Helena and the sea photography


Winter at the Arctic Circle

Young children on snow kick bikes watching a snow scooter drive by on Kalix River, Sweden, January 2022

Snowmobile envy

Young children on snow kick bikes watching a snow scooter drive by on Kalix River, Sweden, January 2023
Snow scooter envy – Young children on snow kick bikes watching a snowmobile drive by on Kalix River, Sweden, January 2023

Starting this post as I usually do, I’m just going to write a short post as a check-in to what I’m up to now. I’m back in the north of Sweden after travelling to both Iceland and The US, New York specifically where I went to University. Have had an incredible trip, Iceland is amazing, and in NY it was great to meet up with old friends. Also, the world is opening up after the pandemic and it’s really interesting to see how it has changed. Because I notice a change, not sure where we’re heading. Haven’t been to New York since 2018 so it’s a changed city, but still, one of the greatest cities in the world. But, this is just a short check-in so more about Iceland and New York later.

Not sure if I’ve been jet lagged or not, might have been more jet lagged during my trip. Also, when coming back up north the snow helps to beat the jet lag. Now is the time when the winter is starting properly in The Arctic. The winter is long up here. During Christmas we have very few hours of daylight. And before the the snow comes, it’s dark. Now, one month after the midwinter solstice, the light is back and with all the snow that’s been falling – there is light again! When the sun hits the snow it’s glistering.

I took this photo on Kalix river last weekend. When the water on top of the river is frozen and there’s lots of snow, so much of life is happening on the river. The rivers have historically been people have been transporting themselves and are traditional meeting spots. Nowadays, people are taking walks on the river since there’s a foot path made there during wintertime, people are skiing where there are ski tracks, some are fishing as you can se on the photo where the two children have a drill on their snow kick bike – which is a traditional form of transportation up here in the winter. To be able to fish in the wintertime you use a drill to make a hole in the ice so you can get down to the flowing water and catch some fish. And of course, there’s snow scootering going on. Kalix is actually a centre for snow scootering and have talents that compete internationally in snowmobile, or snow scooter which is a direct translation from Swedish. Furthermore, the Swedish finale in Iceracing will be held on the river at the 10th of March this year.

So, a quite short “Hello” from me, and “I’ll be back!” as Arnold said in a movie.

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37 responses to “Winter at the Arctic Circle”

  1. Sounds like a cold circuit. I’ve dreamed of seeing Iceland and the other Nordics. New York, not so much… maybe New York a hundred or so years ago. Anyway, glad you seemed to have a good time!

    • Thanks πŸ™ I had a great time. Iceland was cold in a new way πŸ₯Ά since I’m from the Arctic I’m used to the cold, but -15 degrees with cold wind coming in from the sea it was something else. But, loved Iceland so much. And, even during one of the coldest days I went swimming in a thermal bath in the evening, the water was nice and warm, and I could see the northern lights! You should definitely visit both Iceland and the Nordics, I think both winter and summer are good times to visit. Up here in the Swedish Arctic, there’s a big difference between the summer and winter. In the summer we have 24 hour sunlight and temperatures can reach 30 C so you can even go swimming in the rapids as I did two summers ago!

  2. Hi Helena,
    we used to live for quite a while in Northern Finland and on Svalbard but now on the east coast of England. We miss the real winters with masses of snow and ice. Our dear Master had such a snow scooter. It’s fun driving them.
    Keep well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Oh, that’s great to hear. I spent last winter in Asia so I really appreciate snow now. Even though I complain about shovelling snow. And the white snow is so beautiful. I’m not sure people who never been to places where there’s proper winters can understand how beautiful it is when the land is covered with masses of snow and the air is fresh and clear. Even if it’s below -20 C πŸ˜‰ Hope you and your family are well too!

  3. You are so lucky to travel the world. The snow scooter is very interesting and seems to have something like ski boards attached to it if am not mistaken.

    • Yes, I know I’m lucky to be able to travel the world. But, I need a home too. And it’s sort of ski boards attached to the snowmobile and then there’s a rubber band that drives the scooter on the snow. It’s fun to go on them, and I used to go on skis behind the snowmobile holding on to a rope when my father drove the scooter. Lots of fun!

  4. The amount of changes that can happen in some of these big states and cities in just 4-5 “shot” years is incredible LOL.

    “Not sure if I’ve been jet lagged or not, might have been more jet lagged during my trip. Also, when coming back up north the snow helps to beat the jet lag”

    Hahaha the legenday cold and snow in the north is enough to make a drunk person sober again and to make Frosty The Snowman QUIT πŸ€­πŸ€­πŸ˜‚. But when I read how you described the winter conditions in relation to longer periods of sunlight and how it shines down on the snowfall creating a sight for sore eyes, it really captures the magical sensation that you were talking about the other day πŸ’―πŸ™βœ¨

    Great imagry from the Kalix river and the Iceracing and fishing along with other activities makes it a pretty interesting place to be at that time β„β›·πŸ›·βœŒοΈπŸ˜„.

      • Hahaha great point. The impression is that the fun is in trying to keep safe by finding many ways not to freeze to death considering how cold it is, and that people spend most of their time indoors by a fire and online 🀭πŸ”₯🀭πŸ”₯.

        Atleast that is how it’s somewhat perceived by those like myself who are not from places where it gets freezing cold or snow and have no idea how people manage βœŒοΈπŸ˜„. So it was eye-opening to see the many fun ways that people enjoy the cold glacial periods up at the Kalix river πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜†.

      • My pleasure sweetheart πŸ™β˜ΊοΈ. Good to see what you’ve been up to βœŒοΈβœŒοΈπŸ˜†

  5. I am a native New Yorker.

    I enjoy hearing about and seeing the experience of other countries around the world.

    The snow-scooter looks like so much fun!

    • Oh, a native New Yorker! That’s quite rare πŸ˜‰ Yes, the snow scootering is super fun, especially at open spaces like frozen rivers or lakes. That should be possible upstate New York, right?

      • Wow! Back in the day I used to love Ben and Jerry’s butter pecan ice-cream it was delicious! Now, as I am vegan I eat non dairy ice cream alternatives.

        Yes, there are parts of upstate New York that are beautiful.

      • Oh, used to be vegetarian. And, there are great vegan Ben&Jerry’s ice-cream you could try. Also realised that Burlington is in Vermont ☺️

      • 😻 We all do that from time to time! It is natural, we are human. Our minds are filled with so much and we are always occupied. ❀

        The only thing is that Ben and Jerry’s vegan versions are not in plain vanilla. The vegan one’s they have are all mixed with chocolate 🍫. I don’t eat chocolate.

      • Oh, no chocolate … I can understand that since you’re vegan but … I love chocolate and I guess that’s why I like B&J since their ice cream is a mix of everything πŸ˜‰

      • Chocolate itself within its natural form without milk is vegan. I am just not supposed to eat chocolate because the doctor told me to stay away from it as a child as chocolate and coca cola gave me bad stomach pains.

      • Yes! Breyers has a delicious vegan/non dairy vanilla and peanut butter swirl that I love!

        I have had quite a few vegan Ice creams that I have tried over the years but the breyers is my favorite out of them all.

        Have a blessed day!😻

      • You too! And even if I’m not a vegetarian, or vegan, anymore I mostly eat vegetarian anyway. It’s better for the environment.

    • Thank you πŸ™ it’s one of the best times of the year right now here. We have so much snow, and now we have 12 hours of daylight, the sun is out and warming you while you’re out in the day but the nights are still cold so the snow stays, and you get to see beautiful aurora borealis in the nights. This season and pre-summer are the best times here! I was out cross country skiing on the river today, beautiful and a great work out too!

      • Oooh wow, I’m in Scotland and it is mostly dreary rain, we had a little bit of snow but not much. I can just imagine your view 😊

      • It’s amazing. There’s at least 1 meter of snow in most places, maybe more! The rivers are wide and frozen, covered with glistering snow. It’s like a reward for surviving the dark around Christmas when we got 2 hours of daylight. And, last week I just had to step out of my house and see the northern lights and Ursa Major right above my house. It’s magical here, sometimes at least πŸ˜‰

      • You definitely should, try to come around midsummer so you get to experience the midnight sun! And, around midsummer the landscape is so beautiful since everything is starting to bloom and the fields are green. But, if you want to experience snow you’ve still got at least a couple of weeks left of the season.

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