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I've been wanting to go the Ice Hotel in Sweden for a while, and since it was my 30th earlier in the year, managed to persuade Lana to come (since she doesn't like the cold much).
Some background, it's a hotel made out of ice. Located in Swedish Lapland. You normally book in for a couple of nights, spend 2 nights in the warm, one night in a room made out of ice. In a thermal sleeping bag.
Only one place does direct flights, and it's a travel agency, Discover the World, so had to use them rather than going direct. Fairly average experience from them, Lana had to back and forth on the booking for months, but once she escalated to a manager got sorted fairly quickly. They did have a contact on the plane & on site though. And when something got cancelled (through no fault of theirs) they did sort out alternate accom & gave a credit to activities at the Ice Hotel.
Onto the experience. 2 hour flight direct, so fairly easy. Even though it wasn't school holiday's, damn school kids everywhere. Annoying.
I took my Tiger Angel Guardian suit (motorcycle leathers) with me. These are waterproof and gortex lined. This proved damn sweet and warm, even in -10 degree weather. I can't sing my praise to this suit any more.
Onto the hotel, as I said first nights we were in warm accomodation. Beers easily hang outside in the snow to stay cold. The ice hotel is damn sweet, you can wander around during the day.
The next day we decided to go dog sledding. Get to drive your own sled. Lana with her dodgy knees sat on her sled. Great fun, the dogs love to run. Of course I had to play around with the sled, trying to see how far I could lean to turn around corners and go side to side, so fell off in the first 10 minutes while playing around. Dogs didn't stop running, they just kept going, but the guide caught them. I did end up stuffing around a bit to the amusement of the rest of the group. I was stretching (so no hands) and they thought I was showing off BTW, and not all the dogs understand it, but "Ha" is left, "Gee" is right, and "Hike!" is go faster. There is no word for stop.
Some crazy woman decided to have her wedding there. The crazy bit was that she made all the women wear normally dresses and high heels. I pissed myself laughing at them.
Ice Bar was fun, little pricey but fun.
Food is very good, but damn expensive, paid around £100 a night for dinner for 2.
Following day went Snowmobiling. I took us out, Lana tooks us back. I took some pics from behind Lana while were moving. And yes I dumped the snowmobile at one point. Unlike a bike you have to lean in the opposite direction. I started to come down, so I leaned into it like a bike, and of course we went down. Compared to the dogs, this wasn't as fun. Lana putted along for a bit, until she finally let ripped and enjoyed it.
First pic is where I put it into a snowbank
Did some ice sculpting. Lana made a house, I just chipped away randomly. I have no artistic ability.
Went to the Esrange Space Centre. This was a complete waste of time. Stupid little video presentation. Don't get to see any rockets. Also if you have accomodation booked, and a scientist wants your room, they get preference and you get booted. A launch got put forward, so we got booted out.
Stayed in the ice room. That was fine. Running though -5degree corridor to go take a piss was fun. A good bit of entertainment was sitting in the changes rooms and listening to other couples/families arguing. Yes, I'm a sick puppy.
All in all a good trip. Highly expensive, but fun. Full pics on my facebook, or via the following links:
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