I'm already one for the cold - a lover of snow, ice, and all things snow sports, so sleeping in an igloo was something I've always wanted to do. Lucky for me, I was headed to the most epic igloo of them all, The Ice Hotel, in Kiruna, Sweden.
|Ice Hotel Grand Hall|
|Gratuitous Plane Shot|
|Selfie, In Fur|
|The Mightiest of Beasts|
For the record, these mighty beasts were some of the most amazing, energy filled, enthusiastic dogs I've ever seen. All they want to do is RUN. And run they did. Led by our incredibly tough female (!!!) musher, they led us through winding snow tracks, up and down hills, all the while knowing the path and where they were going. Amazing.
|Musher, From Below|
|On The Trail|
|View from Shotgun|
There are two different types of ice used to build the Ice Hotel: Ice blocks cut from the frozen river outside (clear ice) and Snice, a mixed combination of snow and ice (the opaque walls). Throughout the Ice Hotel there are different kinds of formations; furniture, ice sculptures, games, chandeliers, and expressive carvings. It was, impressive to say the least.
|Reindeer Hide Clad Doors|
|Art Room - A Cave for Sleeping|
|Even the Fish are Thirsty|
|Bottles Cast in Ice|
We explored the rooms for a bit, checking out all of the different ice sculptures and details of the hotel. Our stomachs grumbled, and luckily it was time for dinner!
Dinner was a delightful evening in the warm building (I was relieved to have a reprieve from the cold, I must admit). The restaurant changed colors continuously as though lit by the Aurora Borealis itself. Honestly, the dinner at the Ice Hotel was one of my favorite meals of the entire trip. It was so simple and fresh, Whitefish Roe served with Crème fraîche, Arctic Char Ceviche, Filet of Reindeer with Morel Gravy, with Almond Potatoes, Truffles, and Vegetables, and we wrapped up with a gorgeous Cloudberry Symphony.
|Whitefish Roe with Crème Fraîche on an Ice Block Plate|
|Arctic Char Ceviche|
Night time at the Ice Hotel was lovely, cold and refreshing. We searched and searched for the Aurora Borealis, but apparently that night there was low solar activity, so we missed the mighty Northern Lights. Fortunately, the Ice Hotel is very handsome at night.
|Ice Hotel, Glowing|
|Selfie, In Air|
After a few more sips of Absolut Elyx (ok, ok, it was more than a few sips), we headed off to bed. The bed was more than just an ice block, but covered in reindeer hides, and we were given sub 30 C sleeping bags to keep up toasty at night. Us girls snuggled in for the night, chit chatting, slumber party fashion, until we drifted off to sleep.
|Weird Brancusi-esque Ice Sculpture, Melting|
|Bear, Standing Guard|
|Selfie, in Balaclava|
|Better than Chipotle|
After our tour we made our way back to the airport. We were off to Stockholm, to get a glimpse into Absolut vodka's mission towards design and art. Next post - Warhol, Beautiful People, and oops, I just spent a lot of money.
Absolut Vodka Distillery Tour
Absolut Elyx Distillery Tour - The new Absolut Vodka (and it's delicious).
Stockholm - The Art and Design of Absolut Vodka