Icy eyelashes and relentless hours of darkness.
It might not sound so amazing at first, but there is more to it than you might think. I’m going to write about my home town Boden. A snoozy little town up in the north of Sweden with a population of about 29 000. And I will be kind enough to show you where it is on a map!
Boden is located about 100 km soth of the arctic cirkle. That means that at the darkest time of the year we get about three hours of sunlight. “But that must be horrible!” you might tink? And it is, sometimes. But also, it’s not! This darkness gives you opportunitys to experience things you only can experience in a few other places on earth.
Aurora Borealis – The northern lights
The dark nights and days is set up to be the perfect canvas for one of natures most amazing wonders – The northern lights. A clear day you can go out with your snowmobile suit, lay down in the soft snow and enjoy the show of the shifting (most commonly green) lights above you in the sky. Even though Boden might not be the top destination for this (That will be another article) there is not one winter without the northern lights. Some people can even swear that they’ve heard them spark and make noise, but that’s also said to be a myth. Who’s right about that I will leave to someone else to sort out!
Ever felt cold? Like, -30 cold?
Or sometimes even closer to -35 degrees celsius maybe? I’ve always said that after you pass -15 you can’t really feel any difference, it’s just plain cold! But it’s a lovely dry cold. Your breath makes your eyelashes freeze, and when you get in and they melt, your mascara will be all over your face. If your brave enough to o outside with wet hair, it will have gone almost solid by the time you get in, and never mind the beanie hairdue we all walk around with in winter. There is still something special about it etting so cold. There is a freshness in the air and the air is so clear that you will never imagen anything like it. And why not go in the sauna with a beer, and cool down with a quick roll in the snow before getting back in the heat? just sayin’…
Winter is when we do stuff!
There are so many things to do in the snow, and that’s what’s so great about the north! I grew up going away on trips with the snowmobile the whole family. The adults packed food and drinks and all the outdoorsie things you needed to stay out the whole day, and off we went. We usually found a spot with deep snow in front of a hill, so you could dig out a snow sofa and put some raindeer hide on it to keep us warm. The classic meal was hot chocolate drinks, bbq:ed swedish falukorv (a kind of sausage), preferebly a bit bruned and with loads of tomato ketshup on it. Bring som skies and you’re soreted for a whole day of fun!
This activity is great, because it’s enjoyabe for all ages. And if you feel really brave, tie up a roap behind the snowmobile and get pulled on skies behind it! LOADS OF FUN! If you don’t have yur own snowmobile, don’t worry, there are tourist agencys that can helt you out.
If you don’t enjoy gettin pulled on skies by a snowmobile, perhaps dogs are more your thing? In January me, my boyfriend and his sister went on a dog sledding trip through the forrests and frozen lakes around Boden. It’s somethin very peacefull about this, and you can tell the dogs love it! This is possibly one of my favourite things to do and we had a lovely day with the guide, the dogs and eachother.
There’s plenty of other winter activites to do aswell, and you can find more information via Experience Boden!
The military fortress
Up in Boden we also have our fair share of history. Once up on a time we trule feared “the russian”. And this kicked off the construction of bodens fortress, so now we have forts in five of the mountains surrounding Boden. This makes a normal hike in the wild a little bit more exiting when you all of a sudden can come across ha half fallen apart bunker. Today the military defence budget have ben dramatacly cut, leaving alot of the former defensive buildings around Boden empty, and one of the main forts is even a museum where you can go and have a look of what used to defend swedens gold reserv… or did it? Did, or do, the gold even exist? So much sectrets when it comes to military history!
There’s always a reason to go somewhere new!
So why not let that new place be a little old military town in the north of Sweden? And if you hate the cold and dark, go over summer! The fishing is amazing, and in contrast to the winter, you get almost 24 hours of sunshine, hot summerdays with temperaturs sometimes reaching around + 30. How lovely does that sound?!