What does a girl with no sense of direction do when she wants to make a documentary about reindeer in the minus 38 degrees wilds of Northern Sweden? Well, this girl recruits her friend Patrick, a German ex-Special Forces Army Captain to come along and serve as her assistant.
And so it began, our 3,400 kilometer 5 day odyssey from Stockholm to Kiruna, Lapland, with Patrick the machine driving, and with me losing my gloves and testing his patience along the way.
We spotted our first wild reindeer a few kilometers outside Kiruna on our way to the corral. Seizing the moment like a true pioneer I leaped from the car, camera in hand, and promptly tripped into a giant snow bank. Luckily, I made a quick recovery and snapped this shot of Rudolf.
2. The Northern Lights, Aurora Sky Station, Abisko.
We took a ski lift up to the Aurora Sky Station and with amazing luck spotted a swirl of green light almost right away, like a giant UFO, spreading across the ink-black sky.
3. Church Village of Gammelstad, Lulea.
Here we are in the Church Village of Gammelstad, an incredibly well preserved 15th century Unesco World Heritage site. The town is filled with tiny red houses that used to shelter people who came to worship at the imposing stone church from the countryside and were unable to return home because of the long journey. The streets were so quiet and beautiful to stroll through when covered with snow.
4. Fotografiska (Swedish Museum of Photography), Stockholm.
We caught the David LaChapelle exhibit at Fotofrafiska in Stockholm. The space is housed in a former brick industrial art nouveau building, more than a hundred years old. A true clash of classic and modern. The exhibit really showed LaChapelle’s originality as an artist, not just a photographer of pop culture. You could witness through text and video his journeys from the conception of an idea to the final installation or photograph.
5. Rolfs Kök, Stockholm
My favorite dining experience of the whole trip was at Rolfs Kök, watching my friend Peter who we met up with in Stockholm order a pig head off the menu and actually having a fully intact one (cooked) arrive on our table. They even devoured the nose! This Stockholm hot spot is also filled with many delights catering to the less adventurous.
Note- My next trip to Sweden will definitely be in Summer but if you do decide to travel far North during Winter make sure your car has heated seats and an electric engine heater!
*guest post written by Amber Urquhart