If you scroll back in my blog in Sami Village, you can see the sunny pictures of Jukkasjervi in Summer. So, it was amazing to see how everything has been turned white in Christmas time. The winter has its own beauty in this little village of Sweden.
As I have the bus card, it is free for me to commute to Jukkasjärvi. So, I went to have little winter adventure. Most of the tourists go there for the ice hotel, but the Torne river bank and the old wooden church must be in your to do list. The Torne river is one of the clearest water body of Europe, but that turned entirely frozen in Winter when the temperature is around -10 and falling. (Right now it is -32)
So, when most of all tourists got down in Icehotel, we six remained in the bus to go till the church, and best views of the frozen river. First we went to the river in a known corner, we knew from our summer trip. Water is shallow here in summer, now covered with thick ice. Then we walked into the frozen river 😛
Soon, mist started covering the river starting from the mountain. The howling of snow wolf from distance kept echoing in the mountain like an ominous cacophony. It was freezing and we decide to go back to the bank and went to the church directly for some warmth.
I don’t know how many goes to this corner of riverbed by foot, most pass it over through dog sleigh . We went along the track of vehicles, so that ice does not break or no bad incident happens. Anyhow, I have gone in the river in summer as well, the water was shallow in this part of the river. There are tracks of heavy vehicles and sleigh all over the river in winter, so the ice is thick enough to bear our weight. But I absolutely do not recommend you to go by foot into the frozen river, if you go, it is at your own risk!!
While going back, we saw 5-6 dog sleigh coming back carrying the tourists. It is quite expensive to take a ride, but definitely worth it. I did not do it though. It is also better to have the guided sleigh/boat tour over the river as they know the river where it is dangerous. But I loved taking the calculated risk, for it is a lifetime experience to walk through a frozen river for people like me who have sunny weather 365 days @ home ..
So we took refuge to the church for the time being to have some warmth, but unfortunately the church heater was not working. Still it was better than out side. I have another look over this old church, well known for its wooden carved altar piece triptych by Bror Hjorth. It is one of the three oldest wooden church of Sweden and the paintings show how the Sami people were converted to Christianity.
Just beside the church, the Sami camp is there, where for 200 SEK you can see the Sami huts and feed the reindeers. It has a nice cafe with authentic sami foods and a gift / souvenir shop having exclusive items from Sami cultures. I found a book about sami history here and I also saw the same book in IRF library which describes Sami people were forcefully converted to Christianity. I want to give you the exact excerpt, but that may take a few days before I go back there to pick some bags for a friend. This whole week, it is -35 and around and I am not leaving my room.
After spending some time, we walked back to ice hotel, I will post soon about it. But before that, please have a look on this 400 years old Sami village with absolutely amazing houses. If you go through my summer post (Sami village), you can compare some of the houses and see how amazingly different they look in winter.
If you see the post below in summer clicking it, you can see how different it is now.
When we almost reached Icehotel, we saw the house of Santa clause opposite the hotel. It is absolutely amazing for the kids and ummmm 😀 for everyone … So, if you are planning for Icehotel, don’t forget to see the “more jukkasjärvi ”
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