Tour sponsored by
Chris Condor.. -.. Sören "Fixarn" Fjällstedt.. - ..Thomas Öhman
NSA-Företagen.. -.. Autoshop.. -.. Nordtrafik
You can always follow our tour while reading about it, by clicking
this map to get a large one.
Monday July 14 - We continued our tour
When changed back our Impalas to street duty and all things were packed in Piteå, we first took the
small roads a bit south to the track/airfield at Fällfors to park our Impalas for the race next weekend.
We took it easy, not only because Karl had 4.11 gears in his rear end, but also to enjoy the ride through
beautiful sunny Norrland on low traffic roads.
Windows down. The fresh air and the rumble. Close to a chopper bike experience...
The organizers SHRA-Skellefteå in Fällfors had promised us to garage our Impalas while we were away
on the vacation. We could park in one of the hangars. SHRA-Skellefteå's officials are incredibly helpful
and kind in all possible ways! Without any delay they also started to carry all our stuff from the
Toyota into the hangar! Many thanks to all of you in SHRA-Skellefteå for all your help!
Tusen tack alla ni i SHRA-Skellefteå för all er hjälp!
We didn't get too far before we met Rudolf. We saw a dozen of lost reindeers on our tour. Quite stubborn
animals, they don't move in front of you even if you empty your battery on the horn signal. We drove west
towards inland and Lapland on real small gravel roads to get to the "big one" E45 in Arvidsjaur.
We followed the beautiful Byske River upstream and had to stop to let the guy from Maryland wade in it.
An American in Lapland.
A bad deaf reindeer in Lapland. Made us laugh becuase he looked back while running and refused to let
us pass, if we went left he did too! If we went right he was there! And he didn't respond at the Toyota
horn at all! This is what we did for a quite a while...until I finally could trick him.
In Arvidsjaur we looked up an Internet café becuase we wanted to check our mail and things. The nice
guy at the café had it open after 8 PM so we could get hot chocolate and coffee and a kanelbulle,
cinnamon bun. Karl impressed by the updating speed of the blackout site as he saw himself in Byske
River, a picture I took with my phone 1,5 hours ago and sent to base Rickard "Hawkeye" Waltgård who
published it directly at Pit Lane, where you still can find it - together with a lot of other pictures and
comments! Again Thanks Hawkeye!
Karl had never seen the bus station in Arvidsjaur before! Americans, they don't know much about the
rest of the world do they? But now Karl knows!
After a while on the road again we stopped to get out in the silent nature. You could hear Agneta and
Axel talk in a distance, even their steps. A car was approaching and you heard it for a minute before
it showed but you didn't really knew from where it came, north or south? Because you heard it first via
the sky. I had almost forgot this wilderness phenomena, it was a long time since I was up here.
A small marsh was found when we looked for cloudberries, which was too early for them. Too bad.
And we met no giant moose either. Good.
Next stop was the next possible place - Moskosel Camping at Lake Moskosel. We needed a break
again and something to eat. I had a buddy from Moskosel when doing the military duty 1977-78.
I wonder where he is now? I wonder what his name was?
Axel had a magic swim at ten past 9 PM.
We had the most beautiful sunset dinner on their pier deck and it was still warm.
A Norrländsk speciality that we hoped for - Rökt fjällröding / Smoked Arctic char on buttered thinbread.
Pite river was wild and noisy. Since there were no traffic we parked on the middle of the bridge, turned
off the diesel and opened a couple of windows. It was getting chilly as the sun dropped.
Agneta was pleased of the Norrland experience especially after that dinner.
And even though from the narrow Toyota backseat.
11.17 PM in the hunt of the Midnight Sun, that seemed to go hiding behind clouds before we should
come to the final goal of today - the Arctic Circle!
00.05 AM! We did it in just about time! Karl Ellwein levitated at the Arctic Circle in the Midnight Sun!
And this was the camp for the first night out on the Norrland roads, not a bad trip for one day eh?
Tuesday July 15 - Going far above the Arctic Circle...
It was not cold in the morning, but we were eaten alive by billions of mosquitos! After a while we walked
around quickly in circles and figure eights to fool them, while having our breakfast. Terrible morning!
And it didn't get better with the deadlock on the caravan door and I had forgotten the keys on the inside.
He he. Karl and all of us tried to open it until I had to use light force (no picture). We cooled off with a
walk on the actual Arctic Circle line up the stairs to the souvenir shop.
Our family also had to levitate before hitting the road again, Axel holding us back from drifting away.
Did you know that I found out about this gravitation problem already in 1981 when Chris Condor and I
were here? We did an article about the hot streetcars in Jokkmokk for Bilsport Magazine # 13.
See what I mean!
In 1982 we were back, photographer Jan "Putte" Lundmark and me, to make an article about
Mats Tikka's "Eldfågeln" (Firebird) for Bilsport Magazine # 25-26! A funny overkill of words in the
beginning of the article lead to a surprise... =)
I've been to Jokkmokk many times starting in 1978 when doing my duty at F21 in Luleå. After all these
years Hotel Gästis still look the same (except for a missing flag pole, and the addition of blinds).
Photographer Chris Condor and I were sitting inside there in the winter of 1981 (see the Bilsport spread
a couple of pics above) having coffee and kanelbulle when we saw a very angry "Lapp-Anders"
walking down the street, cursing loudly and throwing things around him...
"Axel my son, this is a very historical site you know...!"
We stopped at Porjus just north of Jokkmokk so the nuke guy Karl could take some pictures to show
them boys back home at the nuclear powerplant in Maryland how they do it the north of Sweden. From
this distance here at Big Lule river we could hear the electric power hum loud and clear!
When Porjus Water Powerplant was built in the beginning of the 1900's there were no roads here, so
everything had to be carried by men to the site until the railway from Gällivare was finished! It was unique
back in the days because the plant was built underneath the surface, the fall is 60 meters/ 197 feet.
It's the state-owned Vattenfall's third largest water powerplant and has a yearly production of 1233 GWh.
We brought groceries every day so we could stop anywhere when hungry. Agneta always fixed
something tasteful at our randomly chosen places in Norrland. However this place was a God-forsaken
place with so many mosquitos that we ran directly into the caravan. Huvaligen!
Axel dressed in new Norrland style clothes we bought in Jokkmokk.
Finally in Kiruna - the northernmost city in Sweden and the northernmost point of our adventure!
Hometown of Börje Salming and many other ice hockey profiles.
Actually the largest city in the world if you go by area. This place has a very interesting story (click
the link). It was founded in 1900 even if people has been living here for 6.000 years! Kiruna was built
because of the quickly growing mining business of the giant iron ore presence at the two montains
Kiirunavaara and Luossavaara. Today the mining has crunched so close so they have to move the city!
It was wonderful to book a room on Hotel Ferrum to get a shower, watch bad TV, update on internet,
have a beer from the bar, to sleep in a bed and having a served breakfast! Thanks Ellwein Engines for
sponsoring all of this! Agneta, Axel and me had until tonight been living in our caravan for eight days.
Karl liked my hat. And he liked the look of Kiruna, especially the buildings. In the background you can
see Swedens highest mountain Kebnekaise and further away Norwegian mountains with the midnight
sun lighting the glacier snow.
Wednesday July 16 - Another route back
Breakfast offered warmed cloudberries and pancakes and cream. We took a small shopping walkabout
in the shops around the hotel and saved thousand of kronors! By not buying.
We had planned to take a tour at Esrange Swedish Space Center nearby but we missed the bus and
your'e not allowed to drive there yourself. And this bus went in the opposite direction...
Next stop in our plan was the world renowned Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi not far from Kiruna, /see that big
map). Icehotel of course has its peak during winter and this is what you'll find in the middle of the
summer, but I knew there were more to it...
Yes, they're open during summer as well! The tour office had an ice block free to lick.
Inside a large storage building they're keeping the ice blocks which they'll use when starting building
the next winter's hotel, in September. The blocks are harvested out of Torne River during springtime
and kept here in minus 5° Celsius / 23 Fahrenheit all summer. And visitors like us are welcome
to tour and get to know the whole story...
Torne River is one of the cleanest rivers in the world and has no pollutants at all upstream! As you can
see it doesn't even have any leafs or needles! It's like glass.
Inside here they also show a collection of fantastic ice art that yearly is made by the artist community
which are designing the roomsettings in the hotel in different themes. Like airplanes...
And then we were welcome to try it ourselves! It was a marvelous feeling in sculpturing ice!
The first of all ice hotels in the World. The original. Icehotel Link in English of course.
And here is Wikipedia about this hotel.
Outside Icehotel's reception we tried a New Swedish invention - it's called Postcard! You choose from
various nice pictures, and buy one that you like. Then you write something meaningful on the backside
and add an address to a friend. You also buy an even smaller picture which you lick on its backside
which makes it sticky, and press that small picture on the backside of the big picture. When you are
finished with all this you just find a metal box and drop this "Postcard" into it. Yes, it's true! What
happens after that I don't know. Maybe it's digitalized...and emailed to that address? Beats me, but
I guess this Swedish invention will be spread over the World!
We had a buffet lunch while watching the giant Torne River flowing by.
It was cold said Axel who calls himself "The Cold Master". He always takes a bath no matter what.
We'll follow this giant river south to Haparanda.
Still in the village of Jukkasjärvi we found a big Lapp cot and couldn't resist visiting for a hot black coffee
made over an open fire. This was the first time Karl met a sami person and was a little proud of that.
The Sami people is the indigenous people of northern Europe and has a similar history as most indi-
genous people over the World, like the Native Americans, but maybe a just little less violent history?
I took the opportunity to pray for racing luck to the powers of the sami iron age norse mythology...
(I think it worked with reversed results...)
There are quite a few homemade signs pointing to flee markets and small cafés down the road. This café
was inside an old, for the latitude, typical farm house. Threatening darkness is building up on the sky...
Fika is always OK, especially on a vacation. Coffee and cinnamon bun, apple cake or cookies. If the
driver wants to stop for it, he stops for it and nobody complains. Because the driver need to be alert.
Suddenly we had an insane rain over us! I believe it was the worst burst I've experienced in Sweden?
"Karl! You gotta run first and open the doors, that's a tradition in Sweden!"
After a while we stopped again to have another chance of seeing Torne River while stretching our stiff
bodies. It can be said that the Toyota pickup is not an award winner in the comfort category. We
stopped often but that's also nice on a vacation road trip, to see, touch and smell the nature.
Bad roads like this one is also a cause for more stops. I couldn't beleive how bad all roads up here
were! I felt ashamed for Karl and couldn't explain this status of the roads either.
We decided to cross the first bridge we found and follow the river south on the Finnish side instead. As
long as possible until we approached Kukkolaforsenn, the next camp for the night.
Hello Finland - Soumi! On the Finnish side the roads were like new! Smooth ride!
Now it was time for the Bolero tomato to stretch a bit and get some fresh air. He had never been to
Finland before. Meanwhile we got a message on the phone from Ola Åbergh who was on his way back
from Stockholm to Umeå with his rear wheels/slicks so he could race with us at Fällfors this weekend in
his DCM Impala SS with Powerdyne supercharger! He left Umeå for Stockholm yesterday and just
turned around in Stockholm and has been driving non-stop! Good spirit!
Kukkolaforsen - looking over to the Finnish side from the Swedish side. End of todays leg. Give me a
beer! That wooden pier is for the commercial fishing (with long dip nets) of their famous Sik / Whitefish
and its delicious kaviar. This is a speciality for this area, and has been since the middle ages!
BBQ of halloumi cheese and pork tenderloin. Yes! And in the smoke there were no mosquitos. Bolero
tomato always had to step outside during the nights which was improving this plants stamina.
The rumble and the pure oxygen from the mighty Kukkolaforsen whitewater kept us awake a little longer
even when it was getting chilly. The time was 01.10 AM here! This is the most narrow place of the
Torne River. The whitewater is 3.5 km long / 2 miles with a 14 meter / 46 ft drop.
Thursday July 17 - Going back to our Impalas
Good warm fresh summer morning with our breakfast at the camping restaurant with an inspiring view.
A small can of super fresh Sik kaviar was bought by Agneta who never miss an opportunity like this.
Next stop IKEA Haparanda! The flags were inviting people from Sápmi, Russia, Norway, Finland and
Sweden, all within the catchment area of this newly built store. Haparanda was a depopulated area
- just like most of Norrland - until my intelligent friend Ingvar Kamprad decided to build a store here,
then people suddenly stopped moving south and they began to move back! Haparanda is now growing!
Building this store was giving a clear message to people in the whole region - "Here you can live!"
Just look at that shopping center billboard, some of the companies that open up their businesses close
to the IKEA store which is typical! I guess there is no unemployment in Haparanda any longer?!
We were just looking for a bigger pot for the grown up Bolero tomato. This pot and tray
called "Rönnbär" was only 60 SEK / 10 USD.
We stopped at Piteå Havsbad which is a popular, big and wellknown recreation area with camping,
cabins, hotel, restaurants and much more - and of course the big sandy beach at the sea which
got it all started! We had promoted this place a long time for Axel so he was really excited...
...but nope! The Cold Master had to give up this time! (It must have been darn cold!) Sorry Axel!
On the parking we saw one way of doing it. A camper on a truck.
Last stop was at the gas station in Jävre on the border to the Västerbotten state. We were leaving
Norrbotten. Here we filled up our supplies, not at least the planting soil for the Bolero tomato!
And now - Next stop Fällfors! Please click on banner below: