My last few days in Lapland (northern Sweden) have been awesome! I decided to rent a car to drive north from Kiruna into the Arctic wilderness. It was three times less expensive to rent a manual transmission, so I went with that. I have only driven a stick shift briefly before, and it was three years ago (thanks Naomi Glesener!), so I had to teach myself how to drive manual. After practicing for 3 hours and stalling the poor rental car too many times for its own good, I was on the road. The car itself was some European make I have never heard of (Citroen Berlingo). Here it is:
Anyways, I decided to visit the girl I met on the train (Karin) in her village, Kuttainen. Her family was extremely nice to me and let me stay with them for 2 days. It was a great experience! They even had a sauna in their house with a shower inside it, which is pretty common around here! That night I went hunting and shot a moose! Here's a photo:
Haha, just kidding. Karin's dad shot the moose. But I did partake in eating the moose.
The Pounus, Karin's family, live right next to the church in the village. It is a very beautiful building with an electric organ. In the evening we went and played some music and the Pounu girls sang songs in Swedish. Then they took me to a cottage in the middle of the woods where I met all of the young people in the village. The cottage had no running water or electricity but we made a fire and drank some coffee. Coffee is very popular here, I think they drink more than Seattle (even though Karin didn't know what Starbucks was). We ended up hanging out until around 1 AM. It turns out some of them have been to Washington state and could speak better English. I was surprised. Photos of the Pounu family, the church, and the cottage:
In the morning I went to church with them and their cousin Hans even translated the service for me. I am now very good at singing Swedish Hymns.
It was sad to leave the next day because I know I will miss the Pounu's, but I'm excited for the next part of my trip, Stockholm. I will be staying with a guy I met in Lulea named Adrian.
As a closing note, this car rental company in Sweden wins the award for worst name: