First, we headed to see the Kiruna church since it was still light out. It was a beautiful church and all of the snow just made it even more beautiful.
Jake decided to have a little fun on the path. (I tried making the videos bigger but I can't figure it out. If you click on the YouTube icon on the bottom right hand corner of the video you can watch it on the YouTube page which is much better.)
Having a little fun on the playground. Sorry if you get dizzy watching this but try to notice the houses, snow and mountain in the background.
Walking to dinner was fun. We saw the Northern Lights again but they still weren't as clear as we had hoped they would be. There were so many cute houses in Kiruna. It was neat seeing all of the snow piled up on the side of the houses and in the backyards. Jake was fascinated by how much snow there was since backyards were completely full of snow. They had poles to mark the edges of things since the snow was so deep. The shovels they used to clear the snow were different than what I'm used to seeing. They were more like a scoop you would just push instead of a shovel that you would pick up and toss.
website of the inside.
The next morning, Monday, February 24th, was our 6th month anniversary of moving to Sweden. What a great day to go dog sledding and then spend the night at the Ice Hotel! We had breakfast at our hotel and then we went dog sledding. We were both really excited to try dog sledding. Jake wanted to find a tour where we could drive our own team but the one we found that was reasonable wasn't doing that tour on Monday and the others were way too expensive. Our guide, Stephanie, picked us up at the hotel at 9:50 am and then we picked up another couple before heading to see the dogs. We drove about 15 minutes outside of Kiruna to where Stephanie lives with her huskies. We changed into some awesome jumpsuits, hats and boots before meeting the dogs. It was a really warm day, about 40°F, and sunny so we weren't cold at all on the sled.
Here we are getting ready to go on our dog sled tour. Another team of dogs go by and towards the end you can see the kennels the dogs were in while they were waiting for us to get there.
About halfway through our tour we stopped to have coffee and cookies in a hut on a frozen lake. The dogs were excited for the break since they were pretty warm after running in warmer temperatures than what they are used to.
Here you can see the dogs are getting excited to run again. She had Jake stand on the back of the sled to hold down the break so they wouldn't take off without her :).
Headed back home.During the break we asked her lots of questions about how she started doing tours and questions about the dogs. She actually came to Kiruna as a tourist about 7 years ago and went on a dog sled tour and loved it so much she stayed. Now she runs her own dog sled tours. On our tour she was training one of the lead dogs. The white lead dog had been a copilot with another experienced lead dog but hadn't ever flown solo so this was his first solo trip. He did great on the way there but on the way back he got a little confused with right and left. He fixed it once after she slowed the sled down and repeated the directions but a second time he couldn't figure out that he needed to go right, so we eventually just went left. I guess most dogs are mature enough to be a lead dog around age 3 and they start getting too old when they are around 10 years old. Not every dog can be a lead dog. Some are better at just following the lead. She has 15 dogs total and seems to really enjoy what she does.
After the tour she took us back to Camp Ripan to get our things and then we rode back with her when she dropped off the other couple so we didn't have to walk as far back into town. We had lunch at Cafe Safari which was really good and then we walked around the town for a few more minutes before catching the bus to Jukkasjärvi, Sweden where we stayed at the Ice Hotel! You'll have to come back for that post . . .