Our journey to Sweden commenced at around 8pm. We took a train from Sheffield to King’s Cross, London, then to London Victoria station via underground tube. Since it was late night, we have to board the National Express bus to the Stansted Airport from the tube.
We arrived at the airport at around 2am in the morning. We grabbed some sandwiches from the 24/7 M&S, then we had to lay on the freezing floor as the airport was packed with people waiting for their early morning flights as well.
The security officer woke everyone up around 5am as the airport was about to start its operation. We had our visa checked (ticket stamped), then get through the security check and headed to the departure gate.
We touched down at the Svaska Airport at 11am, local time. First impression – it’s freezing cold. And yeah, it’s literally freezing as we could see from the plane window, the land covered with white snow, leaving only a straight track, cleared for the plane to land safely.
From the airport, we boarded a green bus, labelled 515 to the Nyoköping train station. Since there was still some 3 hours gap before we can get on the train, we walked to the Nyoköping city centre, bought some halal kebab for lunch.
We then continued the journey which was 12-hour-long. We had a private, triple-decker-bed room. We had our dinner in the train; hasfa and thirah finished their lunch pack, but since mine was already finished, I had to buy a sandwich that cost me about 12 pounds! So yeah, my advice, please buy extra for dinner, buying one in the train should be the last option. The whole night in the train was spent with playing monopoly and, of course, sleeping.
We arrived at the Abisko in the morning. Here, the ice madness started. It’s -15 Celsius when I stepped out of the train. We checked in at the AbisoTourist. A very nice and cosy, 2-story-cottage to stay. It’s fully furnished with a kitchen with complete of all utensils.
Starving. We walked to the small village nearby to find some groceries. It was approximately 30 minutes walk from the accommodation to the village. There was a supermarket, called ‘Coop’ at the centre of the village. Surprisingly, there was plenty of halal frozen food which drew a huge smile on our faces. We bought pizzas, burgers, minced meat and a few other stuff, ready for the next 3 days.
We had pizza for lunch before we went to the frozen lake, hoping to see the aurora, to fulfil our main intention of coming to Abisko. It was about 2km from the accommodation. Since the sun set at 4, it was already quite dark as we walked to the lake with such a fascinating view. We took tons of photos there using pasha’s sony a6100.. Well, very low light source means we required a very long shutter speed. I have to be stationary for 30 seconds to be able to get this kind of picture.
We then headed back to the cottage, and cooked instant spaghetti for dinner.
The last itinerary for today is participating an aurora tour package that we have registered. Hoping for a better aurora view, we went to an open space on a snowmobile, a dark area covered by thick ice, which I believed is the best place to see an aurora, other than the sky station. We stayed there for roughly more than three hours. Hasfa and Thirah, using their sophisticated digital cameras, managed to capture a few nice pictures of the aurora. We then returned to the cottage at midnight.
We started the day very early. I was awoken by hasfa around 2am, very excited to realise the aurora was surprisingly clear. They packed up their photography gears, then, together we headed to the lake.
It was only halfway when we were stopped by a magnificient view at a spot which we considered way better without having to walk any further to our actual destination. There, we started snapping photos and recording videos of the majestic aurora mostly in time-lapse mode which included among the best ones we ever had throughout the trip, I guess. After a while we went back to the cottage to rest again.
We had burger for breakfast, then rushed to the reception to meet the rest of the trip of cross county skiing. All the gears are included in the package. We geared up at the room near to the reception and walked for roughly 15 minutes to the skiing track. We went skiing for approximately 5 kilometres.
The tour guide was very helpful as he taught us all the necessary skills required, which I really appreciated as it was my first time skiing. It was a quite a long track. While some of the part along the track still has thick, untouched snow which provided a good traction, the rest of the track is very slippery.
Well, a picture worth a thousand words.
Again, we had spaghetti for lunch before going for sightseeing. Initially, we were planning to go to the lake then spend the rest of the night at the skystation. Unfortunately we were informed by the receptionist at the hotel, the cable car tickets were fully booked. So, we changed our plan, went to the skystation first to try our luck if they have any walk in ticket at the station but there was none. So we spent the whole evening at the lake.
After having burger for breakfast, we checked out at 10am. The train back to Stockholm will depart at 12pm, so we spent the rest of the time gap by walking around the frozen waterfall.
We transited at Boden after 5 hours journey from Abisko, then continue the following 12 hours journey to Stockholm. Nothing much to share for today I guess. Most of the time is spent on the train, chatting and playing cards.
We arrived at Stockholm at 6 in the morning, went straight to the InterHostel, lodging our luggages.
After we had some refreshments, we took a stroll in the old town and the city centre which is located roughly 1km from the hostel.
It was a nice city, near the estuary, equipped with hop-on-hop-off bus and boat service. We wanted to take the bout tour, but being informed that the boat service is closed until end of February. Halal food was easy to find and we had kebab for lunch. From what I saw, the royal palace and the city hall are two of the most prominent buildings. Between these two buildings, there were many souvenirs shops along these streets. During our visit, there was a ski track in under construction around the city hall.
I can’t find a word to describe my feeling. But, this is one of the best trips I ever had. Well, despite of having 24/7 internet access, I never bother myself to upload any of the pictures to Facebook.
Thank you Pasha and Athirah.
I’m now ready for my final semester.