Days 259 and 260 — Way up north

Sweden is a loooong country but not too wide. Sizewise, it is about 9,000 square miles larger than California and somewhat similar in shape. Several summers ago we went up north and here are some pictures of our trip to the Arctic Circle.

Our little hut at the campground where we stayed, very much like a Sami hut. Samis are the indigenous peoples of the north.

Dining hall at the campground.

Outhouse.

Church.

Here I am right at the Polcirkeln.

Church in Happaranda. Very different architectures from churches further south. Heavy Finnish or Russian influence.

Golden hour at about 10:30 at night.

This is about midnight just below the Arctic Circle in the town of Happaranda which is way up north there Sweden and Finland come together. The sun does not rise and set up here in summer but travels in a large circle and where we were, just dips below the horizon and then comes back up.

Me in our Sami hut. We slept on reindeer hides and roasted hot dogs over the open fire. It is such a nice day outside, so why weren’t we out there? One thing the camera does not show is mosquitoes. LOTS of mosquitoes. We knocked ourselves silly swatting them on our skin but after a couple days learned how to keep them at bay. You get some pine cones and light them on fire, then damp out the fire so the pine cones smolder. The smoke drives them away. Clearly though, they were driving me crazy anyway as you can tell.

This could be the most amazing person I have met in Europe. We saw this guy wheeling along the highway in a wheelchair. He was going from Moscow to Lisbon, Portugal and wheeling all the way. He is part of a group of handicapped people in Russia who take on challenges like this. We stopped and did not have any cash but gave him some food and wished him well.

 

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