Follow me to Kiruna
two days in kiruna
Flying in from Helsinki, we touched down at noon and took a cab (costing SEK350) to Camp Ripan. After checking-in, we head straight for lunch at Arctic Thai & Grill – just 15 minutes walk away. What's better than some spicy tom yam soup to warm ourselves in the sub-zero temperatures? By that time of our travels, we could really use a little Asian cuisine in our meals. Thai was exactly the kind of comfort food we needed. The portions were generous and we absolutely loved it (devoured it, actually).
After we're all fuelled up, we walked around the area for a bit to enjoy the scenery and visit the Kiruna Kyrka while waiting for the sun to set. On the first night, we had booked a Northern Lights excursion tour to Abisko, but unfortunately, our guide had told us that the weather wasn’t in our favour and suggested us to take another path instead. We're glad that we listened to him because we managed to catch the glimmering of that pale green glow on our very first day. Oh Aurora Borealis, you're so gorgeous! Although it took us awhile to set up the tripod, we manage to do everything just in time before the lights started to fade away. It was an interesting experience to venture out into the cold. I'd recommend engaging in a local guide who are familiar with the roads (even in complete darkness) for safety since there are no street lamps in the more secluded parts of Kiruna to minimise light pollution.
Our plan for the next day was to ride a snowmobile in the morning. When we were picked up by our guide, he asked if we could wait for another Swiss couple to make it together for the afternoon session. He even offered to give us a lift to the Icehotel and bake pizza for us – that seemed like too good a deal to say no to! So what started out as a two-hour ride soon turned into a full day packed with activities, including ice-fishing and having tea in a hut surrounded by complete wilderness.
My first snowmobile experience was exciting (even though I didn't get to drive) but extremely nerve-wracking, especially when the driver was as bad as Yik Herr — he doesn’t stop when asked to. Thank you for at least not throwing me off the bike hahaha. I swear it was a tough arm workout trying to hold on to him to avoid falling off. We've had so much fun that it was way past dinner time when we finally got back to our cabin. You've got to agree that (spicy) instant noodles are best enjoyed in the cold — so that’s exactly what we had!
In all honesty, Kiruna wasn’t as cold as I’d expected, and sadly, wasn’t as white and icy as I wanted it to be. But there's so much to love about this place. I miss sipping on warm tea as I looked out of the window to see roofs covered in a fresh sheet of snow; I miss the vastness and calmness of nature when time seem to come to a standstill. For that, I was extremely sad to bid farewell to one of the serenest nature I’ve been to.
Thank you, darling, for all the first we've ticked off in Kiruna: hunting for Aurora Borealis, star-gazing in complete darkness, riding a snowmobile on a frozen rivers, witnessing gorgeous sunsets, ice-fishing on a lake, visiting the first ever Icehotel. None of these would’ve been made possible without you. And for being so adventurous — you’re the reason why I can be so fearless (or maybe not, since I'm already very independent & fearless hahaha).
Together, we can take on the world.