Our fabulous Swedish Lapponia adventure began in the sub-arctic city of Luleå and we then headed off to a remote island in the Luleå Archipelago. We stayed in charming cabins by the frozen shore and had a fleet of snow mobiles to get us further out onto the sea ice. We had a full day of excursion including time in a Hovercraft on the frozen edges of the Baltic sea. We also had allowed time to visit the UNESCO listed historic town of Gammalstad and dined on a delicious traditional lunch. Our adventure continued across the snow and ice as we headed overland to the Aurora Safari Camp, winding through forests and over rivers on the snow mobiles. What a wonderful awe inpiring day! We arrived at the tented camp with hot chocolate and a burning fire to keep us warm. Two nights here to enjoy the pristine setting and meet locals such as Richard and his dog sled pulled by Siberian Huskies. Both nights the Aurora Borealis went off. What a show! The second night it came early and dinner was being served when it started… they kept it hot for us! Wonderful understanding folk!
For three days we then immersed ourselves in the centre of a traditional market that has been running for over 400 years. Jokkmokk Winter Market has been the place to buy reindeer skins and furs every winter for the last few centuries. We enjoyed the cultural festivities of local Sapmi people and had plenty of time to explore the market, the museum and eat lots of the seasonal cream filled buns known as Semla. The Reindeer races were a highlight each day! We then left Jokkmokk and continued on our journey north. We followed the iron roads to the town of Kiruna, famous for the impressive Ice Hotel. Everyone got heaps of time to explore and photograph the cool colours inside, and then we headed for a warm cabin and a sumptuous dinner. On our way out of Kiruna the next day we also made a stop at the gorgeous historical wooden church in the centre of town.
Finally, a few day spent up within the northern most parts of Sweden in and around Abisko national park, which is a treasure of Swedish Lapland. The national park is nested against the edge of Lake Torne and a haven for Aurora sightings due to the unique geological situation that creates a weather shadow. Here we had more chances to photograph and sight the Northern Lights. Moonlight and clear skies, we couldn’t have asked for more! Even though it was minus 28-30 the whole group just loved every minute! We visited the Sky Station and spend a night down by the shores of the lake waiting for more aurora activity. The final leg of the journey went a little further along Lake Torne and up the hill, to the skiing village of Björkliden. We had some cabins booked here that overlooked the lake and the “Laponnian Gates”. We had three nights dedicated to shooting the Aurora, with great locations on offer for photography and short walk up the hill and even at times right on the balcony of our cabins.
My sincere thanks to all the participants who truly were just marvellous! A sincere and grateful thanks to Frederick who made this trip so special, and who I look forward to meeting again when we next do this trip! A big big thank you to Ewen and Shellie whose imput is totally awesome, and without them I would not contemplate running such a trip!
If you would love to come on a totally amazing trip with us to the Arctic circle of Swedish Lapland, Ewen Bell and Myself are running another workshop in 2019. It is strictly limited in numbers, so please consider booking early… download a PDF here: http://ewenbell.com/itinerary-sweden.php