founded on top of one of the richest iron ore lodes on earth
...and today home to the world largest underground iron ore mine in the world.
Is since a few years more known for the ice-hotel in Jukkasjaervi than for the
rocket launching facilities it houses. - This is where we set out to cross the
Swedish Alps and reach the most northern and all- year ice-free port of Narvik,
at the Atlantic Coast of Norway.
Actually travelling downhill from Kiruna, we follow the wide basin centred around
the lake of Torneträsk where the Road of the Midnight Sun takes us ever
deeper into the mountain range. At a half-forgotten railway station, we stretch
our legs before continuing to Abisko Östra, where we will spend the first
night at the foot of the mountain of Njulla.
forms a formidable watershed. This is the reason why the micro-climate
in Abisko, situated to the east of the mountain, is distinctively different
than to the west of the cave perforated massive.
For travellers by foot, the 930km long trekking path named Kungsleden, sets
out from the National Park here in Abisko. The next day, while following the
old rallar-track, we can verify the distinctions in weather and climate, as
we get a chance to practice quick draw of rain clothes.
, the climb begins and by the time we reach the borderline
the altitude at road level is about 1,000m above sea level, and the rounded
mountain crests give way to jagged peaks.
Coming closer to Narvik,
the Atlantic welcomes the traveller to descend
upon the town. This is where during WWII this was one of the last stands for
the Brittish before the Germans occupied Norway, and the fjord is littered with
sunken ships - one of which the heavy cannons are still rising above the waterline,
in a gesture of warning to the visitor - do not forget, all this beauty comes
at a price.
After a visit to the memorial museum, and the local pub, the out-biked legs
are welcoming the rest lend by the youth hostel's warm bed. The coming three
days, the biking is made at a background with high snow covered peaks, rising
majestetically from the clear waters of the North Atlantic.
Small vacation and fishing cottages, frequently furbished with earth and grass
roofing, are clinging on to the steep shorelines where the granite is constantly
being battered by the swell of the sea and the crisp and steady western wind.
Base camp is set up in skarberget, where both camp ground and proper beds are
available. From here the coastal roads and tracks are explored, all including
a quite long tunnel half-way to Narvik.
Upon returning to Narvik for the journey home, it appears that the railways
refuses to take the bike on as luggage! Thus, the scenic route followed westward,
now can be covered in a eastward travel - if you're not lucky to go hitch .
This year we went to Stockholm not for biking but for speedskating! Also a lot
of fun, Watch
the movie (swedish)