Day 9: Kiruna to Sandoverken

May 11, 2013 16:19 – 16:19

Today was a heavy travel day. I’m heading down towards Goteborg, and had planned to do it in two days. But, today’s trip was kind of wearying, so I’ve decided to split the second leg up into two days. Because it rained and snowed most of today, however, I suppose that making tracks wasn’t a bad thing.

Today, a beautiful young woman brought my breakfast to my hotel room. Too much breakfast, in fact. I sent away everything except for the bacon & eggs. That means I sent away the tomatoes, the hard boiled eggs, the ham, the cheese, the bread… Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had a place to eat. Besides, breakfast for me usually takes about 3 minutes, and the big production is wasted on me.

I had breakfast in my room because I was the only guest at that point, and I guess it would’ve been ridiculous to set everything up in the restaurant for just one person. In any case, I had scheduled it for 9 am, and was mostly ready to leave by the time it came, which meant I was out of the hotel before 9:30! That almost never happens. But, I had an 800km drive ahead of me on roads that vary from 30km to 110km, and I was eager to hit the road. I averaged about 89km/h, including stops.

When I left Kiruna this morning, it was snowing lightly. At one point, I hit moderate snow, but since the temperature & road surface were above freezing, the road wasn’t slippery. I exited the Arctic at about 11:30, but still saw snow on the ground for the rest of the day—including here. I actually preferred the falling snow to falling rain… but, when the temperature edged above 3 degrees (Celsius), rain it did. In fact, it was a mostly gray and rainy day until I hit the High Coast region (Höga Kusten), and suddenly there was a blue sky—albeit heavily mixed with fog. And the temperature soared up to about 10 degrees (50F)!

I arrived at the Höga Kusten Hotell at around 6:30 pm. After unloading the car, I took a short 5K hike around the grounds and on the Höga Kusten trail. Here’s the hotel complex from the adjacent park.

The highlight of the hike was a new bird type for my life list… assuming I can find out what kind of bird it was.

At one point, I heard this odd swishing noise, and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I followed it to it source and found an enormous windmill! This little guy provides all of the power for the hotel complex.

And, that’s about it for today. Hopefully, tomorrow will be dryer and sunnier and more conducive to stopping. Also, I plan to cut the travel distance in half, which should afford me more sightseeing opportunities.

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