Monday, February 16, 2015

Trip to Norrland

Hello Everyone! Just came back from my unusual holiday. I call it unusual because it's not really my cup of tea to travel to the north on wintertime. Believe me, I love snow and I just love how it looks when it turns everything around into white, giving it a picturesque backdrop but don't like the cold weather! When I was young, coming from a tropical country, I used to wish we have four seasons so I could play with snow or build a snowman or go skiing but when I actually experienced my first winter, I was happy I was born in Paradise. ;)

During this holiday, We drove from the Skåne, Sweden to Umeå, Sweden and yes it was a long drive! However, we made a stop in Dalarna for two nights to see the famous giant Dalahäst (Dala Horse) and visit the old cozy town of Tällberg.


one of Tällberg's timber hotels.
Tällberg- one of the most known tourist and visitor resorts in Sweden.

Beautiful view over lake Siljan in Tällberg.

It took about 6 hours drive from Skåne to Dalarna and another 6 hours from Dalarna to Umeå. The reason why I wanted to go to the north of Sweden (Norrland) is to be able to see the Northern Lights and I was willing to go far north to the last city of Sweden, Kiruna. Since we only have two weeks holiday and we also booked a winter cruise to Finland, we didn't really have time to drive another 7 hours from Umeå to Kiruna and back.

So bad weather and snowing heavily going to Umeå.

Driving at 40km/hr since we didn't have spikes on our car.

On our first night in Norrland, we booked a hotel in a small town outside Umeå and drove to the forest hoping to see the Aurora Borealis, regardless of a weak Aurora forecast with only 2 kp. We waited for hours but the sky was not clear enough so we gave up. The next day, we drove to Umeå to see a friend and decided to stay in the city even though the Aurora forecast that night was very active. We stayed at Stora Hotellet and it is probably one of the most fabulous hotels I have stayed. The staff were very helpful with superb service. Nightfall, we drove outside the city to go to a darker area. The sky was clear, the stars were out and on our way to the forest, we saw a greenish glow on the horizon. It was so beautiful and my instincts were telling me to take photos but I was too lazy to take the camera out and I was also assuming to see more so I didn't. Yes, it was the Northern Lights. We drove and drove until we reached a really dark forest, we stopped and waited for a while. Suddenly, we saw a reindeer crossing the quiet forest road. It didn't care and it was busy eating. My husband was very happy since it was his first time to see reindeer in the wild. Apparently, there were more reindeer on the other side of the road. We waited and waited until we became so hungry so we drove back to the city to eat then a few hours later, the weather changed from clear to very foggy so I never got the chance to see the Aurora Borealis again. :(

Downtown of Umeå.

Frozen river in Umeå, Sweden.

Very artistic rooms of Stora Hotellet from 250USD per night.

Stora Hotellet

Stora Hotellet

We found a reindeer!

And more reindeer! Spot them.

The Northern Lights we saw was more like this. I regret I didn't take photo! But still happy to see the Northern Lights low on the horizon.

Photo credit: Jdombstravels

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