About a year ago, I talked to a teenager who made an awesome visit to Sweden. He went there to stay at the ICEHOTEL, up in the very far north part of the country. He was a very clever guy who works part time as an architectural draftsman, so he was really fascinated about the idea of a hotel carved each year from ice and snow. He first learned about the ICEHOTEL in a documentary on The Discovery Channel.
It was also his first time traveling out of the country, so I have to give him a lot of credit for being bold enough to spent the better part of 24 straight hours in the air. And even better … from the airport, it was something like 30 miles by dogsled to get to the ICEHOTEL!
Here’s a bit more about the hotel:
It has some permanent, heated rooms. But the really awesome rooms are cold rooms, which workers build each year using blocks of ice from the nearby River Torne. The rooms stay at temperatures from 28 to 40 degrees F.
Each room, according to my source, had a “serene blue glow” from LEDs in the icy walls; the hotel’s silence added to the serenity. He slept on a bed made from ice covered in reindeer fur. The staff wakes guests up each day with a steaming cup of lingonberry juice, which is supposed to do wonders for keeping you warm.
There are some expeditions you can arrange from the hotel. Jukkasjärvi is pretty cold, though, so you really have to bundle up. I heard about some pretty awesome back-country dogsled trips. The food sounds tasty, too … I really want to try reindeer brisket!
Oh, something else: The cold rooms don’t have their own bathrooms. You have to get bundled up, tromp outside and go into the heated area. Can you imagine having to get up in the middle of the night for that? (Shivers)