Abisko & Kiruna – Canyons, Mines and Northern Lights

Aaron/ November 27, 2016/ Europe/ 1 comments

4 days, 4 nights in Kiruna and Abisko, two of the best places on Earth to catch the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. And as I was about to discover, home to many lesser known but no less amazing wonders.

 

September 12, 2016

After a week hiking alone through Lapland (exploring snow capped peaks, glaciers, and the Kungsleden), I found myself back at civilization in the sleepy town of Abisko, in Northern Sweden, 250km north of the Arctic Circle. Due to the unique geography of Tornetrask lake flanked by mountain ranges, skies are often clear. As such, Abisko is known as one of the best places on Earth to catch the Northern Lights. Unfortunately, luck doesn’t always follow me and the skies were overcast as can be while I was at Abisko.

 

Abisko

I arrived at STF Abisko Mountain Station/ Tourist Station the previous night, cold, wet and hungry from a full day hike. I decided to stay for 2 nights to get a better chance to catch the Northern Lights here before heading to Kiruna. At 375 SEK a night for a dorm bed, it was cheaper than the cabins along the Kungsleden. That helped make the decision easier.

 

It was surreal, finally being back in civilisation with Wi-Fi, electricity and running water, after a week in the wilderness. While I absolutely didn’t mind being back with these little comforts, I think my mind could not adjusted as quickly. I woke up in the middle of the night in cold sweat from a nightmare of being alone again in the middle of nowhere. I was glad when the sun finally rose and I headed for my first fresh breakfast of the week at the mountain station’s restaurant.

Breakfast at STF Abisko Mountain Station. Lapland, Sweden.

Took it slow and easy with the buffet. After a week on dried/ instant food and some wild berries, this felt like the best meal ever.

Tornetrask, Abisko, Lapland, Sweden.

View of the Tornetrask (lake) from my table. It was supposed to have one of the clearest skies around, but oh well, still beautiful.

 

The organic breakfast was decent, but the views from the restaurant were superb.

 

Iron ore line at Abisko. Lapland, Sweden.

Trains running from the iron ore mine at Kiruna (Sweden) to the ice-free port of Narvik (Norway), both not too far away.

Restaurant at STF Abisko Tourist Station, Lapland, Sweden.

The bright and welcoming restaurant which served all meals, with breakfast being the only buffet and also the most affordable (110 SEK).

 

Probably my longest breakfast in months at least. Lazed around in the comfortable lounges for awhile more, then headed out for a walk nearby.

 

Abisko Canyon. Lapland, Sweden.

Took a walk to Abisko Canyon nearby. Melting snow and glaciers from the mountains rushing out through this narrow outlet to the lake carved a deep and dramatic canyon through the rocks.

 

 

Abisko Canyon, Lapland, Sweden.

The waters flowing were stunningly clear, and I could see the bed of the canyon whenever I got closer to the edge.

 

 

Abisko National Park, Lapland, Sweden.

The surrounding areas (up till Abiskojaure I think) are part of the Abisko National Park, teeming with wildlife, flora, and geographical features.

Abisko Canyon, Lapland, Sweden.

Another view of the canyon, with Abisko Mountain Station/ Tourist Station/ Turiststation in the background.

 

 

Crossed under the highway and railway to get to the ‘Sami Village’ on the other side.

 

Sami village at Abisko. Lapland, Sweden.

The mock-up Sami village nearby. Sami are the indigenous nomadic people of Scandinavia.

Sami village at Abisko. Lapland, Sweden.

Different buildings served different purposes, I think this one is for keeping valuable items.

 

Interesting getting a tiny glimpse into the nomadic life of the Sami people and how they adapt to the harsh conditions this far up North.

Sami village at Abisko. Lapland, Sweden.

The burrow.

Mountains in Lapland, Sweden.

Behind the exhibits, a view of the Scandinavian mountains in Lapland, where I had spent my last week hiking. Probably be a long time before I get back in there, if ever again.

Communal kitchen at Abisko Mountain Station/ Tourist Station. Lapland, Sweden.

Back in the hostel at Abisko Mountain Station, the shared kitchen, which somehow reminds me of Ikea.

 

Still feeling quite tired from the week long hike, I returned to the hostel in the afternoon to warm up in the kitchen with some hot food and drinks. Late afternoon was time for the sauna, or batsu. It is probably one of the most best things to enjoy in the cold Arctic weather. Nightfall was fast approaching, and the skies were still not clearing, Despite having budgeted 2 nights at Abisko, I had no choice but to accept that I wouldn’t be able to catch the Northern Lights at Abisko this time round. Fingers crossed for better luck at Kiruna, where I’ll have 2 more nights before my flight back to Stockholm.

 

Later that night, an old man, looking tired and a little drenched, came to take a bed in the same room. I thought he would probably be one of the many hikers getting in and out of Lapland, but as I found out, he was actually a cabin manager at one of the cabins not too far from Abisko. Still required a day of walking though.

 

He had just closed the cabin for winter and was on his way home. There are no roads in, so he had to lug all his belongings for the past few months (summer season) out. Cabin managers are volunteers at the Swedish Tourist Association, and I thought that’s a really cool job. Not an easy one though, as he was looking forward to his first bath and beer in a few months. He was warm and friendly, and we had a nice chat before turning in for the night.

 

Day 2

Skipped the buffet breakfast for another breakfast of instant foods leftover from my hike. Not really nice, but small luxuries such as breakfast add up quickly here in Scandinavia. There was still some time left before my train back to Kiruna closer to noon, and I decided to check out the Naturum Abisko (Natural History Museum). I wasn’t able to visit the day before as it was closed (Monday).

Naturum Abisko, the Natural History Museum of Abisko. Lapland, Sweden.

Naturum Abisko, the Natural History Museum of Abisko.

Entrance is free, and the are a couple of cool exhibits explaining the geology and biology of Abisko National Park. Takes an hour or less to cover the exhibits, which would have been a nice introduction before any further exploration of the area. Just as I was about to leave the center, the cabin manager whom I shared a room with the previous night arrived. He had just finished breakfast, and asked if I had seen the Gate to Lapland. The Gate to Lapland?! I had heard about the legendary valley (actually name Lapporten) somewhere, but wasn’t expecting to see it on this trip. But as it turns out, Abisko is probably one of the easiest ways to catch a view of it.

 

I asked where I might be able to get a view of it, and he kindly obliged to bring me there. It was a small viewing platform slightly down the road from the museum/ visitor center. With tall trees all around, I could not imagine having a view of the mountains, much less the valley, but as I stepped onto the platform, lo and behold, Lapporten, the Gate to Lapland!

Lapporten, Abisko, Lapland, Sweden.

The massive glacier carved valley of Lapporten.

It was just stunning imagining how weather and time work together to carve out such a huge valley.

Lapporten, Abisko, Lapland, Sweden.

Actually we weren’t that close, but the view was great.

Lapporten, Abisko, Lapland, Sweden.

For those who somehow cannot spot it, there were these little ‘telescopes’ to guide you to it at the viewing platform.

 

Couldn’t believe I nearly missed out on this, if not for meeting the friendly man at just the right time. And finally, it was time to leave. Of course, the skies had to begin clearing up just as I was about to go.

Tornetrask, Abisko, Lapland, Sweden.

Finally, a spec of blue in the skies which have been overcast for the past 2 days.

Abisko Turiststation railway station. Lapland, Sweden.

At Abisko Turistation railway station. The single track takes passengers and iron ore from Kiruna all the way to Narvik in Norway.

Abisko Turiststation railway station, Lapland, Sweden.

Abisko Turiststation railway station, looking all retro. Tickets had to be bought online as there was no one manning the station.

 

 

On the train from Abisko to Kiruna. Lapland, Sweden.

On the train from Abisko to Kiruna, passing houses along Tornetrask (lake).

 

 

Tornetrask, Lapland, Sweden.

The train getting close to the lake’s edge. Tornetrask is the sixth largest lake in Sweden. Great views from the train most of the way from Abisko to Kiruna.

 

Kiruna

After about an hour, I arrived back at Kiruna, where I had been a week back just before starting my hike.

Kiruna railway station, Sweden.

Took the free shuttle bus to get back to the city center.

 

Left by bags at the hostel (265 SEK a night) and headed straight to the supermarket to find some intriguing food to fill my stomach with. I returned with an interesting haul:

Pickled herring, a local delicacy. Sweden.

Pickled herring (inlagd sill), a local delicacy.

Pickled herring, Sweden.

Another variation of herring.

Pacackes/ Pannkakor, Sweden.

Some ready made Swedish pancakes (pannkakor).

Meatballs, Sweden.

Meatballs! (Kottbullar)

Bacon.

Bacon for some familiarity.

Apple sauce (applemos).

Apple sauce (applemos) to go with pancakes and meatballs.

 

With a fruitful trip to the supermarket (107 SEK), I decided to take a walk around the area near the hostel before it got dark.

Kiruna Church (Kiruna Kyrka), Sweden.

First, a stop at Kiruna Church (Kiruna Kyrka), one of the largest wooden buildings in Sweden. With winter approaching, opening hours were shorter and it was closed by the time I arrived. As I took this shot, I thought to myself, how nice it would be if I were able to capture the Northern Lights dancing above the church.

Kiruna City Hall (Stadshuset) and mine from Kiruna Church (Kiruna Kyrka). Sweden.

Peeking through the foliage outside the church, with the clock tower of Kiruna City Hall (Stadshuset) and the huge iron mine visible in the distance.

Kiruna Church (Kiruna Kyrka), Sweden.

The bell tower at Kiruna Church (Kiruna Kyrka).

A rocket replica, reference to the Esrange Space Station not too far away. Kiruna, Sweden.

A reference to the Esrange Space Station not too far away.

Kiruna City Hall (Stadshuset), Sweden.

Another landmark in Kiruna, the city hall (Stadshuset). It too was closed by the time I arrived.

 

Across the street from Kiruna Stadshuset, an unusual park which sat between the humongous underground mine and the city itself, with this description:

Gruvstadsparken, Kiruna, Sweden.

“Welcome to Gruvstadsparken – a moving oasis between the mine and the community. The park is being developed by LKAB and Kiruna Municipality and will grow gradually towards the town as ground deformation due to mining progresses.”

 

In other words, the ground beneath Kiruna is sinking towards the mine as the mine goes deeper. In time, Kiruna will cease to exist if it does not move out. So, instead of closing the mine, one of the largest iron ore mines in the world, the city is moving instead, several kilometres further. This ambitious urban transformation will take place over the next decades.

Gruvstadsparken, Kiruna, Sweden.

The slowly moving park, and Kiirunavaara, the mountain where all the iron deposits are hidden, at the back.

 

Around the park, there are many landmarks of historical significance. Kiruna’s modern history is closely tied with the mine, and many of these buildings were facilities for mining staff, such as for accommodation or leisure.

Bolagshotellet. The mining company hotel. Kiruna, Sweden.

The mining company hotel, built over 100 years ago, designed by the same architect as the church.

Kiruna, Sweden.

Not too sure what this was.

Hjalmar Lundbohmsgården, home of the first manager of the LKAB mine. Kiruna, Sweden.

Hjalmar Lundbohmsgården, home of the first manager of the mine, one of the oldest buildings in Kiruna.

Iron mine, Kiruna, Sweden.

Kiirunavaara and the buildings at the mine viewed from the city at dusk.

Kiruna fire station watchtower and the clocktower of the Kiruna Stadshuset (City Hall). Sweden.

Kiruna fire station watchtower and the clocktower of Kiruna Stadshuset (City Hall).

Kiruna, Sweden.

The retro car that kept zipping around town that day, roaring loudly every time it passed.

 

As dusk approached, I made my way back to the hostel for dinner. Two other guys were in the room then, a Malaysian student who had studied in Singapore and was studying in Germany, and a chef from Switzerland. Couldn’t have asked for better roommates for the night. Probably among the friendliest and easiest to talk to of travellers I’ve met while travelling.

 

The Malaysian had been at Kiruna for a day already, and had caught an amazing display of the Northern Lights at Luossavaara, the other mountain within Kiruna. Iron was once extracted there alongside the mine at Kiirunavaara, but it is currently inactive as a mine and used as a ski slope. In summer though, it is a great spot within Kiruna to catch the Northern Lights. (and probably the midnight sun). We deliberated on whether to make a trip up Luossavaara, as it was quite a distance (and height) away, and the aurora forecast didn’t look too great. Or at least the forecast was way below the forecast the previous night.

 

Anyhows, dinner first. I found some little potatoes in the shared food corner in the kitchen and boiled them to add more variety to my dinner. I usually only cook while travelling alone nowadays, and it hasn’t always worked out. Kept it simple enough this time, and it turned out quite well, or edible at the very least,

Dinner.

Boiled potatoes, fried meatballs, pickled herring, applesauce and some tea for dinner.

 

The forecast had not changed much after dinner, and it was getting cold outside. Nonetheless, we decided to try our luck, and set off on our adventure to conquer Luossavaara, and hopefully the Northern Lights.

 

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Luossavaara

It was cold and dark, but the company made the hour long walk much easier and lighter. Suddenly, we spotted a streak across the sky. Not that it appeared suddenly, but we suddenly looked up. That was it! We got excited and much more hopeful that we could have a nice view that night from the top of Luossavaara. Towards the end of the end of Hjalmar Lunbohmsvagen, there were no more street lights, but we were ready. Our Malaysian friend had been there the day before and had prepared us well. With our torches out, we soon reached the end of the road, where the ski slope began, and we began our ascent.

 

It wasn’t easy, especially since my legs haven’t recovered from the week long hike, but we made it in the end. Still, there were no clear signs of the Northern Lights. There was an amazing night view over the city and the mine though, but I didn’t manage to get a nice picture of it. Northern Lights or not, it was great being on top of Kiruna with great people, having the entire space to ourselves. Out came Coognac from our Swiss friend’s bag, and we had a toast on the dark, freezing summit of Luossavaara.

 

Having already brought my camera and tripod, I decided to just give it a try to see if I could capture something, despite nothing very visible then. Magically, the faint auroras appeared after adjusting the camera on long exposure (among other settings). We decided to wait it out in hope for better conditions. Surely enough, despite the low aurora forecast, white streaks started to appear across the sky. First faintly, then still faintly. They never got too strong that night and didn’t dance like they did in promotional advertisements, but I managed to get a few shots of it. With a bit of simple post processing (adjusting contrast/ brightness), the colours started to appear, and these were the end results:

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over Luossavaara, Kiruna. Sweden.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over Luossavaara, Kiruna.

Northern Lights at Luossavaara, Kiruna, Sweden.

A Swiss, a Malaysian, and a Singaporean. Capturing faces against the faint Northern Lights was much harder than I thought, we used a phone light and a few attempts for this, resulting in us looking photoshopped in.

Northern Lights against the chairlift at the top of Luossavaara. Kiruna, Sweden.

Northern Lights against the chairlift at the top of Luossavaara.

Northern Lights at Luossavaara. Kiruna, Sweden.

Us again, camwhoring. Note that with a low aurora forecast/ measure as it was that night (though not entirely accurate), colors would probably not look like that in real life. To the naked eye the aurora would appear much paler. This is with longer exposure, higher ISO and slight tweaking so our faces could be seen.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Luossavaara, Kiruna, Sweden.

More white streaks that turned into colour with appropriate exposure/ ISO/ contrast adjustments.

 

According to our Malaysian friend, the display the previous night was strong enough to capture with a casual phone camera, without additional settings. Despite the supposedly paler light show, the experience at Luossavaara, with the 360 panorama of Lapland at night softly illuminated by stars and the pale auroras, felt magical.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Luossavaara, Kiruan, Sweden.

It was gradually getting colder, and finally it was time to go. As we got to the bottom of the ski slope, another display of the Northern Lights started, this time brighter than what we had experienced at the top of Luossavaara. Another round of camwhoring ensued.

Northern Lights at Luossavaara, Kiruna, Sweden.

Our last shot, from a huge rock.

 

Along the way back, the bright pale streak that stretched to the furthest ends of the sky persisted, till we were deep within the city where street lights outshone it. Luossavaara is a great place to catch the Northern Lights, but I’d recommend not going alone. It will also be a good idea to make a trip during the day to have a look at the way up before night fall. The way up is really dark and with no one else around if anything happens. On the way back, we crossed a pedestrian crossing which screamed out loudly when we approached. Seems like a nice safety feature, but in the dead of the night, gave us all a huge shock. We had a few laughs and soon arrived back at the hostel, where we turned in, satisfied, for the night.

 

Day 3

The next morning, my roommates decided to make a day trip to Abisko. I had book a tour to the mine in the afternoon and had some time to explore Kiruna in the morning. As the church was near the hostel, I tried my luck again. It was open this time, fortunately, and I was lucky to be able to witness the spectacular interiors of this huge wooden church.

The pipe organ of Kiruna Church (Kiruna Kyrka). Sweden.

The pipe organ of Kiruna Church (Kiruna Kyrka).

Kiruna Kyrka, over a hundred years old, is a gift from the mining company (LKAB), presented by Hjalmar Lundbom, the first manager of the mine.

St George and the Dragon. Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

Various intricate artworks feature on the interior and exterior of the church. This one is ‘St George and the Dragon’, from 1928.

Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

Looking up.

Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

Perhaps just as spectacular, if not more than the church itself, is that the entire church will be moved to the new city centre, 3 kilometres away, when the city moves. (because of the expanding mine)

Lunch.

Back at the hostel, I joined the buffet lunch, which was really value for money (95 SEK). There was a wide range of local food- seafood, salads, soups, pastries and more, and I had my fill of a few rounds.

Lunch.

Round 2, more meat, more carbs, more seafood.

 

After lunch, I headed to Kiruna Tourist Information Centre, the pickup point for the guided mine visit, which I had booked online the day before. It was a little pricey (345 SEK), but I thought I’d give it a visit, since it was one of the major points of interest in Kiruna.

Kiruna city. Sweden.

Model of the mine and Kiruna city. Interestingly, under the model, there is a projection of how far underground the iron deposits are expected to reach.

 

The bus arrived promptly, and soon were on our way.

Iron ore trains, Kiruna, Sweden.

Every day, 3 trains of 68 carriages of processed iron ore gets from the LKAB mine at Kiruna to the ice-free port of Narvik in Norway.

LKAB mine office building, Kiruna, Sweden.

The office building at the mine, inspired by a certain era of architecture.

 

I was expecting it to be similar to the visit I had to Wieliczka Salt Mine in Krakow a few years back, but this was nothing like that. To summarise, the LKAB mine in Kiruna is MASSIVE. Tunnels huge enough for trucks go a few hundred metres underground, forming a huge network of roads below the city. After what seemed like quite a long drive, the bus reached 540m (counted from the top of Kiirunavaara, the summit of which was long gone). The visitor centre, and the areas covered in the tour, situated at this level, were not as sprawling and stunning as the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which looked like a city in itself. LKAB stands for Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag. Luossavaara and Kiirunavaara are the two mountains in Kiruna from which iron ore operations started, and Aktiebolag is Swedish for limited company.

LKAB mine visit. Kiruna, Sweden.

Entering the visitor centre at LKAB iron ore mine, 540m underground.

LKAB mine visit. Kiruna, Sweden.

Sideview of the mine at various depths and the year each height was reached. By 2016 mine operations are over a kilometre underground, with offices at that depth.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Model of an incident many years back, when a the driver train fell off the tracks. Miraculously the driver escaped unscathed.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Introduction to the high tech equipment used at the mine…

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

… all powered by electricity. Like a vacuum cleaner.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Some drilling equipment.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Scary looking. Stuff of nightmares.

LKAB mine visit.

Elaborating on the mining process.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Teeth of the terrifying drilling machine.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Lifting raw ore up the levels.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Huge scoop to feed the huge appetite of mankind.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

After a tour and explanation of the history and present operations at the mine, we were left with some time to explore the museum.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Older drills.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Miners’ hut.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

I thought the mannequin looked creepy. These trams used to bring mine workers from the town to the mine.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

The museum is housed in an old mining tunnel.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Some old signalling equipment.

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

The ‘finished product’ which is transported out of the mine, after rigorous processing to improve quality and environmental sustainability.

 

 

LKAB mine visit, Kiruna, Sweden.

Back in the tunnels, on the bus to get back to the surface.

 

The mine visit was definitely an eye opening experience. I still feel the price was a little steep though, despite the light refreshments provided. But considering it being in Scandinavia, perhaps not too terribly expensive.

Kiruna, Sweden.

These apartments across the carpark at the visitor centre, with balconies made to look like mine lifts.

 

Later that afternoon, I decided to check out the sauna at the hostel. The cold and wet weather made the sauna ever more inviting. With the overcast skies, I thought there would be little chance of catching the Northern Lights that night. I was ready to spend the rest of the day (and night) in the hostel.

 

After dinner though, I decided to take a peek at the skies outside. Although it was bright in the city, the skies looked clear. I decided to give it a shot (literally) at the church nearby. The was only one thing on my mind- the photo I had taken at the church 2 days ago, the space where I had imagined the Northern Lights to be.

 

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Kiruna Kyrka (Kiruna Church)

When I arrived (after a short 5 mins walk), some clouds still remained, but a hint of the Aurora could be seen from behind the clouds.

Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

Even without the Northern Lights, Kiruna Church looked beautiful at night.

Northern Lights at Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

After the clouds cleared, the aurora still held back for awhile.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Kiruna Church (Kiruna Kyrka), Sweden.

And then, the most magical display (at least for me) started.

 

After the first initial bright streak, many more flashes and streaks started to appear all around. They started to dance across the sky. With the beautiful church in the foreground, these pictures must have been among the prettiest things I’ve caught on camera. The colours were not really vibrant that night though. But the pale streaks, flashes and swirls were all I needed to complete my nearly 2 week long adventure in Lapland, which was to end the following morning.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

The dancing lights. Getting a picture with the Northern Lights was easier that night, but the colors still didn’t show up.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

It was truly otherworldly, and words can’t adequately describe how I felt then. To say it felt like a dream is probably an understatement.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

And just as abruptly as the stunning display of lights started, it ended, as the last wisps of Northern Lights flitted away.

 

With the amazing light show over, I found myself suddenly more aware of my surroundings again. I came alone that night, and it was getting colder. The thought of the graveyard just beside the church also spooked me a little. I packed up and started my way back to the hostel.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Kiruna Church/ Kiruna Kyrka, Sweden.

The Northern Lights were so strong they could be seen over the bright city lights in Kiruna.

 

 

All that, despite an overcast afternoon and a below average Aurora forecast that night. I had a great sleep that night.

 

Day 4

Still a little time left before my flight back to Stockholm. One more stop that had been closed on my first visit, the city hall (Stadshuset).

Kiruna City Hall (Stadshuset), Sweden.

Nothing too fancy in the Stadshuset, but an interesting building with a unique design nonetheless. Entrance is free. I explored the art exhibition on the ground floor and checked out the installations throughout the building.

Kiruna City Hall (Stadshuset), Sweden.

Curious piece along one of the hallways.

Kiruna City Hall (Stadshuset), Sweden.

Sadly, the Stadshuset, a landmark from the 50s, will not be preserved when the city moves. Some parts will supposedly be brought over though.

And it was time to go!

Kiruna, Sweden.

Waiting for the airport bus outside the Stadshuset (Kiruna City Hall).

Kiruna City Hall (Stadshuset), Sweden.

Last look at the iconic clock tower. I think this one might be going over to the new site.

 

As it turned out, my Swiss friend was also headed for Stockholm that day, his flight half an hour before mine. Bus schedules match flight schedules but in this case there was only one bus for both flights. That worked too, and we made our way there together (110 SEK for the airport bus ticket each way).

Kiruna Airport, Sweden.

The bus arrived with Scandinavian punctuality and we were soon at the airport.

Kiruna Airport, Sweden.

Next, 3 days in Stockholm!

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