Chaos Can Sometimes be Your Friend

Wednesday was one of those days when chaos insinuates itself into perfectly well-laid plans and the challenge becomes to not make anything of it and just keep rolling along.

I took the lunchtime train from Abisko to Kiruna (that's the sunrise in Kiruna above - shortly after 11:00 a.m.) to stay for a few days and participate in two different tours: on Wednesday afternoon - the LKAB iron ore mine and on Thursday - a snow mobile jaunt to the famous Ice Hotel.  When I arrived in Kiruna I dropped off my things at the hotel and headed over to the starting point for the mine tour only to find to my great consternation that the tour had been cancelled due to unforseen circumstances.  When I discussed the possibility of rebooking the iron mine tour the following day with the tourist office, I learned that my other tour was likely in jeopardy as well since the Ice Hotel wouldn't be opening until Saturday (at which time I will be on a train chugging along to Stockholm).  I scooted over to the tour office that had sold me the Ice Hotel tour and found that yes indeed, the Ice Hotel wasn't yet open and the staff at the Ice Hotel had recently become inexplicably pissy in the last couple of days about people stopping by on snowmobiles to have a gander.

My disappointment about the Ice Hotel tour was extremely short-lived, however.  I had cumulatively and finally become disgusted with the seemingly temperamental and elitist attitude I'd been observing all along as manifested in the arch website, the pricing ($40 admission to come in and look around/$600 to sleep on a block of ice on top of a reindeer pelt in a sleeping bag) and the difficulty in accessing the site (necessitating arcane and expensive transportation), all of which had pretty much taken away any appetite I had to visit.

But the mine tour was different!  I was SO looking forward to it.  The happy ending of this story is that with the Ice Hotel out of the picture I was free to go back and rebook the mine tour for Thursday.

So, all was not lost - in fact it was really just purified.  I spent a little time walking around the city and then returned to my hotel for a delicious dinner of reindeer stew and potatoes.  I now had the unusual luxury of having time to fill instead of dashing from one activity to the next.

Take that, chaos!  You dealt me an improvement!  I guess I shouldn't tease chaos, should I?

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