Kungsleden day 8 and Kiruna
Our last morning we woke up and had a leisurely breakfast by the river and laid our things out on the rocks to dry. The air was so damp there was a ton of condensation on the tent and sleeping bags so we sat in the sun and let them dry before packing up. Our bus from Nikkaluokta didn't leave until noon so we had plenty of time. Even with lazing around all morning we still arrived way before our bus was due. I thought Nikkaluokta was like a small town, but it is really just some cabins and a restaurant/small store.
We came around a corner and there was a huge reindeer! We are totally bff
We finished our hike so we played some cards while waiting for the bus.
After a quick bus ride we arrived back in Kiruna. Our flight was out the next day so we went by our hotel, but we couldn't check in until 4pm so we headed out for some food. I had seen a thai restaurant when we drove through on the way to the train station when we arrived so we headed over there. We had an alright lunch, and two ladies from CA were sitting next to us. They were on their honeymoon and we talked with them quite a bit about hiking and such. They were saying they expected the trail to be harder and 10 miles to be a good full day of hiking. They said how they hike in the Sierras all the time and expected it to be more like that, and we agreed! 10 miles was doable by lunchtime on this trail. We were talking about how we had so much time, but really our extra days would have been fine had the weather been nice as we were planning on climbing Kebnekaise since we were right there. Instead you couldn't even see the mountain so that was a no go. Oh well. They were really nice and helped waste some time. When we arrived in Kiruna it was bustling with people walking around all over. Then right at 4pm it turned into a ghost town! Everything closed except some restaurants and there was no one else walking around. It was strange. It was gorgeous out though so we still wandered. Kiruna has a lot of walking/skiing trails so you can walk all over. It also has a ton of odd sculptures so we took some fun photos with them. Oh we also were able to see the most beautiful building of all time! I don't know that I agree, but still. They apparently like their classics cars there also as people just drove around town in them. Every other car was a classic car it seemed like. Then we had dinner in the restaurant in our hotel which was actually really nice. Then at like 8 we decided to walk a mile out of town to a grocery store that was still open to get some snacks for the plane. While we were walking there we passed some super drunks people - like couldn't standup drunk. Raymond said isn't it a little early to be that drunk? I said well what else are you going to do? Everything closed at 4! Anyways here are out Kiruna photos:
Apparently you don't actually need a parking ticket - just a piece of paper!
The most beautiful building of all time!
Those last two photos are from the airport in Kiruna. There is dogsled parking there! Our flight was supposed to leave Kiruna at noon on Sunday and get back to Berlin at 4pm. The airport is time, just three planes come in and out in a day (plane comes in, people get off, new people get on, plane takes off). Well we got there in plenty of time and everyone boarded the plane and we sat there for a bit and then we find out there is something wrong with the starter for the one engine so the engine won't start. They thought they would be able to fix it easy, but they couldn't so we had to get off the plane and wait until 7pm when the next plane came and would bring the part they needed with it. They did give us food vouchers and they had a small food stand in the airport, but I wasn't too optimistic that they would have food for me. I was pleasantly surprised when they had a great salad bar and you could pile your plate with salad and a drink and some candy and it was delicious! Then it was try and waste a few hours time playing cars and going for walks down the never ending road. The last photo is Kiruna from the road to the airport. It is about 6 miles away so not really close enough to walk to easily, plus it was Sunday so everything would be closed anyways. Well the 7pm flight was late getting in so we didn't end up leaving Kiruna until 9:30pm and arrived in Stockholm around 11. Since no more flights to Berlin were going out they put us up in the hotel in the airport which was actually super nice, though they had an odd decorating sceme.
The mirrors all had positive sayings on them
Everything in the room was just super positive like you are awesome! It was fun. Then the lobby decorations were odd - ome rose sculptures, a black poodle, and an animal skull in a glass dome? It was just strange. They had an amazing breakfast buffet though - almost anything you could want. I really like breakfasts at hotels over here as often times they consist of breads, fruits and vegetable to make little sandwiches (also cheeses and meats, but we obviously don't eat them). This one also had the makings for beans and toast and cereals and tons of other hot items and was really great. After stuffing ourselves at breakfast we caught out flight back to Berlin and made it home about 11am. It took forever trying to get home, but it really wasn't that bad. Everyone was super nice and accommodating so it worked out. Oh one weird thing was a bunch of people on our flight from Kiruna who did not have connecting flights tried to get hotel rooms from the airline. I didn't understand...maybe they had connecting trains they missed? I don't know. It was odd. Anyways that was our hike. It was amazing and I can't wait to head back up there and do the rest of the trail. Everything I had read online before we went hiking said it would take 4 weeks, but then when we got back in one of my hiking newsletters was a story of some people who hiked the entire trail in 16 days including a side trip down to hike Kelbnekaise! So we can totally do it in 2 weeks if we wanted to. Maybe next year...