

The bed.

Probably my favorite suite; it looked like Tron.

Not sure what it has to do with a river, though.

A pretty big room.

Ice birds.

A polar bear hiding in the wall.

Big suite area.

The name.

A venting hole in the ceiling.

Down another hallway.

Ooh, reindeer skin blankets; neat.

And not too expensive; that's $140.

The chapel.

Having some fun.

Sunset over a building.

A church we stopped at.

The sun is going down.



A neat sun pillar.

The bus often got stuck behind long lines of cars, although he did manage to pass them at times.

Playing Presidents and Assholes in the back.

And Mafia in the front.

Voting on who is the mafia.

Gotta love a big hood when you want to sleep.

Small icy roads at night; reminds me of growing up.

We stayed at the Forest Hotel (http://www.foresthotel.se/) which was awesome.

Our first dinner there was reindeer meat.

Nice game room.

The other side.

The shower room for the sauna.

Indoor electric sauna.

Outdoor hot tubs.

Outdoor wood-burning sauna.

Stuffed animals.

A hallway.

And another one.

Room with some really neat lights made out of sticks.

A tipi out front.

With a lit-up ice bar.

With a flash.

Although the beds were tiny.

Getting our overhalls, hats, mittens, and boots, all of which were extremely warm.

Time for some fun in the snow while saunaing.

Running back in.

Headed out again.

We had to crawl through the fence.

Which made it even colder.

Coming back.

Haha, he looks like a snow monster.

Warming up in the sauna between snow-rollings.

Me rolling in the snow.

An interesting picture of a sauna in the game room.

Having some fun playing billiards.

These guys were pretty good.

They made some really nice shots.

Caroline said she didn't play, but she made some shots, too.

Fun time.

And onto card / drinking games.

We had two groups: this one...

... and this one.

Everyone having fun.

The girls in our group.

The whole room.

Our guys got a little crazy.