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A title image for the stories and adventures I experienced on my second day in the Abisko National Park

Beyond The Arctic Circle – Day 1

I arrived quite late in the evening, after driving for two days straight. I stayed in a hotel overnight and left right after breakfast. Can you image that they were out of coffee? Apparently, everyone wanted more coffee than they expected. It was surprisingly warm as well, around 23°C. This doesn’t sound warm to a lot of people, but for the North of Sweden, it’s quite warm. But here I was, in the absolute North of Sweden in July. Welcome to the land where time is no longer real!

Did you ever hear of the Midnight Sun? It’s quite literally in the name. You are able to see the sun at midnight. You basically are so far north, the sun no longer sets. And that’s an amazing experience! Time becomes no longer real. I was able to go on a walk during the middle of the night, without a flashlight! Suddenly, it made no difference whether it was 2am or 2pm because it was equally bright. So cool! This is one of the reasons why I fell in love with the North. The extremes. The raw and rough nature. The loneliness in the mountains. The wilderness. The list goes on and on and on.

So, what did I do on my first day in one of my favourite places on earth? I went exploring. I was staying in a small cabin right outside of Abisko, so I went to the Abisko “centrum” or Turiststation, how it’s called in Swedish, and got myself a map. Being in the mountains mostly means having no access to cell phone service, so it’s best to be prepared.

Abisko is famous for its National Park and I need to admit, it’s impressive! The canyon is definitely worth a visit. I got two maps at the store. One small one that showed the closest hiking trails and a bigger one that covers the area all the way to the Norwegian border. I decided to explore the closest trails at first. Of course, I didn’t go anywhere without my camera. I explored the area around the canyon before I hiked to a lake where I had a fantastic view of Lapporten. Cloudy started rolling in, so I wasn’t able to capture Lapporten in all it’s beauty. Lapporten (or “The Lapponian Gate” in English) is a U-shaped valley bounded to the two mountains. After coming back to Abisko, I visited the Defense Museum where I had a Swedish Fika (basically a social gathering with coffee and mostly something sweet to eat) with tour guides from the area. I got a few recommendations for places I should visit. We had a great chat before I went on with my day.

Later that, I went on my first half-day hike. A long part of the trail led over snowmobile trails. These are funny to walk on. The trail was really muddy as well and I almost got stuck in the mud. I met two hikers that were going the opposite way. Finally, the snow mobile wooden panels came to an end and the trail merged with Kungsleden, the king’s trail. I also passed by a Suspension Bridge, as you can see in the picture above. I followed the Abisko River to get back to the village. From there, it was another 2.5km back to the apartment I stayed in.

In total, I hiked 23km today! It started raining as soon as I was back at the apartment. It was an awesome first day in the North!

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