Gällivere, Sweden

September 2, 2001

On the initial train ride up, I'm surrounded by friendly Danish hunters. I was hoping to shoot reindeer too, but with 35mm film. At the last minute, the train was cancelled and alternate routes had to be planned. It was a rather calm transition, despite there being no beds available for the all-nighter.

Switching to the buses, most of the guns headed Northwest, while I was straight up. On the 12-hour bus, I'd seen ginger bread like houses in the forest and two young reindeer!

Norway has fjords; Sweden has tame lakes, though from what I have seen so far, there's nothing to be excited about.

By the time we crossed into the Arctic Circle (!), the hunters were all off and hikers or locals were the scattered in. Many times there was only one other passenger on the bus. The driver was delivering the newspapers to the shops along the way.

The actual town of Gällivere isn't that large. There's an old Sami school building, old church (where they found some corpses in the wooden floor during restoration) and a "castle" which passes as a large houses. There's a ski hill with breeding reindeer and some fishing, but little else. It's a nice place to stop for the night or half a day hike, but that's about it.

I enjoyed it for a good night sleep and met a Swiss hiker who was waiting all day at the bus stop in Jokkmokk, "hoping that someone would come by to talk to." The buses are infrequent and the population low. Unfortunately for him, he's left his passport at the hotel down there. The hotel owner will put it on the next bus to Gällivere with the papers and he'll be on his way again.

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