Kiruna, 3 pm. The town seems asleep. After Stockholm it definitely is. But it doesn’t mean that it’s dead. I leave the train station and follow the path to the city center. From time to time I heard a car on the large road not far away. Not much though.
From the camping site, north of the town, I take the midnight sun track. It’s not midnight but on September 5pm is the perfect timing to enjoy the sunset while walking. The loop makes me discover different aspects of the town. First, it shows me the valleys and mountains so I feel the wildness and the beauty of the fading greens. Then it goes all around a ski track whispering about winter pleasures. And finally, it brings me to the view of the railway along the large lake, the houses and the dark shade of the mine. My eyes embrace the beating heart of the town and its history…
… A long time ago there was nothing in Kiruna but the Sami people if the season was right. They are the ancient tribes following and farming reindeers. The church in Kiruna takes its shape from the Sami’s house, a goahti. It’s inspiring and worth a visit! Then came the mine and the railway bringing another lifestyle in the 1900’. From then to now, even though the tourism became an important part of the local economy, the mine moves the town. And not only figuratively!
Picture a large truck carrying an entire heritage house across the town. Thousands of kilos on wheels followed by a small crowd for about 2 hours. That happens in Kiruna! Because of the mine, the ground isn’t as stable as it should. So they are slowly moving the city a bit further and making a huge park around the mine!
That’s where I leave you. Find the differences before and after, imagine what it’ll be in a couple of years. Have a trip in the area, walking or skiing depending on the season.
Breathe Kiruna air.
... Practical Corner
The tourist center is in the city center. They were friendly and they knew a lot about the activities etc. So don't be shy: pay them a visit :) That's actually how I learnt about the move of the heritage building! And if you want to know more about the mine and the relocation of Kiruna, there is an interesting video below!
There isn't many hostels in town so make sure to at least check if they have beds available...
You don't know how to get to Kiruna from Stockholm? Well you can fly, take a bus... But I would recommend the train if you have the time. Interested? Check out my story about riding to the North here.
This story is inspired by my trip in Kiruna, Sweden in September 2017.
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