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Entrance to the cold rooms
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The ICE bar

ICE hotel is probably the most travelled destination for tourists in Swedish Lapland in winter. It is indeed a great and unique architecture, and worth sharing. It is easy to go ICE hotel, when you are living in Norrbotten county and have the bus card, otherwise it is connected by air and train. Both from the airport and train station connecting bus are available till the hotel.

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From the street

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The ICE hotel in summer is also beautiful, but in winter it is totally unique. The whole architecture is constructed from 1,000 tonnes of Torne River ice and 30,000 tons of “snice”, a mixture of snow and ice to strengthens the structure. In case you do not know, the river is flowing beside the hotel, or better to say frozen beside the hotel and itself is a photographer’s paradise. In summer, Torne river is the source of fresh water fishes,which are both freshly eaten, frozen and canned. Check out my recipe of delicious baked fish in my christmas cooking.

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Meeting point

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One of the wonder here is lights. The structures look different in different time of the day due to sunlight. When we went here, the day was two hours duration and the dying sun gave some pink blush over few rooms like the ICE bar, and it was amazing. The whole day I spent here, the rooms kept changing color due to sunrise, sunset and evening glows…

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When I visited the ice hotel, it was on the making. So, the ICE bar was not complete, ICE hotel personnel were working hard with heavy instruments. The ICE bar contains an upper hall and properly designed Front bar , back bar and under bar. The wine glasses would be entirely made of ice.  This years´s ICEBAR, aptly named Tribute, was designed and built by Elin Julin, Marinus Vroom and Jens Thoms Ivarsson.

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Ice bar on the making, inside view

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Now, you can obviously stay on ice hotel, but I did not. It is exquisitely expensive and I do not want to use my money which can be spent on tours for two more countries. But the ICE hotel has the option of guided tours, so that you can see the architecture. There are 4 tours a day, two in English, two in Svenska. The price is 325 SEK/ person, and if you include lunch it is 430SEK / person. Small children go for free and students have discounts.

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Doors are made of reindeer skin and horns :O

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The roof

If you step outside and go little further towards the river side, there are more ice structures. The dog sledding is over this river. They also have an introductory class on ice sculpting which can be fun. There are skiing, snowmobile tours, horse back riding, northern light tours (if only it appears when you are staying I guess),photography courses etc. But everything is very expensive 😦

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The ice bars , building blocks of ICE hotel

There is also a tour on making of ICE hotel. Your guide will explain you about this ice bars and balls, how they are made and how every year it melts in summer and it is built again in winter. This year it is the 26th Ice hotel.

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snow mobiles

I went there before christmas, and the church was not ready yet.Still I went inside to take some photos, and rightfully the worker told me , they are working with heavy instruments so I am at my own risk 😛 By the way, besides the ice rooms , there is a gift shop where you can buy Scandinavian souvenirs. I bought some cloudberry tea  which has a nice sweet flavour. Before closing the post, I would definitely like to say that please don’t limit yourself to the ice hotel when you are visiting lapland. Do visit the frozen river and more Jukkäsjarvi to know about the Sami and Lapland’s unique natural beauty  😀

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