A Most Excellent Adventure
(click on pictures to enlarge)
One of the local interests around Kiruna is the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi. This hotel is built from scratch each year from ice and snow. This year's hotel is 4.5 kilometers in circumference and is constructed from more than 30 tons of ice. The hotel itself has 48 rooms including a reception area, a chapel, and a bar.
The reception area in the hotel is similar to most reception areas, except there are no computers. The actual check in is done elsewhere. The pictures below show: A, the check in area, B the chandelier, and C a close up picture of the chandelier that shows the fiber optic tubes to each ice bulb. The actual light for the chandelier is in the ceiling. There is a fiber optic tube to each frozen light so the heat from the light does not melt the "bulb".
The rooms in the hotel have ice beds that you sleep on. The bed consists of a box frozen in the ice with a small foam pad covered with reindeer pelts. The sleeping bags are in a heated room. The idea is to retrieve your bag right before you go to bed. Shown below is A the bed, B the door to the room, and C the do not disturb sign on the door.
One of the big attractions of the Ice Hotel is the ice bar. The bar, picture A, serves both cold vodka drinks and hot chocolate. The cold drinks are served in cubical ice glasses, picture B and C, with a well drilled in the center. The various drink bottles are shown in pictures D, E, F, and G. Booths, picture H, are provided for an intimate drink. They do have an electric refrigerator in the bar...it is used to keep the stereo warm.
In the pictures below, A is the entrance to the chapel, B is the front of the chapel as seen from the door, C is a small side alter, D is a sculpture, and E is the baptismal font (pity the poor child that gets baptized with that cold water).
If you are the queen of Sweden, there is a special throne complete with reindeer pelt to insulate from the ice. This is shown below.
Finally, when you have braved the cold for the night, drawn your sleeping bag strings until just your nose is sticking out and you can only smell the reindeer pelts which you have been feeling, lumpy in your back, you get a certificate to prove all of this as shown below.