Luleå, the town by the frozen sea


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Sometimes, you step into a place, and you just know you want to be there, for long. It may not be the best known tourist place, but it has its own charm that grows deep on you and you fall in love with that place. Luleå is such a place for me 🙂

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Luleå is the main town of Luleå municipality and the capital of Norrbotten county. It has the seventh biggest harbor in Sweden for shipping goods. It has a large steel industry. Luleå University of Technology, the famous “LTU” is Sweden’s first technology university and the northernmost university in Sweden.

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Luleå typically offers the comfort and serenity of a small town, at the same time you get the amenities of a metro. There are shopping malls, every bit of urban comfort, technology and  festive pulse. Its a city of contrast in terms of weather. Summers are quite sunny here, and the winter is chilly and heavy snowing is very common. It is winter during half of the year. Surprisingly, I felt more cold in Luleå than Kiruna where temperature goes to -40. This is because the weather is very windy and heavy precipitation of snow makes real feel greater in Luleå even when the temperature is higher.

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Luleå archipelago consists of over 1,300 islands and islets, and though there are 36 Luleån per square km, most of this islands are deserted. People are concentrated around the main city and only around few hundreds of people live in those islands and islets. I never travelled to them, but sure I will do in future if I go back in summer. The brackish water, between fresh and salt, makes the archipelago unique. The modern town is almost walkable and you can walk to the frozen sea in 15-20 minutes from the central station.

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snow, snow everywhere…

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The antique shop

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There is a very nice antique shop in between the station and shopping street. Along with relics and artefacts, they have a nice collection of old records and movies. Best thing is you can rent them.

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This small park always caught my eyes. There is a statue of a girl inside and in the winter, snowfall gave a meaningful contrast. I always wanted to take a picture of snow over the leaves and trees, and it was a perfect place for me.

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Luleå was founded in 1621 around the current Gammelstad, the old town.The coat of arms of the three previous municipalities included a key, the symbol of Peter the Apostle, a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. The town has a grown IT industry and the only data centre of Facebook outside of the United States is in Luleå. The establishment known as the node pole will help turn the Luleå region into a major node for European data traffic.  The Node Pole region provides stable, low-cost electricity that is 100-percent derived from renewable sources. In addition, they cite the benefits of low cooling expenses, given that the region is one of the coolest in Sweden. Sweden’s long political stability is cited as another long-term benefit of the Node Pole’s location.

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Luleå houses world’s first indoor mall ” shopping” . The other two malls are Strand and Smedjan. The main shopping streets in Luleå are Storgatan and Kungsgatan. And they are easily walkable from the central station. ‘Shopping’ is built inside in the shape of a ship and has several major swedish and foreign brands like H&M, Jeans commany, Cecil, Gina tricot, Casual friday etc. But what I love most is the shoe-shopping here.

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Shopping: the worlds first indoor mall

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Thousands of lovely shoes ❤ ❤

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Not only shopping, Luleå is famous for Ice hockey and several festivals and games. The culture house ( kulturens hus) has a library and concerts, and art exhibitions are all hosted here. The city is also the seat for several music bands. The indoor festival called Minus 30-festivalen occurs in the kulturens hus. Luleå Hamnfestival (Luleå harbor festival) is a big summer event  around the north harbor. Musikens make is another smaller summer music festival.

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kulturens hus
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Isbanan @ Luleå port

The frozen sea in winter is one of the most favourite location for both locals and travellers. Iceskating in frozen sea is one major winter activity.It is also a beautiful photographic location. The lighting of  Norrbottensteatern can be seen here behind the port.Due to heavy snowing, I was not able to catch the details, so photos are not so brilliant here. But still you get the vibe. If you are visiting north of Swedish lapland,  do not miss this cozy little city.

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Panorama of the harbour: Miles of frozen sea.

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©thegreyeye.wordpress.com, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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28 thoughts on “Luleå, the town by the frozen sea

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    1. I know you are thinking where is the photos, but I am not able to explore my country properly till now. It is so big and has everything from forests to deserts, mountains to seas, -60 to +50 degree centigrade, and lots and lots of undiscovered travellers’ paradise. I hope to right about it when I travel through. Hope I have a better camera then 😊😄

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    1. Weather wise yes! As for people, no! the far I travel, the more I find people are basically the same in all places. We live for small joys, we are jealous about others fortune, we work hard to get the rent paid, we hate our neighbours for his new expensive car, again we stay awake whole night for that neighbour when he or she is in hospital, and at the end of the day we sing the eternal song called life…we the common people 😊 No, we are not that different!!

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  1. Yes, I meant weather, and of course, architecture. I have never been to either place (India or Sweden); nor much of any other place except a few small jaunts into Canada. I am happy for your ability and opportunity to be able to experience such great diversity of areas, and that you choose to go to the effort to share what you are seeing.

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    1. I would love to see Arizona This time while in Sweden, I made a new friend Helen, she is from Lucerne, Switzerland. So we made each other a deal, if she is coming to India, she is gonna stay with me. And vice versa. who knows? May be one day 😄

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    2. I really thought of a club, exclusive for girls. It is similar to couch surfing if you are aware of that, but only for women. Of course, we have to authenticate everyone’s identity before going to one’s place. But I think it is a good idea 😃😄

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  2. My husband visited India over thirty years ago, just before we met. He has always been fascinated with the country, even though he got sick many times while there. Not a good place for a guy who loves cheeseburgers!

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    1. Hahaha, I can’t offer u good cheeseburger here, as good cheese is really not available. But I can offer lots of good food, both spicy and non spicy, sweet and hot, there are so much variations from one end of the country to other. I am sure, you won’t regret. And sometimes people are afraid of water here, but many people have Uv and Ro purifier installed. So, that’s not a problem any more.

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  3. We have our own distiller in our house, and have been using it for over twenty years. With DH’s cancer and lack of immune system, we need to be very careful of contaminants. I would look forward to dining on your cuisine! Cheeseburgers are okay, but . . .

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    1. Yes, we have been more cautious too after my mom was diagnosed to have stomach lymphoma. Then we changed all the old systems of purifier and installed Uv and Ro technology for purifying and giving us sweet mineral water 😄

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