We arrive at the Ice Hotel a beautiful bright day, delphinium blue skies above crisp, gleaming, white snow - even the air around us literally sparkles. Sadly my ME has prevented us ever going skiing so the Socks have never experienced these levels of snow and cold but we have learnt not to dwell on what we can't do and concentrate on what we can do and over the next three days this will include a night on ice, snowmobiling and husky sledging! After all how fatiguing can these things be? Pretty bloody exhausting as it happens! The Sock had underestimated the sheer effort of continually moving from 'cold' to 'warm places' and the work involved in dressing in and stripping off the heavy snow suits and boots provided and our multiple layers of clothing under that!
We have chosen to spend our first night in the Ice Hotel itself and after that move into one of the warm lodges on the site.The Ice Hotel is open each day until 6.00pm so that visitors can view all the rooms after which those brave enough to sleep over in the -5C interior temperature have the Ice Hotel to themselves. (Click on any of the pictures to enlarge.)
The Bedsock was particularly taken with the Ice Car Room (yes that is the Bedsock and not some marauding Cossack!) he is sitting on the reindeer skins that form the bed in the car!
This room could be retitled 'OldiSocks and the Two Bears'
the amount of details put into many of the rooms was fantastic as was the way the lighting picked up different colours in the ice.
This room design was based on the contents of a fridge!
After being given an explanatory talk on 'How to survive in an Ice Room' the Socks cleared off to the Absolut Ice Bar to fortify themselves with a couple of cocktails
which came in glasses made of ice
Peeling off the top three of their many layers of clothing the Socks enjoyed a lovely six course meal in the warm restaurant. The only course not served on a plate of ice was the very tasty ptarmigan and reindeer tongue!
Warm, full, slightly inebriated and happy the Socks made themselves ready for the
Nor do you see the ensuing tussling panic as the Socks threw the enormous sleeping bag onto the Ice bed fighting to get into it as quickly as possible. It was every Sock for themselves - as demonstrated by the Bedsock who, struggling to get the bag over his head, somehow wapped the Sock hard in the jaw nearly dislocating it! There followed much howling which eventually dissolved into a more than frosty silence - the romance of a double sleeping bag being much wasted!
Although it might be possible to get a good and comfortable night's sleep on an ice bed this did not happen for the Socks. The combined heat generated from the thermal clad Socks alternately left them soaked in a hot sweat which then turned to ice each time they shifted position and the -5c air seeped into through the top of the bag! The Bedsock lay in a sleepless stupor for some hours wishing that we had done as some other sensible guests and also booked a warm room to escape to. The Sock spent some hours wishing she hadn't drunk so much with dinner as a visit to the toilet would involve a run back and forth through the freezing ice corridors to the Dressing Rooms clad only in her undies and boots. Guests are given a severe warning before using the rooms that they MUST NOT PISS IN THE SNOW and that telltale yellow signs will be noted!
Eventually the Socks drift into a semi-stupor to be woken the next morning by 'room service' with a glass of hot lingonberry juice and the relief of knowing that the rest of their nights will be spent in a lovely, warm, comfortable conventional bed!