Trip to the polar night.

December 2014 – January 2015


мороз,airport,kiruna,sweden,scandinavia

Long ago I had thoughts about the trip to the north of Scandinavia in winter. All the time I was seen stanned pictures of the northern lights, dog sleds, reindeer on the road, snowmobiles and ice slopes around the fjords.


мороз,airport,kiruna,sweden,scandinavia

Route:

Here are not so many interesting points in the winter – just interesting to look around. Greater interest is in activities – ride on snowmobile, cuddle samoed, feed the moose with banana and horn the reindeer) It is a bit difficult to travel here and rather dumb, but about this a bit later, now point of interests on the map.


Originally planned route has changed a bit during the trip, but all the hotels were booked in advance, and we had no the flexibility.

Swedish Schengen visa (Kiev):


On the territory of Sweden has turned most nights on our trip, so I did Swedish Schengen visa. Visa received in Kiev: street Ivan Franko, 34/33. It can be done and in Kharkov at the visa application center. A standard set of documents and standard holidays for Christmas.

 

Flight:


This trip was a very spontaneous. When wizzair started action “2 tickets for the price of 1” during an hour, it was decided to fly to Spain in the fall (which is due to cancellation of flights has been replaced to Cyprus ) and tickets to Hamburg, as the interchange point for Scandinavia. We bought the tickets through mobile application, as the website was not working at all. These tickets were cheap, but as they were bought more than half a year before the trip, some plans changed and of course some of them were lost.


Hamburg and back we flew by WizzAir, 64 euros.


Flight Stockholm-Hamburg-Hamburg 96 EUR Germanwings.


Stockholm-Kiruna 54 euros SAS.


Kiruna-Stockholm 77 euros Norwegian.


We were considering the option to travel from Stockholm to Kiruna by train – something like Tourist Express. But this train goes for more than 12 hours and costs more then plain and it is not possible to pay with Ukrainian card.

Money:


Swedish Krona in Sweden, Norwegian krone in Norway and euro in Finland. In fact, everywhere you can pay with the card and we had no problems.

Language:


Yes, Scandinavia characterized by languages with cheerful completely unpronounceable words, but there absolutely everybody speaks English very good and with pleasure will help you with any question.


посадка самолета в аэропорту стокгольма, швеция,scandinavia

In Stockholm there is a stunning McDonald’s at the airport between terminals. Here you can sit for hours and watch the planes are taking off and landing.
самолет в аэропорту стокгольма, швеция,scandinavia самолет в аэропорту стокгольма, швеция,scandinavia
Several hours of waiting passed really quickly.

scsndinavian,самолет над облаками, закат с самолета,scandinavia

Flying into the polar night.
sas, закат с самолета, закат над облаками,scandinavia


аэропорт, кируна, швеция,scandinavia

The northernmost city in Sweden.
заснеженная взлетно посадочная полоса, кируна, швеция, полярная ночь,scandinavia

термометр в аэропорту, кируна, швеция,scandinavia

Perhaps this is not the lowest temperature that here can be, as the first thing you see in Kiruna is the thermometer.

самый северный аэропорт швеции,аэропорт, кируна, швеция,scandinavia

Kiruna is 145 kmti the north from the Arctic Circle.

самый северный аэропорт швеции,аэропорт, кируна, швеция,scandinavia

At this time of the year here is the polar night, all that can be expected is some predawn twilight hours, which quickly flow into the after sunset time.

самолет,аэропорт, поливают крылья от обледенения, кируна, швеция,scandinavia

On the way from Kiruna to Stockholm for the first time seen as the aircraft was watered with deicing fluid.

снежные просторы с самолета , кируна, швеция,scandinavia

The endless expanse of snow around Kiruna.

стокгольм гамбург, самолет,scandinavia

On the flight from Stockholm to Hamburg were only about 7 passangers.

маленький самолет, стокгольм, гамбург, аэропорт, швеция,scandinavia

Even such a small airplane flew almost empty.

Travelling:

There are not many options here, and probably for the planned route only one – the car. The car was taken in Europcar. Wolkswagen TIGUAN 2.0 – 8 days 550euro. We drove more than 3000km. On the gasoline spent 380 euro. There are no toll roads in this part, before the tunnel connecting the island Magerøya (where the North Cape) was toll road and quite expensive, but as soon as all money paid for its construction were returned, the fee was canceled.

Under the rules in winter here it is not allowed to drive on studless tires, so all rental car with studded tires. For the car taken in Kiruna (Sweden) insurance is spread to neighboring Norway and Finland. Another pleasant surprise – parking, near each parking space was a socket, which is connected to the machine to heat. In such a cold insanely weather it is nice to come to the already warm car. Such thisn is certainly not at all parking areas, but often can be found next to the hotels.

Here are not mach police on the roads. We were stopped once in the village where speed limit was 30. The main thing that was checked, that all passengers were fastened, including that on the backseat. There also no cameras on the roads, at least in Winter – as with such weather conditions they will be completely useless.

Driving is rather complicated. The first “day” we rode constantly in a blizzard and on the road was a lot of snow, though it was regularly cleaned. Such coverage is quite difficult to get used to, but when we went to the sea, it seemed to be good one. If in the middle of the continent (as near Kiruna) was -21, on the coast of the temperature ranges from -1 to +1. Often the road is a icy crust. Snowblower working with problem quite well. All would do, but it’s compounded by the fact that the coast road is not straight and the road is often incessant serpentine loops. Another problem of the coast, why we did not reached the North Cape at 31 of December, the storm wind. As told us the road service workers “your machine will be just blow away to the sea.” In general – do not step on the gas, do not slow down and do not breathe) The whole charm makes the seasoned long night and very poor visibility even during the “day”, i.e. in the twilight hours – polar night a polar night.

It is worth to write about the main beam headlights – it is not many cars on the roads and most of the time you will go to the main beam headlights. When the oncoming car appeared it is necessary not only to switch to dipped headlights, but also be prepared to see nothing because of the taken off the road snow. There is one more problem – sometimes the drivers too early switching back to a main beam and blind you in a very last second. If you wish to overtake you blink with main beam headlights, again because of the snow) Local adapt to these conditions are additional lights and many local cars look like not a car, but a chandelier)

Due to bad weather conditions, many roads are often closed. Sometimes the road is closed, but occasionally runs snowblower and it is possible to pass the closed section of road with it. By the North Cape at this time of year can be accessed only under convoy – 2 times a day from the start of the closed stretch of road riding snowblower and after it all other vehicles. The last in this procession is another snowblower. Road conditions can be found the website , also there’s a lot of useful information on traffic rules.

Another important point – it’s animals. And mooses with reindeers here are not only on the road signs, but also on the roads. In winter, there is no much food and often mooses and reindeers eating thin branches of bushes, which are along the road. Since the move by the road easier than in deep snow, often they can be found right on the road. Some locals already tried this, and advising not to repeat: when you are knocking down a moose at a speed of 100km/h, the moose arrives directly to the driver’s knee and the car can be taken as the Metal scrap. From my own experience I can say that the reindeers are not particularly afraid of the car, after one we were driving a couple of kilometers until he deigned to ride off into the woods. If possible, locals try to paint the antlers with reflective paint to make them visible on the road.


олени на дороге, олени, швеция, зима,север,scandinavia


машина подключена к розетке для обогрева, кируна, швеция,европкар,scandinavia


машина с занесенными снегом номерами,швеция,scandinavia


машина съехавшая с дороги, швеция,scandinavia

Some stoned local drove into a snowbank on the side of the road, power of our cars was not enough, waiting for the truck.

вытаскивание машины из сугроба, финляндия, зима,scandinavia


закрытая дорога, шлагбаум, норвегия, север, зима,scandinavia


снегоуборочная машина, норвегия, север, зима,scandinavia

Snowblower.

дорожный знак с лосем, лоси,scandinavia
дорожный знак с лосем, лоси,scandinavia

Supermarkets:

Even in the supermarket everything is expensive – all products are imported. Another big problem with alcohol. In some towns it is simply impossible to buy it – to get it necessary to fill the application in the store and the next day you will get your order. But this is certainly not everywhere. Often alcohol is sold in a separate store. Here you can try and moose and reindeer, and even foul shark)


супермаркет, кируна,швеция,scandinavia
супермакрет спиртного, финляндия,scandinavia

Hotels:

Hotels here are very expensive and not always good. Due to the fact that we had 5 people, often it allowed to book not rooms, but cottage. And even save on this. The big plus that cottage has a kitchen, and even a couple of times a sauna, which is at that temperature very pleased. Minimum price for a room for two people about 100euro. Almost everywhere the bed linen and towels or breakfast are not in the price. Knowing about this strange and unpleasant features we prudently took with us sleeping bags. Booked as usual on www.booking.com . in total for 9 nights for 5 people spent 1530euro.

Upon arrival to Kiruna, we immediately took the car and drove north. Therefore, the first overnight were already in Finland. Holiday Village Hetan Kota Enontekiö, Finland – Cottage, 185 euros. It was a great house with four bedrooms and a sauna. But with pictures I somehow did not work out)

The second night was in Norway. Arriving we’ve been looking for owners who have wrote the telephone number on the door and did not wrote your password for wifi … so to the sum of the hotel payment can be added the sum for telephone conversations. Karasjok Camping , Karasjok, Norway – cottage, 138evro. Nice cottage with two bedrooms.

Next night was New Year eve))) In the beginning we ran into a barrier to the North Cape, the road due to weather was closed and they were not planing to open it. Then, too, not without incident arrived at the hotel. Skaidi Hotel *** , Repparfjord, Norway – 253euro 2 rooms. But we did not get into this hotel, or rather we were, but they were not waiting for us. It turns out 2 days before they decided to close until mid-January … and the fact that we have booked them 3 months ago were not importante, they even wrote us a letter… 2 days ago. There were no hotels with free rooms and all the roads are closed. In general the only option turned out to be a motel – 2 Bedrooms, 183euro.





This night was the cheapest – High-North Camp Birtavarre , Birtavarre, Norway – 52euro for a small house in the camp.










ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi, Finland – excellent wooden house with fireplace and sauna, 130euro.









































Really liked the hotel Skogshotell Koskullskulle, Sweden – cottage with 3 bedrooms and insane views of the snow-covered forest, 182euro.
























































A disappointment awaited us in Kiruna Järnvägshotellet Kiruna *** , Kiruna, Sweden – two rooms 262evro per day.


















































In Stockholm, we were living on the boat – cheap and interesting Ånedin Hostel , Stockholm, Sweden – two cabins for 136euro.


Karasjok Camping, Karasjok, Norway,scandinavia

Karasjok Camping, Karasjok, Norway

Karasjok Camping, Karasjok, Norway,scandinavia
Karasjok Camping, Karasjok, Norway,scandinavia Karasjok Camping, Karasjok, Norway,scandinaviaKarasjok Camping, Karasjok, Norway,scandinavia
Karasjok Camping, Karasjok, Norway

Skaidi Hotel *** , Repparfjord, Norway,scandinavia
мотель, норвегия,scandinavia


 High-North Camp Birtavarre , Birtavarre, Norway ,scandinavia
 High-North Camp Birtavarre , Birtavarre, Norway ,scandinavia
High-North Camp Birtavarre , Birtavarre, Norway

ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi, Finland,scandinavia

ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi

ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi, Finland,scandinavia
ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi, Finland,scandinavia ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi, Finland,scandinavia
ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi

ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi, Finland,scandinavia
ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi, Finland,scandinavia
ArcticPolar Lomakylä Kilpisjärvi

 Skogshotell Koskullskulle, Sweden,scandinavia

Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden

Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden,scandinavia
 Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden,scandinavia
Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden

Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden,scandinavia
Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden,scandinavia Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden,scandinaviaSkogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden,scandinavia
Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden

Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden,scandinavia

Skogshotell, Koskullskulle, Sweden

Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia

Quadruple Room. Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden.

Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia
Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia
Double Room. Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden.

Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia
Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia
Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden

Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia
Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden,scandinavia
Järnvägshotellet Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden
Ånedin Hostel,Stockholm, Sweden,scandinavia
Ånedin Hostel,Stockholm, Sweden

Things to do:

Snow Castle:

In Hetta, Finland on Lake Ounasjärvi every year a snow castle is built. It is small, but still interesting. But on New Year’s holidays it was empty … no one at all (


Snow Castle,Hetta, Финляндия,Ounasjärvi,scandinavia

Husky Farm:

You can ride a dog sledge, you can even have a many days hike with dog sledding, or you can see how they live, learn about how the dog became the leading and many other things about dog’s life) We were in Engholm Husky Design Lodge. But this is the real dog, driving, do not like walking with leashes.


хаски, собачьи упряжки,Hetta, Финляндия,Ounasjärvi,scandinavia

Nordkapp:

It is the northernmost point of mainland Europe (Norway), the harsh rocks with stormy sea and the gale-force wind.


Nordkapp,норвегия, самая северная точка континентальной европы,scandinavia

Snowmobiling:

It’s a great fun – take a ride on snow-covered expanses and frozen lakes. We drove to the border of three countries – Norway, Sweden, Finland. Kilpisjärvi, Finland.


снегоходы,Kilpisjärvi,Finland,scandinavia

Moose – a northern monkey:

Feed the moose with banana is just amazing) they are great and very funny stick their tongue) Vittangi moose farm.


Vittangi moose farm,sweden,scandinavia

Ice Hotel:

One of the most unusual and stunning hotels in the world. Every year this hotel rebuilt anew. Every year it’s different. Designers and sculptors create unique rooms. And even the chandeliers at this hotel are made of ice. Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.


ледяная люстра,main hall,icehotel,Jukkasjärvi, Sweden ,scandinavia

Norwegian fjords:

Certainly not the most comfortable in the winter time look at the fjords, but this time of year, they acquire a special charm when the lights of dawn smoothly turns into after sunset.


фьорды,норвегия, природа, зима,scandinavia

Northern Lights:

This is what you need to see at least once in your life. No photograph not give this extraordinary effects, when the sky is illuminated by a mysterious light bright bands, they move, poured, into each other and sparks as it trickles down. Abisko, Sweden.


северное сияние, aurora,Abisko, Sweden ,scandinavia

Part 1. Snow Castle and Husky farm.
Part 2. New year at the north.
Part 3. Nordkapp – the most northern cape of continental Europe.
Part 4. Northern coasts.
Part 5. Snowmobiling and north dog Pumpulli.
Part 6. Moose – northern monkeys.
Part 7. Snow fairy tale.
Part 8. Ice hotel.
Part 9. Winter in Norwegian fjords.
Part 10. Aurora.
Part 11. Stoсkholm.

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