Just spent an interesting night in the Vandarhem af Chapmen Youth Hostel in Stockholm. This place is pretty cool because a lot of the dorms are in this old masted ship moored up alongside the shore. Very swish, although the beds are a little creaky and make sure you don’t end up in the 11 person dorm!
Stockholm is very nice, a lovely waterside town. Makes a big change from the artic peace and quiet of Kiruna where I was the other day. Kiruna is Sweden’s biggest town in the north, which means it has a few thousand people or so. The reason’s I ended up taking a 16 hour train journey there and back (in the pet car on the way up with lots of cats and dogs) were many and varied – but mostly to do with a boy’s desire to tick off “being north of the artic circle” on the list of things to do in my life. So now that’s done, and only a few months after I crossed the equator (although I think I slept through that on the plane).
Kiruna was a lot of fun. Wandering around in the snow with vey few sounds to be heard is a beautiful thing. Then went off for a visit to the amazing Ice Hotel, where each of the suites contains beautiful ice sculptures, the rooms are at -5 C and you can drink Absolut (what else) from glasses made of ice. Brrr indeed. Strangely you’re fairly warm outside in the sun, but as soon as you go inside you freeze – a change from the usual scheme of things. All this man made beauty was outdone by the splendour of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights… Absolutely stunning to stand in a dark snowy field staring at green waves of light playing across the sky. Truely beautiful and right up there with the best nights of my life. In fact if there had been turtles there then it would probably of been the best night in my life…