Kiruna – Chasing the Northern Lights

Kiruna – Chasing the Northern Lights

Arrived in Kiruna just as it was getting dark. Of course the bus doesn’t run this time of year from the airport to town. Luckily I was able to split a cab with a girl who flew in from London, just for the night, to see the Northern Lights.

L1003822Kiruna is a cute little town. Even though it’s a mining town and the huge massive open part of the mine is in plain view. Interesting, the mining company plans to move about half the town over to one side so they can reach further deposits. See the red line in the  picture? Anything above the line will be moved in stage one. The rest of the town will be moved in a stage 2. Damn that original town planner!!

Imagine, moving half a town!!!.. as in.. deconstructing and reconstructing the Church, Town Hall and other important buildings!!!! Then compensating everyone else they need to tear down. Talking with the locals though, the community seems to be ok with it. Since their jobs depend on it.

So here I met Anna from Catalonia. Also here to see the Northern Lights. Talking to the guy at the hostel, he tells me the best place is right up the top of a Ski Slope!!!!.. so, of course, eager as I am I grab Anna and two Swedish girls staying there also and up we march / crawl / slide.. in the middle of the night at -5C. Since nature was not our friend that night it started to cloud over as soon as we started our climb. By the time we reached the top the sky was completely covered. Luckily the view of the town and being close to my first snow gun compensated somewhat. Just thinking of the poor girl I split the cab with. She came all the way from London for one night!!

The next day was no better but on the third night…presto!!!!… yum yum…my very first sighting of Northern Lights.

Tomorrow I take a train to Abisko, a very small town next to a lake where I’ll meet up with Anna again. BTW we decided to go all the way up to the North Kap together by train and bus, then get a ferry / boat back.L1003774

No Northern Lights but the climb was still worth the view. What looks like a giant cruise ship in the background is the massive mine towering over the city.

No Northern Lights but the climb was still worth the view. What looks like a giant cruise ship in the background is the massive mine towering over the city.

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U go grandma!!

U go grandma!!

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