Kiruna has quite an extraordinary geographical location – following its latitude, 68 degrees N, around the world, one discovers that it runs through uninhibited wilderness on much of the globe.
Apart from the location, it has the world’s biggest underground iron-ore mine, the Ice Hotel, Sami culture and the impending city move. Houses, Kiruna Church and several turn-of-the-century houses are on the list of buildings that will move to the new Kiruna. The home of the first Manager of the LKAB mine ( Hjalmar Lundbosgården), one of the oldest buildings in Kiruna, will also be moved.
The deformations which are caused by the mining are closing in on the current centre which will eventually be turned into a city mining park.
This transformation is something which neither Sweden nor the rest of the democratic world has seen before.
The train line into the mountains that rear up behind Narvik (point of departure today) and spread East across the Swedish border was completed in 1903.
By any standard this was a remarkable achievement as the hundreds of Navvies who made up the workforce endured astounding hardships during its construction. The line passes through wonderful scenery slipping between hostile peaks before reaching the Rocky Mountain plateaux beyond.
IT WAS OUR DELIGHT TO TRAVEL THIS TRACK TODAY.
A Swedish company now operates the OFOTBANEN with 2 or 3 daily departures from Narvik for the three hour journey to Kiruna, Northern Sweden.
ICE HOTEL – JUKKASJÄRVI
JUKKASJÄRVI is a remote village located 200 Kms north of the Arctic Circle. It is the place of contrasts – in Winter temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees (minus 5 degrees today for us) and the northern lights create panoramic light shows (but not for us) across the wintery sky. In summer the intense midnight sun burns for 100 days and nights without setting. This is the home of the ICEHOTEL – an Art project and a hotel made of ice and snow.
Every winter sees a new building of the hotel as some 50 artists from all over the world gather to build the ICEHOTEL.
THE TORNE RIVER
ICEHOTEL is located on the banks of the TORNE River. Originating from the great Tornesträsk, it is one of Sweden’s longest rivers and one of Europe’s last unexploited waters. When the River is frozen solid, and at its thickest, many thousands of tons of its pure, crystal clear ice is harvested. Most of it is used to build the ICEHOTEL and when it melts in Spring the loan is returned to nature.
From River – to River.
The natural beauty and the unique story is an inspiration that can never be found in artificial ice.
OUR ARRIVAL IN KIRUNA
THIRTY MILLION TONS OF IRON-ORE ARE SHIPPED OUT EACH YEAR
IT WAS SNOWING AS WE WALKED TO CHECK-IN AT CITY HOTEL
MAY YOU KNOW THE BLESSINGS OF GOD, THE FATHER AS WE MOVE INTO A NEW YEAR – 2014