Something different is the SolveIII activity being undertaken in Kiruna. NASA is providing the vehicle, a U-2 Spyplane, as a platform to study the ozone hole. Many universities all over the world are participating.
Fondest memory: For most this information isn't that important but for a science and aviation buff this is like gold. I was invited to visit the hangar where the U-2 is kept. The folks were so nice that I was able to climb onto the plane and take pictures.
In addition, some of the university folks showed me their results and explained the data capture process and the interpretation. Very interesting. The ozone hole is not being destroyed or getting unexpectedly larger.
Kiruna is a very nice small Swedish town. The town hosts the international snow sculpting competition. The Ice Hotel, www.icehotel.com is just south of Kiruna. The Ice Hotel is beautiful. There are ice sculptures in most of the rooms. The bar is ice and serves expensive vodka (Absolute) in large ice cubes. The hotel requires reservations and it is very important to call in advance. The best deal is to stay in the cabins and drink at the ice hotel bar in the evening. The cabins have water, bathrooms, and heat. The shock comes in the morning if you stay inside the Ice Hotel. There is a wakeup call early (8:00am) and you have to vacate your room. They have to clean the rooms to start the tours. Pictures were taken with a digital Sony Mavica
Fondest memory: The Ice Hotel was very nice but the biggest surprise came at the Kiruna hotel the next day. The hotel restaurant was filled with people that spoke American English. They were from NASA doing ozone hole research. SOLVEIII studies. NASA was providing the U2 aircraft for the studies. As a pilot, I was thrilled to be invited to visit the airport and see the U2 up close. If you are a pilot, e-mail me and I will send you some very nice pictures of the U2 in Kiruna.
Favorite thing: While I was in Haparanda, one of my close friend Perko invited me to her son's house where it located in Kiruna.
Wrap your self warm and enjoy the visit.
It's always very cold out here.
You must sleep in the Icehotel atleast once.
Fondest memory: Going in the icehotel.
Fondest memory: Here is a view over the Norway, Riksgransen is swedish for a 'countries boarder'.. As you figured, Riksgransen is close to Norway.
Favorite thing: This is the cockpit of the U-2. It is SMALL. I am 6'4' and there would be no way I could fit. Imagine being stuck in this little space for 8 hours. And there aren't even peanuts served.