We continue our drive from Abisko National Park along the road towards Norway. We almost reach the border – but we will not attempt to cross today – since things has changed since the summer and Danish residents are no longer welcome within the Norwegian borders. So much for the old passport union in the Nordic countries which used to give passport free travel all across the region half a century before the Schengen zone in Europe was founded.
We get to a place where there is a hotel on top of a hill which must have a great view of the lake below. We decide to head up the hill to enjoy the view and hopefully there will be a restaurant with coffee and cake at the hotel. after all this hotel is really far from anywhere so guest here have pretty much just one option for getting dinner – unless they want to undertake an hour long drive each way to the next restaurant.
We get to the hotel – the reception is actually open but the hotel is closed and the same goes for the restaurant. The reason the reception is open is because the hotel actually has some self-catering cabins for rent which you can still use as long as you are ready to be fully self-catering not relying on the hotel for meals or purchasing of supplies.
We talk to the receptionist who seems a bit bored and like to talk. He says the option for cake is clearly out with the closed restaurant and he only sells very limited drinks. He does offer a cup of coffee which is pretty much the only thing which is still in supply in the bar.
He is the only staff working for the moment and the reception close early since it is way out of season. This resort has guest during large parts of the year except the fall. During the midst of the dark winter they have people coming up here to see the northern light. When the sun returns for some of the day people come to go skiing and the ski season at this location is one of the longest in Europe with option for skiing lasting until the end of June – so you can go skiing in the midnight sun. The summer season kicks in shortly after the snow disappears and people come for hiking in the midnight sun. But the fall – is the few months with hardly any guest – despite a change to see the northern light in the dark nights.
He tells us the season is unusually warm and the snow of this year is running late compared to normal. I guess there should already be snow on the road which would have made it difficult driving to reach this town.
A little interesting information was he was at this hotel during the winter season of 2019-2020 where they had a lot of Asian guest going for the northern light. I guess they had a lot of Chinese guest as well. During this winter season he got the flue – and so did pretty much all the other staff during the season. they didn’t think much of it – but it turned out a few months later he actually got a test of antibodies for covid-19 and it turned out he had those and he had only been sick in January. A month before the first known case of covid-19 was detected in Sweden. I guess these Asian guests might have been the reason Norrbotten region in northern Sweden was actually a surprisingly hard hit region – if the decease had been going around the area for a month before being detected it could spread freely before any measures were taken and it could stay for longer. We keep talking for a while and then we have to head back if we want to reach Kiruna before it gets dark – and we don’t really want to drive for too long along these roads with reindeers wondering the area after dark – they do have a tendency to hang around the roads a bit too much to make it pleasant after dark.