What does a girl with no sense of direction do when she wants to make a documentary about reindeer in the minus 38 degrees wilds of Northern Sweden? Well, this girl recruits her friend Patrick, a German ex-Special Forces Army Captain to come along and serve as her assistant. And so it began, our 3,400 kilometer 5 day odyssey from Stockholm to Kiruna, Lapland, with Patrick the machine driving, and with me losing my gloves and testing his patience along the way.
We spot our first wild reindeer a few kilometers outside Kiruna on our way to the corral. Seizing the moment like a true pioneer I leapt from the car, camera in hand, and promptly tripped into a giant snow bank. Luckily, I made a quick recovery and snapped this shot of Rudolf.
We took a ski lift up to the Aurora Sky Station and with amazing luck spotted a swirl of green light almost right away, like a giant UFO, spreading across the ink-black sky.
Here we are in the Church Village of Gammelstad, an incredibly well preserved 15th century Unesco World Heritage site. The town is filled with tiny red houses that used to shelter people who came to worship at the imposing stone church from the countryside and were unable to return home because of the long journey. The streets were so quiet and beautiful to stroll through when covered with snow.
We caught the David LaChapelle exhibit at Fotofrafiska in Stockholm. The space is housed in a former brick industrial art nouvea building, more than a hundred years old. A true clash of classic and modern. The exhibit really showed LaChapelle’s originality as an artist, not just a photographer of pop culture. You could witness through text and video his journeys from the conception of an idea to the final installation or photograph.
My favorite dining experience of the whole trip was at Rolfs Kök, watching my friend Peter who we met up with in Stockholm order a pig head off the menu and actually having a fully intact one (cooked) arrive on our table. They even devoured the nose! This Stockholm hot spot is also filled with many delights catering to the less adventurous.