Right next to the Turiststation is the Naturum, a sort of combination tourist information office / museum / Park Ranger Station. Here, you can get all sorts of interesting information on the area. In the front hall, they even have a list of things to do, broken down by "if you have 30 minutes," "if you have 1 hour," etc. Inside, there's a friendly staff, an interactive exhibit on the geologic history of the area, an interactive exhibit on various bird calls (this undoubtedly would drive a cat absolutely crazy :), and even a display of various animal tracks and dung.
The Naturum is open during the summer and selected times during the winter, though visits by appointment are possible. Contact the museum for details.
Not far from the Abisko Turiststation is the chairlift up Mount Nuolja. Used as a ski lift in winter, it has recently found summer use to transport tourists to the top. The chairlift takes quite a bit of time -- about 25 minutes or so -- but with the scenery all around, you won't mind. Prices have escalated significantly since we last visited. As of 2009, normal cost is SEK 180 for a round trip, SEK 145 one way.
From June 13 - July 11, 2009, you can take a special "Midnight Sun" ride between 10PM and 1AM. A round-trip Midnight Sun ride now costs SEK 245, about 3 times what it cost us to see the Midnight Sun four years ago.
Hostel members, take note: for a round-trip, you can get an SEK 35 discount during regular hours, and an SEK 50 discount for the special Midnight Sun / Aurora nighttime rides.
You can get some amazing scenery by wandering along the Abisko River. We had just arrived, so we wandered downriver towards the lake. There's a good path along the river, with several fine places to set up a picnic. There's a bridge a few hundred meters down that offers some great vantage points in both directions.
Abisko is the northern terminus of the Kungsleden, considered one of the most magnificent hiking trails in the world. We set off after breakfast and hiked southward. Despite it being a gloomy day, the views were excellent as we followed the river and admired Mount Nuolja.
After a little over an hour, we decided to turn back. It was very cold and windy, a cold rain was threatening, and the trail was quite muddy. Thus, we failed in our attempt to conquer the Kungsleden. Of course, there was also the small matter that the end of the trail is in Nikkaluokta, some 443 km (275 miles) south of Abisko. Just a bit ambitious for a day hike, especially when we wanted to get back to the Turiststation for Midsummer Lunch. Details... ;o)
The raiway taking you here is the most important railway in the country, as it was built to get Swedish iron ore from the Kiruna-Gällivare mines to the ice free harbour at Narvik in Norway. This is what it is used as today as well, and 50 carriage long iron ore trains trundle past several times a day (making surprisingly little noise). Many navvies died building it since it was a cumbersome business with avalanches in mountain passes, bad weather, hard ground and isolated areas to get material too. There was also the danger of making tunnels through mountains like Nuolja where slides would otherwise have caused rail accidents.
Today, you can follow a whole trail along the railway called the Navvy road. This was the small supply road used when building it. You can also stop at Tornehamn by the lake and look at the navvy cemetary.
A wonderful little canyon which you easily walk around in half an hour from the fell station. In summer, it is full of flowers on the side, and in winter, there are impressive ice formations, sometimes strong enough to climb.
The bulk of Nuolja follow you everywhere you go around the fell station. There is a ski lift here and getting up it means great views both summer and winter. In summer, you can walk down after enjoying the plants up there and the midnight sun from the peak. In winter (in decent weather), why not have a hot chocolate in the top hut you can just about make out in this picture.
The "Lapp Gate" (Cuonavaggi or Tjuonavagge in Sami language) is the most photographed mountain silhouette in Sweden. It is actually not IN the park itself, but easily seen from the fell station, or even better, from Nuolja, Lake Torne or the restaurant at Björkliden ski centre. It is a u-shaped valley made during the ice age and very characteristic. Again, the weather didn't let me capture it properly, and for most days it was hidden in snow storms or clouds, which just made the hunt for a sight of it more exciting.
My girlfriends makes sure everything is ok!
Never bring stuffs as an outdoor grill, a skewer or wood! It only takes room and weight in your bag! The only thing you need is a knife and some matches!
(I do always bring some pepper and salt for the fish though...=))
I'm crazy when it comes to fishing!
That's why I had to catch us some for dinner!
It wasn't hard, the fishes were everywhere!!
I didn't try to catch one with my bare hands, but I'm sure I would if I tried!
Here is a pic of me when I'm cook the fish!