The wooden church is well known for its wall paintings, and a museum is in the nearby. The supermarket is post office and pharmacy as well. We had booked a room in one of the cabins. Behind the sports field of Jukkasjärvi was a prepared track of 5 km for classic and skating style. And there was a longer track of 10 km through the picturesque landscape. Kiruna itself hat a bigger area of prepared tracks, but we found the opportunities in Jukkasjärvi satisfying enough, and so we visited Kiruna only for shopping.
We already knew from an article in a German magazine that Jukkasjärvi had an igloo serving as a hotel, and we were interested to see it. In reality it was much more fascinating than we had expected. After a report in Japanese Television even tourists from Japan found their way to Jukkasjärvi. The building had a considerable size. The walls had been constructed by blowing snow on a metal form. One or two days later the form could be pulled out, when the snow was hardened. Big ice blocks from the river served as windows.
This one here with the two cranes was the wedding room. All hotel rooms had tables, armchairs, a wardrobe, and almost everything was made out of ice, except for the blankets. One room even had an ice telephone, very decorative, although not functional.
A side entrance led into the chapel, where everything from the bible to the candleholder was made out of ice. We were curious now and wanted to stay in the ice hotel for a night. During the week there were rooms available, during the weekend it was fully booked. So we took the "Love Room" for thursday night.
The bed consisted of an ice block with a layer of foam rubber and a layer of reindeer furs. It was comfortable to be in the sleeping bag and read a computer magazine. We needed some time to arrange with the sleeping bag, a Fjällräven Silhouett with a cotton bag inside. In expectation of a cold night we had put on some additional clothes, and we had to take off most of them because it was much too warm.
In the morning a warm fruit juice was served and then we had a morning sauna. The lowest temperature in the night had been minus seven degrees Celsius outside and minus two degrees inside. At the following day it was much louder in the ice hotel. A group of 30 persons from a company had rented all the rooms, and they warmed up with wodka before going to sleep.
We joined a scooter tour to refresh our driving skills. The dog tours were fully booked, so we had to wait for an opportunity.
On our last vacation day the dog trainer wanted to pick up a group of tourists at the airport. He offered us to come with him to the airport for our return flight. We agreed, and with three sledges we went on the 15 km tour. Our luggage was transported with a car.
Some day we perhaps would come back and go on a longer tour with dogs. At least, were not absolute beginners any more. However, in the following year 1996 we went to Rovaniemi/Finnland in winter and spent beautiful days together with our relatives in the skiing area at Ounasvaara.