Ice breaker safari
This morning we are driven the 45 minutes to Piteå by coach.
Here we embark on a boat trip unlike any other as we take to the
waters of the Piteälven River on a specially adapted craft that
forges its way steadily through the ice that forms further out to
sea. As we start to break into the thick open water ice shelf that
is main feature of winter in this part of the world, the moment is
marked with a satisfying crunch and a creak as our vessel
successfully breaks through the frozen elements. We plough onwards,
the hull slowly churning up broken chunks of the Gulf of Bothnia
until we reach a point at which we can climb down onto the ice
itself, enjoying a hot drink at the same time to help keep the
chill weather at bay. We return to Luleå this afternoon where you
have some free time to look around. Perhaps make a visit to the
church or make your way to Gammelstad Old Town. Being a named a
UNESCO World Heritage site due to its status as a well preserved
'church village', Gammelstad is home to a collection of traditional
wooden houses that were once a common sight across Scandinavia.
Tonight we set out by coach for Brändön Lodge, a cosy hideaway
beside the Bothnian Sea that looks out over the Luleå' archipelago.
This traditional chalet style hotel enjoys a secluded spot, making
a Northern Lights sighting all the more possible. A drink on
arrival and an array of local snacks, served in one of the Sami
style tents surrounding the property, ensures a warm welcome, and
before a buffet dinner is served inside the lodge, there is time to
meet the resident reindeer and admire the traditional art and
crafts on display.