17 February, 2011

Lappland deep freeze?

So we are planning a trip up to the very tip, top of the country in a few weeks. We fly into Kiruna, spend a night there, a night in Abisko at a national park, and then take the 18+ hour night train back down to Stockholm. We are going to sled with dogs and we are going to have (at least) a drink at the ice hotel, and dern it, we are going to see some northern lights! It may sound crazy in the middle of winter, especially when it has been so cold here, but if Stu and I move away from Sweden at the end of our studies, we might not ever do this again. And I really do think that the even-darker, even-colder north will make Stockholm feel like a southern paradise. It's all about your frame of reference, right?

But I just read an article that they are experiencing *record* cold up there. So cold that the electricity company cannot handle it...-42 degrees celsius (which, by the way, is about the same in farenheit...-40 is where the two meet!) The guy quoted says most people use wood stoves to keep warm. Yeah, with what alternative?!? Succumb to being a popsicle? How the hell does the power company stop functioning? That is their job. And this is Lappland...I get that it is a little colder than usual, but shouldn't they be prepared for that?  This is SWEDEN!

Eh, nevermind, they probably imported the utility equipment from France, just like the rail cars that can't handle Swedish snow.  But the cold weather is supposed to last another few weeks, just in time for us to visit. And thankfully, there will be six of us taking the trip together, so if the power craps out while we are staying up there, there are plenty of people to huddle together with for warmth.

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