Day 42: Kuopio to Jukkasjarvi

Today is the D-day. We plan to reach Arctic circle and then travel into the Arctic circle. We left Kuopio early as this was a long day.

We reached Oulu at about lunch time. It was good journey with scenery improving by the mile. The greenery is changed and the climate changing rapidly. Then suddenly it started to rain. All this was great to watch.

On top of it we got an Indian Restaurant Ravintola Indian Cuisine in Oulu. We reached the restaurant and there the buffet lunch was on. We had chicken curry, Muttton curry, Fish curry and soft naan fresh from the oven. It was surprising to see that the hotel was full of local people enjoying the Indian food. The food was good. It turned out that the owners (husband and wife) were Indians from Kolkata settled here.

There were few more Indian hotels here. One was just opposite this hotel. The owner informed us that Microsoft and Nokia had many Indians working there. Their numbers have reduced because both the companies have reduced their staff strength drastically in last one year.

As if all this was not out of imagination, we found a reindeer on the road. It is possible to find reindeers in this part of the world, but to find them on the road right in front of your car. It was a sight to behold. And then the icing on the cake, we found one more coming on the road. Other cars also stopped there. We took photos from a distance.

Then we were moving towards the Arctic Circle. We were constantly looking at the compass on the iphone to find exactly when the car reaches the arctic circle point. We expected nothing there except for our compass showing us the 66 degrees and 33’39” point.  And to our surprise, when we reached there around 18:30 local time, we found a board declaring that it is the Arctic circle point and there was a restaurant also. And to celebrate our reaching the goal No. 2 of our trip, our Indian cricket team also defeated West Indies at the same time.

We spent some time at the Arctic circle, took photos and video and then had a cup of tea before moving forward to Jukkasjarvi. Our stay today was at The Ice Hotel at Jukkasjarvi in Sweden. It is special hotel inside the Arctic circle.

We reached the hotel around 10 pm.  We have reached the place of ‘The Midnight Sun’ and were reminded of our Geography books in school days.

We left hotel at 11:50 pm to see the midnight sun from a point as guided by the Reception of the hotel. The point was a bridge from where we could see both sides, east and west. At 12 midnight we were standing in the middle of the bridge seeing the sunset in the west. The sunset time was after 12:40 am. So, in the middle of the night we saw the brightness of the day. In the East, some small day light started emerging suggesting that the sunrise was not very far away. There is no sunrise and sunset time as the sun is up all day during June 2019.  It is day light all the 24 hours.
It was special day. Something we can not forget in this life.

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