Sunday, November 4, 2012


 ICEBAR, Stockholm Sweden.

While I was Sidelined in Stockholm I made use of the downtime and went in to see the ICEBAR which is located in the Nordic Sea Hotel at Vasaplan 4, right beside Stockholm Central Station in the heart of Stockholm City Centre. I went there one afternoon just to take a few pictures of the bar, but was told I had to pay to get in, even just to take a few pictures, but in fairness your admission fee includes a drink and also the special cape and gloves you need to wear inside to stop your body heat from melting the ice. 
Being on a Round the World trip like I am and trying to stretch out only enough money for the next year or so on the road to 7 years, every $20 here and $10 there adds up at the end of the week for me. I enquired as to whether they honored any type of Press credentials, in my case a Press Photographers pass, so the front desk directed me to the PR dept and 
Sofia Sundkvist.

Sofia Sundkvist, PR and Content Manager for Nordic Hotels.

Sofia could not have been more helpful or accommodating to me. 
To be able to get into the bar before it opened and have it all to myself to shoot it without too many people in the way was a big plus, although at this time of the year the bar is not really that crowded, and it doesn't open until 3:45 pm anyway. Guests are limited to 45 minutes per visit in order to keep the interior of the bar at a constant -5° Celsius. Body heat will speed up the deterioration of the ice and require it to be changed more frequently than the 2 or 3  times a year it is changed.

Time for the cape, one of the ways they keep your body heat from melting the ice inside the ICEBAR, and also to keep you warm.

 In the lower right of the ice block used in this portion of ice wall the ice captured and froze a plant mid flow. Beautiful. It seem's like it's still underwater and flowing.

The colored lights are on a roughly 10 second rotation, constantly changing the mood of the ICEBAR, a bright purple blue one moment.......

.....a sombre and eerie grey the next.

Sofia was a little camera shy, but Emelie Lundgren made up for that.

And of course the glasses at the Ice bar are not glass, but made of small blocks of ice.

Sofia mentioned that these ICEBAR glasses are made by Santa's Elves during their offseason from February through September in Lappland, it keeps them employed when they would normally be idle and the ICEBAR get's a great discount too. Once October comes, Santa's Elves are in full toy production mode getting all the  toys ready for Santa's busy Christmas delivery schedule.
Maybe I'll get to see them when I get up and over to Lappland.

The view from inside the ICEBAR looking out to the reception of the Nordic Sea hotel.

The Ice Hotel in northern Sweden.

The Ice Hotel, located in Kiruna in the north of Sweden 200 kilometers above the Arctic Circle is my next destination. By the time you read this I'll be heading north from Stockholm to BollnasOstersund and on to Kiruna.

View Larger Map

At a little over 6000 kilometers from Stockholm up to Nordkapp, over into Russia and back to Minsk in Belarus this is the rough route I intend to follow. I'm already 6 weeks or so behind schedule what with one thing after another, and still have the driveshaft/ clutch/ transmission issue to figure out.
From what I can determine it's a driveshaft problem, the top or front U-joint up by the transmission, but not having a garage to tear it all apart to figure out exactly what it is, I've decided to plug on and figure it out along the way.
I think that it feels ok to keep going, it doesn't feel like it's going to let go immediately, but now that I've said that out loud I've probably jinxed it for myself, we'll just have to wait and see.

I expect to get to Kiruna by Wednesday, Thursday the latest, depends on how much I stop to photograph, who I meet along the way and how early it gets dark. Lately here in Stockholm, it starts to get dark at around 3:30 in the afternoon, and the further north I go the earlier that will be. Someone mentioned to me that in Nordkapp there's probably only 2 or 3 hours of daylight each day.

See you in Kiruna,


Charlie6 said...

Ok, I'll be the first to say it: Very COOL pictures Murph!

Hope you are right in that the issues you're having turn out to be minor and easily fixable when the time comes.


Anonymous said...

Take it easy on the roads.
I saw you in Gävle.
Nice bike btw.

Vincent Prat said...

Fantastic photos Murph !

Anonymous said...

Riviting - stay well

Vincent de Brey,Holland. said...

GREAT!!!Nice pics!!!Take care!