Aurora Hunting and Border-crossing in Abisko and Narvik

We said goodbye to Kiruna, and headed even further north, on another one hour train, to Abisko.  Abisko is not big. It probably takes about ten minutes to walk through the little town. But it’s a nice little town. It mostly survives on tourists I think, because about half of the shops in the place was tourist places, like tour guides, little shops selling crafts and stuff like that. And most people were probably there for the same reason we were. The Northern Lights.

We stayed at Abisko moutain Lodge, in our own little two story cabin. The bottom floor had a small living room area with a bed sofa where Kylie and I slept, and a little kitchen, while the second floor was a single big room with a lot of beds, where Kylie’s mum slept. It was a nice enough place, but the best thing was probably that it was at the bottom of a small hill from where you could walk to to the highest point in Abisko and look at the night sky.

Pic 6We had Cabin 4, on the far left.

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Granted, the whole town is basically built on the side of a hill, or small mountain, but we were just toward the top. We did see a little northern lights at the top of the hill, but there wasn’t much. Kylie has mentioned before that our photos of the northern lights “lie”, and well, yes she’s correct in a way, but I feel like I need to defend myself a little here. While the lights were kind of faint to the naked eye, it’s easy to simply set up the camera to take in more light, making the lights more visible. So no, the photos don’t lie in the sense that they weren’t there. It was just harder to see them with the naked eye, unfortunately. That said, it was still very hard to get good photos of them, partly because they were so faint and the streaks were pretty small, and also there was still a little light pollution from the town below us. We had a bit better luck at the lowest point, down by Lake Torneträsk.

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Abisko was a really beautiful place though, and we spent a lot of time walking around and exploring. We were surrounded by mountains, that were covered in blankets of white snow, and below us a big lake, mostly frozen over and also covered in snow, the flatness of it making a nice contrast to the mountains.

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As I mentioned before, there isn’t many shops and stuff in Abisko. There’s one grocery store, which wasn’t that big and had limited stock, but for some reason, they have a store dedicated only to candy, and there was a lot of it. Kylie and I filled a bag to share, and Kylie’s mum got even more of the liquor chocolates she loved.

I don’t think we got much sleep while we were in Abisko. It was northern lights hunting during the night and exploring by day. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much northern light, but that didn’t stop us from going out every night anyway, ever hopeful of catching it, tracking the light forecast on our phones and everything! We were thinking of going to the Abisko Sky Station, where they say the lights can be spectacular, assuming they’re out, but we dismissed it pretty quickly once we found out that in bad weather, they close it, and you don’t get a refund if that happpens, and we’re glad we did, because we overheard another couple having run into that problem. Or maybe the ski lift had broken, don’t remember. Anyway, all they got to do was watch some video instead of going to see the lights.

We only got to spend one full day in Abisko, and two nights if you include the one when we arrived, because on the second day, we went on a day trip to Narvik in Norway, almost completing the list of nordic countries visited. Kylie still haven’t been to Denmark yet, but I have, so I only have Iceland left, which unfortunately is a bit too far away to include on this trip (but I did ride an icelandic horse, so I guess that’s something. More on that in a later post).

It was a long drive to Narvik, but we did stop at a few interesting places, like Hotel Fjället in Björkliden, where they picked up some more passengers, and which had an amazing view. We also stopped at the Swedish/Norwegian border and a beach by the fjord.

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In Narvik, we got to go to the top of the Scandic Hotel, the observation deck. You had an amazing view of the town, which its little houses and stuff. The deck had a restaurant/bar, which sold drinks and food, but we didn’t really have anything because it was pretty pricey.

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Pic 14Notice the LKAB train, delivering the iron pellets from the mine in Kiruna. These trains are fully automated and pretty awesome

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Once back in Abisko, we got to exploring a little more, because the day wasn’t over yet. Went back to the little store, bought some supplies, but it wasn’t long until we had to pack up again and return to the train station going back to Kiruna, where we, I think personally, we did some of the most fun things this whole trip!

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