In 2011 Beijing, it was -10 degrees C, but it did not snow.
In 2015 January, Seoul, it hit 0 degrees C, but no it did not snow. (IT RAINED! Busket….)
2015 February, Padova, there was snow all around on the floor, but I did not see falling snow. *dreads*
2015 is the year I first saw falling snow. And Sweden is that special place.
My light-chasing trip to Sweden is one of the best vacation I’ve ever had.
And I cannot wait and am more than happy to share with everyone who would also like to see the beautiful Northern Lights in Sweden, Kiruna!
It’s going to be October soon, and if you’re still deciding where to go for your year-end holiday,
look no further! HEAD TO KIRUNA!
After our short dessert course in Padova, A and I trained back to Milan for our flight into Stockholm.
It was difficult to decide where to go for our light-chasing journey.
And as far as I can remember, I SO wanted to see the aurora, but I was afraid of the bitter cold.
I would like to thank my dearest A for giving me that pat on my back and that “Let’s go!”,
if not, I’ll never be able to experience such thrills! :p
We were considering between Norway, Finland and even Iceland.
The purpose of the trip was to see the lights, and also for me to experience falling snow.
So after reading up, we found out that there is a higher chance to see the lights
when you are in the Arctic Circle:
Thus, we ended up in Kiruna.
It was quite a long way from Milan to Kiruna.
Only SAS flies into Kiruna and if I remember correctly, the frequency of the flights is quite low.
In the end, we had to spend a night in Stockholm in an airport hotel.
We took Swiss Air from Milan to Stockholm, the flight was really small but the view was spectacular!
You might be thinking, “Wth. She stayed one night in an airport hotel and dare say she has been to Stockholm?”
Hahaha! Ok it’s true. That’s cheating.
But while I was in Stockholm, I….
Ladies and gentlemen, I SAW FALLING SNOW!
I think I behaved like a classic country pumpkin that night.
But it was so magical! So quiet! So beautiful! And everything was perfect!
(if I don’t look down at the dirty wet floor)
I tried very very hard to control my excitement because I didn’t want A to laugh at me.
It was such an adventure for me!!! *GLEE*
The next morning, our SAS flight to Kiruna was early in the morning!
The flight to Kiruna gave us the most breathtaking views!
I travel quite frequently but I have never been to this part of the world before!
Check out that view!!!
The airport at Kiruna was super tiny.
There was only ONE BELT! Walking distance between customs, departure and arrival is about 30 steps.
Once we stepped out of the terminal, I had the biggest shock of my life.
I thought Stockholm was cold, but THIS IS JUST MADNESS!!!!
Like A said “You want to see snow right? There will be so much snow here you’ll be praying for a sunny day!”
And they have a freaking rainbow flag outside their airport! I love this place!
Because we were a little worried about getting around while in Kiruna,
we arranged for guides to bring us around.
If you’re getting there, you just have to Google Kiruna guided tours, and there will be ample to choose from.
A lady picked us up from the airport and brought us to the main meeting area in Kiruna city centre.
Kiruna is a pretty small place and if you stay in the city centre, all the amenities you need are all within walking distance.
Our hotel is about 200m away from the tour agency office.
But with our heavy jackets and boots, it takes us quite a while to walk there everyday. Hahaha!
Here’s how it looks like around our hotel and city centre area.
View from our room:
After settling down, we quickly got ready and stepped out again.
The most dreaded part everyday is when we need to get ready to head out.
The dressing part is soooooooo troublesome.
But then again, it is also so important to make sure we keep ourselves warm.
Oh by the way, if you’re heading there and want to stock up on heat packs,
you can forget about it because the freaking “beads” in the heat packs freeze up.
I recommend getting electronic (chargeable) hand warmers from online.
But to be honest, they are quite useless in that climate.
A good WATERPROOF pair of gloves is crucial.
This is the place where I have no chance to take OOTDs at all because I freaking look the same everyday.
Thanks to A, I got myself some of her ski pants.
She also warned me about how important it is to get waterproof apparels when we are there.
I am also thankful for our good jackets from Canada Goose and Moose Knuckle.
Someone left a comment and asked me about winter jackets, these brands are pretty good!
Gotta trust the Canadians when it comes to winter apparels! :p
Our first activity of the day was to head to a reindeer farm!
We were driven by one of the guides, and while we were on the road, we saw some moose crossing the road!
It was SO freaking mad cold even the windows froze right up!
Our guide, by the way, has this weird hat which made me think that he has platinum blonde hair
the whole time. What an odd hat.
When we got there, we met up with other visitors who were with another tour and got introduced to the owner of the farm (lady in red). 🙂
A was elated to be there! She always loved animals!
If you’ve noticed, we are wearing one-piece given to us by the tour agency.
Blue and Purple – freaking ugly. But super warm!
If you are looking at visiting Kiruna but don’t want to splurge on the winter jackets,
you can also hook up with one of these agencies just so you can borrow their apparels. 🙂
It was our first time seeing reindeers and we were both super excited.
In my head, reindeers look like this:
So I was actually quite surprised when I saw the reindeers in the flesh.
They looked so different. (Gosh I sound so stupid.) Lol!
To be honest, if I’ve seen it elsewhere, I won’t even know it’s a reindeer.
But anyhoos, they were super cute and LOVE eating lichen.
After the patting, we were invited into the owner’s little shed….
to have reindeer soup.
I feel bad. But it was quite delicious, especially in the bitter cold.
The shed was really cool too! Here is a really blur photo taken while we were inside.
Daylight hours in Kiruna is pretty short; the sun starts setting at around 2 plus.
And by 4 plus, it would be totally dark.
In the month of June, Kiruna has 24 hours daylight!
And that’s the period of time where they welcome visitors there to witness the midnight sun.
I’d love to go there again in June. 🙂
Kiruna is such a beautiful place, it was really love at first sight.
I am so very excited even when I am looking through the pictures taken in Sweden.
Because I miss this place SO, SO, SO, SO much!
That evening, we also went snowmobiling!
It was my first time on a snowmobile and it was quite a thrill!
Halfway through the trip, there was a short dinner break and we need to WALK UP A LITTLE HILL to a shed.
I found this photo taken by my iPhone and this is EXACTLY how it looked like that evening.
And dinner looked something like this:
It was cold, wet and my balaclava is constantly wet with my mucus.
But that dinner, prepared out of food from tupperwares was one of the yummiest I’ve had all my life.
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Till the next time, cheers!