Saturday, January 17, 2009

Far North: Ice Hotel



Artic light, aurora borealis, Mother of Pearl, so lucky to see them all.

Got a few requests, about Ice Hotel. Ice Hotel was one of the reasons Kiruna visitors must take a day off their dog-sledging, skiing, aurora-hunting, and take a bus to nearby town of Jukkasjärvi. Beautiful small town, or should I call it a village?

Built from ground every year from the ice of Torne River of Jukkasjärvi. Yea, this is the river where they got you the Ice Glass in the infamous Absolut Ice Bar! Yea, Absolut, the alcohol of Swedes plus the world-famous art piece Ice Hotel!





Refill a few times and it'll melt away. Smart strategy and heard from the guide that the glasses are being produced in the count of millions here from Torne River and distribute to the Ice Bars of the whole world.

Entrance fee was 150 SEK, or RM75 or SGD 30. Expensive but definitely worth the price. The hotel opens phase by phase, when we were there half of the ice hotel was already completed. The art suites(too beautiful to sleep inside) like the one I posted above are gems to the eye but not all are completed. Therefore the best time to visit Ice Hotel should be around March to May where there are more sunlight and more complete structure.

To elaborate more on the art suites, every year they invite or rather, the artists apply to come and after some selection process, the selected artists gather around and start working, carving on the ice and let their imagination and creativity run wild. Each art suite bears a title and theme by a single artist. For example, the heading picture of the art suite is "Hoshi to Tsuki", or "Stars and Moon" by a Japanese artist.


Lost Paradise


Apple Tree (I forgot the exact name)


The Queen


Exploding Sun


Untitled (I can't remember the name of this one)


Time for prayer? Get closer to God in this ephemeral Ice Hotel Church which is a disjointed structure from the Ice Hotel here. Many people crowd over here to have their eternal vows heard by the god. Cold it is, but the warmth of the prayers shall keep them warm. Imagine, having a marriage here in the temperature of minus 20 to minus 0.

Some art pieces of Ice Hotel art suites, taken by my humble little 400D and kit lens.







Feed your curiousity on how they build the Ice Hotel from scratch every year, go to How Stuff Works - Ice Hotel!

So, before concluding our one short day enjoying the views of Ice Hotel, we were actually surprised by another natural phenomenon when we came out of Ice Hotel... The Mother of Pearl! Min must have hated me very much because she couldn't see Northern Lights when she came and she thought seeing this Mother of Pearl was great enough but we had both... ha ha.


Mother of Pearl - Not just beautiful sunset! Too bad my skill and lens not so good. Notice the colour of pearl, the pink bordering the whites and purple... I don't know how to describe...
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